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NEW TO YOUTUBE | Sheku Kanneh-Mason with Zeze Millz — Black Lives in Music

This new series is created by Black Lives in Music, a new organization set up to address racial inequality in the music industry and create opportunities for Black musicians and professionals

Hosted by presenter and broadcaster Zeze Millz, the video series welcomes different guests each week. This week, English cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason spoke to Zeze about his experiences as a black classical musician and the lack of role models in that sector.

“It's very, very difficult to see yourself doing something if no-one looks like you is doing it," Sheku said. "My parents were insistent on showing us role models when we were growing up, and of course there weren’t many or any that we knew of that were black classical musicians.

"So we’d watch documentaries of Muhammad Ali, Bob Marley and read about great black heroes, and we were so inspired by the notion that as a black person, you can do anything... it always comes down to hard work but it comes down to a lot of opportunities as well which I think is one of the main causes for lack of diversity in classical music."

Sheku recalls listening to 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre with his siblings. “I think Dr Dré is a genius," he said. "I’m not sure a collaboration would work so well but I’d like to chat to him."

Filmed at Mindspace Hammersmith in London, England, the series is sponsored by Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.


Black Lives in Music is calling for Black musicians and music creators in Britain to take part in ground-breaking research, which will be used to bring about representation and participation for a diverse and inclusive industry. Musicians and those in the music sector are invited to take part in the survey here: 

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