Estate Music

A Wisebuddah production for BBC Radio 4.

Journalist Kieran Yates grew up in a South Asian family on a council estate in London. Living side by side with her neighbours, and separated only by thin walls, she heard a diverse array of sounds from immigrant communities – from jungle and R&B to bashment and bhangra.

In Estate Music, Kieran explores the role council estates play in shaping British music culture. She also looks at how the post-war dream of aspirational community living became soured, and asks if media coverage of grime and drill artists has helped fuel a national misperception of the council estate today.

These spaces have inspired some of the country’s most innovative music but, ironically, often give successful artists the means to move away to so-called better areas.

Kieran reflects on how important it is to represent your ends, and asks musicians where the line lies between accurate representation and artistic licence.

As urban areas get redeveloped, Kieran asks whether we should be protecting those spaces that have made such a unique contribution to our cultural fabric.

Presenter: Kieran Yates
Producer: Nick Minter

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