On Sunday 27 March, the Hidden Creative Economy Awards will take place at the Tabernacle, Powis Square, Notting Hill in London. Making its debut, the awards ceremony will celebrate the unsung contributions of the underground creative scene, which sets the tone for the mainstream.

Creative Inclusion, part of the Society for the Advancement of Black Arts (SABA), are running the event. The charity, which also runs the UK UNSIGNED talent show among other events, and provides training in the creative industries, coined the phrase ‘Hidden Creative Economy’ (HCE) in 2003 to recognise the history of performers, artforms and cultural movements that have influenced today’s entertainment culture.

The initiative, which will be hosted by comedian Curtis Walker, is designed to preserve and remember the legacy of pioneering artists such as Eastwood and Saint, Tippa Irie and Maccabee, and the late Smiley Culture who paved the way for artists such as Tinie Tempah, Tinchy Stryder, N Dubz and Dizzee Rascal.

The event also aims to highlight and acknowledge the important work of community Radio DJs including Ranking Miss P & DJ Lepke AKA Leroy Anderson Lepke, from Dread Broadcasting Corporation (DBC) who pioneered pirate radio broadcasting of music that historically would never make mainstream airplay. As well as the sound systems that promoted exclusive cuts from Jamaica and America.

The awards evening will be both educational and entertaining. The highlight will be the music provided by North West Londoners the Ruff Cutt band, the UK’s primary reggae backing band who celebrate 30 years in the business.

There will be a number of very special guests who will be joining them on stage during the show including Queens of Lover’s Rock Janet Kay and Carroll Thompson, reggae stars Sandra Cross, Vivian Jones and Tippa Irie, and soul sensation Rick Clarke.

Queen of Lovers Rock Janet Kay

John Downie who runs SABA says, “The Hidden Creative Economy Awards will ensure this legacy remains in tact for others to appreciate, learn from and develop.” Nominations, which ran from 1 – 20 March 2010, are classified under the following categories as decided by the public:

  • Music performance, management & production
  • Sound systems
  • Radio stations
  • Theatre / Film
  • Comedy
  • Community work within the creative sector
  • Creative enterprise/business
  • Art & Design
  • Journalism
  • Publishing
  • Broadcasting (presenting/programme hosting)

Awards selected by the Committee:

  • The HCE Committee will set aside a Lifetime Achievement Award
  • In Recognition of the Struggle Award

The show will be recorded for future broadcast on the Youth Digital Network www.youthdigitalnetwork.com. Tickets for the show, which runs from 6.00pm to 10.00pm (plus after party), are £10 and available online from www.whatnext.org.uk or by credit/debit cards on 020 8776 6776. Revenue raised from the votes will fund the awards and go towards the development of the Hidden Creative Economy Community Entertainment Museum and Performing Arts Academy at the Palace Project in Brixton.

For more details visit www.ukunsigned.tv or call the SABA office on 020 8776 6776 or the Creative Inclusion office on 020 8908 9563.

The UK Corner covers urban entertainment from a British perspective and is written by Fiona McKinson ©. She is a freelance journalist and creative writer based in London. Contact her at [email protected]