10 Questions With… A series that delves into the musical careers of some of our favourite artists, local and afar. With a particular focus on our Melodic Distraction friends and wider community, this lil natter gives us an insight into their musical escapades when they’re in their studio, not ours.
This time, we’re delighted to sit down with Liverpool-based platform for black and queer people, Noiregayze! Founded by Kolade Ladipo, Noiregayze aims to amplify and celebrate the experiences and passions of black, queer voices. Following a killer debut radio show on our airwaves, we chat with Kolade to find out more about what the collective is all about and why it’s so important for Liverpool and afar…
Hi Kolade! We’re very excited for your radio show. Can you tell us more about how and why Noiregayze was born?
Hi guys, I’m very excited for the radio show too and to discuss all things black and queer. We were born out of a very sad story; I was attacked three times in one day after a summer of lots of verbal and sometimes physical abuse, pertaining to racial and homophobic attacks. I quickly realised that there wasn’t anywhere for me to go as a black queer person, or no place that completely specialised and catered to my Intersectionality as a black gay man.
What are the other main ethos’ and aims of the brand?
The main ethos and aims for the brand is to always amplify, showcase and celebrate the experiences and passions of Black queer voices. Making black queer people feel seen, heard and celebrated is at the forefront of everything I do.
Why do you think it’s important to have a platform like Noiregayze in Liverpool?
I think it is important because there isn’t anything like it. Spaces that are created for queer people aren’t necessarily black friendly, and spaces that are for black people are not exactly queer friendly. Therefore, Liverpool needs a space where both are celebrated equally.
How have your experiences of the creative industries been? Have you faced many challenges and if so, how have you overcome them?
I have personally faced challenges in the industry because either I’m too visibly queer to be booked, or too dark-skinned to be booked. One way I overcame this was by collaborating with people who are like-minded and growing together. Another way was by creating my brand and being able to link other collaborators with my network.
What systemic changes would you like to see within the industry as a whole to provide more support for black, queer artists?
I would like to see more support for black and queer artists. I think a lot fo the time we aren’t even given an opportunity, so we need to be given more opportunities where we aren’t just used for tokenship. Instead, we should actually be used as the talent for who we are and what we are, not just to fill in a quota.
Apart from Noiregayze, what other projects keep you busy?
I’m also involved with ‘Here & Queer’, a collective of people who celebrate queer joy through street art photography and poetry. I am also studying acting; it’s a life-long dream of mine to be an award-winning actor. I’m also a film photographer as well as a professional dancer – I love being in front of the camera as well as behind, whether that be styling and creative directing or modelling.
The first NG event looked like it popped off! Where would be your dream venue to throw a party?
Thank you so much. The first Noiregayze event was amazing and I’m so grateful. In terms of my dream venue to throw a party, I’d have to say everywhere! I want to tour our Noiregayze club nights around the world, so that black queer people in every city feel seen. I would also love the opportunity to host a huge tent at Glastonbury, where I could book a line-up of black queer DJs and celebrate Black queer people and music and dance. I want to go to every single big venue the world can offer – Coachella, Glastonbury, Mighty Hoopla, Printworks – the list goes on.
Do you have any advice for any fellow black, queer people looking to start a career in the arts?
My advice would be to get up and start. The worst thing you can do is not start. Eradicate the fear you think you may have. Once that journey begins, you can truly have fun.
What song/album do you currently have on repeat?
I currently have ‘Renaissance’ obviously by Beyoncé on repeat and an EP called ‘Motive’ by Joyce Wrice.
What else do you have planned for the next year?
Next year we plan to launch the first issue of our magazine, bring more club nights to Liverpool and eventually to other cities. I also hope to continue to grow. I hope to graduate from university and book my first acting job. I have high expectations for next year and I have no doubt that as a brand and as a person, they’re going to happen.
Follow Kolade below to keep up to date with all things Noiregayze. In the meantime, listen back to his debut appearance on our airwaves below!
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