Meet Jamaal and Lindsey – the artists we’ve selected to collaborate and create new music that explores the impact of the pandemic on our creativity and wellbeing, with support from award winning artist Ray BLK.
Raised in Manchester with Pakistani roots, Jamaal Monarch (he/him or they/them) makes ambitious hip-hop that fuses ultra-modern production with intelligent wordplay and tender vocal melodies. Unafraid to confront both personal introspection and wider societal issues, Jamaal’s music displays courage and vulnerability, representing a brave individual voice that allows the listener to view the world through their unique lens.
“Having a routine, not sleeping away the days, being kind to myself and not putting as much pressure on myself, checking in with friends and family – all stuff that’s kept me going over these lockdown months. Creatively, I’ve been writing a lot, so I’ve been actively taking steps forward in really listening to myself and figuring out what’s on my heart, and then to the world around me to then be inspired by that too.”
Lindsey Abudei (she/her) is a Nigerian-born singer-songwriter influenced by diverse genres — Rock, Blues, Jazz, R&B — shaped into a genre-fluid, contemporary sound and with two solo projects released so far:‘’Brown’’, her EP and ‘’…And The Bass Is Queen.’’ She has had collaborations with Sonti Mndebele, Tom Arthurs, Grammy award-nominated composers, Morgan Guerin, Vijay Iyer, and is also a Prix Decouvertes 2013 Awardee, an Art OMI: Music 2017 Fellow, a BANFF Jazz And Creative Music 2018 Alum, a Red Bull Music Academy 2018 Alum and a ColabNowNow 2019 Art Alum.
“During lockdown I have been doing some reading, watching movies – especially animations and old movies – curating music, writing and finding stillness again in this time and in moments that would have consumed me otherwise.”
A co-commission with Library Live, Manchester as part of our gender equality programme Both Sides Now, Jamaal and Lindsey will be collaborating online over the next three months with mentoring support from Ray BLK, who is known for her groundbreaking, no-holds barred lyrics and willingness to address difficult topics, both on and off the mic.
“I’m most looking forward to exploring how far we can take this collaboration sound-wise. As a producer, it’s always inspiring working with other artists and creating something with them, so it’ll be interesting to see how we do this digitally as opposed to being in the studio together. Lindsey’s really talented so I can’t wait to flesh out the meat and bones of what we’re going to talk about – sonic references, how we’ll arrange the tracks, and everything in-between.”
“I’m looking forward to the possibilities that will come from the ideas we come up with, and also getting to learn from a perspective different to mine and in this case, from a creative like myself.”
Over the coming months we’ll be checking in with them to see how their ideas are shaping up and progressing. Stay tuned for more…