London’s annual Notting Hill Carnival is a 54-year-old celebration of the United Kingdom’s Caribbean community often filled with parades, food, and, of course, music. Due to this year’s social distancing recommendations, the Carnival’s in-person events are on hold, but the art and culture of the U.K.’s Black creative community can be heard just as loud as Notting Hill Carnival goes online. As an official partner for Notting Hill Carnival 2020, Spotify is excited to share our dedicated Carnival microsite with a full virtual musical lineup, playlist takeovers, art experiences, and more.
That’s right: The party isn’t stopping, it’s just moving from the streets into your home. Our new microsite is filled with playlist takeovers from big names and gives fans a chance to explore over 40 of the official Notting Hill Carnival sound systems and on-the-road DJs who spin dub, reggae, soca, soulful house and everything in between. Plus, we’ll be featuring an exclusive portrait and film gallery from renowned photographer Ekua King; podcast episodes covering Carnival’s rich history and a look forward; and ways to tune into live events throughout the weekend.
“Notting Hill Carnival is such an important celebration of Caribbean heritage for communities in London and beyond—enriched in tradition and activism and lived through music and dance,” says Sulinna Ong, Head of Music at Spotify UK and Ireland. “While it can’t take place in its usual way, it’s key that the celebration continue—in homes, living rooms and gardens —especially given the current climate.”
Learn how you can celebrate Carnival through some of Spotify’s microsite features.
We’ve worked with some of the U.K.’s leading Black creators in music, film, and entertainment to help guide fans through some of our most popular playlists, which will be dedicated to Notting Hill Carnival for the long weekend event. Fans can enjoy:
- Lockdown success story No Signal’s take on Who We Be, the UK’s biggest Hip Hop, Afrobeat, Dancehall and R&B playlist
- The legendary Marleys, who will help fans jam along to One Love
- Little Mix’s Leigh-Anne Pinnock’s compilation of tunes for Throwback Thursday
- Everything from reggae legends to the new school as Koffee introduces our Irie playlist
- Spice, the Jamaican dancehall artist and star of Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta’s Dancehall Queen takeover
Notting Hill Carnival sound systems
Our microsite also gives fans the chance to explore over 40 of the official Notting Hill Carnival sound systems (AKA large DJ booths) and on-the-road DJs. Check in with King Tubby’s, Carnival’s oldest sound; Rampage Sound, one of Carnival’s most coveted spots, the prince of UK soca Martin Jay, and even Carnival’s only all-female sound system, Seduction City Sound.
“Last year I celebrated 25 years of being the only female sound system in Carnival”, says Lady Banton of Seduction City Sound. “I’m a woman and a Black woman, and I’m proud to be a Black woman. I’m also a child of the Windrush generation so we never forget. I thought, ‘what a relief I am here again.’”
Exclusive photo and film gallery from Ekua King
Just as the in-person Carnival has music and art to boot, so will the microsite thanks to exclusive work from Ekua King. The renowned London-based photographer of Jamaican heritage who shoots for the likes of i-D, Paper and Vogue, has created an exclusive photo and film gallery on the site. Check out her stunning portraiture of the over 40 sound systems and on-the-road DJs, whose stories come to life through her shots.
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