With Notting Hill Carnival cancelled this year due to COVID-19, the highlight of the cultural calendar was forced to go virtual. Access All Areas was the organisers’ official response, with 14 soundsystems streamed across four channels on the carnival website.
Over lockdown, GAIKA and a crew of likeminded Black artists – including GLOR1A, Shannen SP, and Zara Truss-Giles – formed Nine Nights, described by the collective as “a new music TV concept featuring black artists from around the world and spanning music, visual art, performance, poetry, spoken word.
“Rooted in the Jamaican tradition that celebrates the life and safe passing of the deceased over nine nights, this series is for those who have lost their lives at the hands of racism, police brutality and COVID-19, to celebrate their existence and push for change.”
With carnival cancelled IRL, Nine Nights broadcast a digital event called “Dancehall Supremacy”, featuring Flohio, Elheist (who released one of my favourite tunes of the year), Scratcha DVA, Obongjayar, plus more. The night was a celebration of Jamaican club culture, with visuals paying homage to cult 90s films such as Babymother and Dancehall Queen.