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Baker's Dozen

Licence To Sing: Afrodeutsche's Favourite Albums
Manu Ekanayake , June 27th, 2023 10:07

From a childhood spent dancing to Top Of The Pops, a complicated relationship with Michael Jackson and the tragic loss of her tape collection, Afrodeutsche takes Manu Ekanayake through the thirteen albums that changed her life


Soul II Soul – Club Classics Vol. 1

Man, when I first saw that video on Top Of The Pops with the table pushed aside, coming through the stereo system! And I saw a Black woman playing the violin. I had played violin from when I was six; I’d got a scholarship from Exeter University. I quit when I was 11 or maybe 12, because of bullying. And when I saw this Black woman playing the violin I thought "Oh... maybe that was a mistake." Just to see that as a young Black girl. They're all dressed up and they're moving and dancing. And the music just felt like you'd known it all your life. But it was also new and it didn't sound like anything else you'd ever heard before. That crossover of how Jazzie B, now OBE of course, managed to cross over the American version of street soul that sounded so British because it had come from British street soul. The power of the sound system culture that he came from was something he managed to bring into pop music. And I was too young to be going to these kinds of events. But he did it and it was a real ‘eyes and ears opened to what is possible’ moment for me. I mean Caron Wheeler and her voice, my God, it will forever live within me.