The Red Bulletin September 2019 (UK)


Red Bull Music Festival London

The oppressed

dance the best!”

Lil C

Lil C &

Alicai Harley

Galdem style

August 25:

Red Bull Sound

System at

Notting Hill


Emslie Horniman’s

Pleasance, W10

This west London park

will host the Red Bull Music

stage for the third year

running, bringing together

the best sounds from the

UK and Caribbean on a bill

of dancehall, Afrobeats,

bashment and rap.

AH: “The Red Bull Sound

System is gonna be lit.

It’s Carnival! I want to give

a show to all those drunk

people. Everyone is going

to be so finished by the

time I go on, I just want to

bring something more here

than I do anywhere else.

LC: “Playing tunes for

girls gets me going.

The dance is led by women.

When there’s a woman

on the decks, there’s

reciprocal joy. I want you to

have fun, and then everyone

else feeds off that energy.”

West Norwood native Lil C – aka

Cesca Ivaldi – credits her corner of

London with her interest in music:

“It’s synonymous with people playing

bashment from cars.” The 23-yearold,

who began her DJ career on

student radio while studying art in

Leeds, is a “kind of self-professed”

dancehall expert. She’s proud of the

scene’s roots, but conflicted about its

mainstream success: “It’s great that

people are listening to it more, but

only a certain number are eating off

it. It annoys me that the money

doesn’t feed back into the scene.”

Her top spaces to play are London

QTPOC (queer and trans people of

colour) nights Pxssy Palace and BBZ.

“It’s like playing for family. I’m bi,

and the energy of queer people is

next level. ‘The oppressed dance the

best’ – me and my friend coined that.”

South London rapper/singer Alicai

Harley likes to mix up her sound, but,

when pushed, describes it as “’90s

dancehall pop in its purest form –

nostalgic, infectious vibes.”

Born in Kingston, Jamaica, the

23-year-old moved to London in

2002. “South London definitely

influences my music,” she says. “Even

though I was born in Jamaica and my

family is Jamaican and my culture is

so strong in me, I’m British, too.”

When it comes to working with

other artists, Harley’s dream line-up

is strictly dancehall (“Buju Banton,

Lady Saw”) with one exception:

“Destiny’s Child”. The influence of

Queen Bey extends to her career

mantra, too: “I always tell my friends,

‘In life, remember you have the same

number of hours as Beyoncé.’”


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