‘We’re trying to push some boundaries’ – A new platform for Brighton’s diverse music scene
The artists who make up Brighton’s music scene are many things; they’re loud, they’re driven, but first and foremost, they’re unique. And while the rest of the UK mainstream media pushes all the stuff we’ve heard before, hip-hop artist and event organiser Jed Wright’s new platform is building a community for all the ingenuity Brighton’s artists have to offer.
If you’ve brushed shoulders with Brighton’s hip-hop underbelly, you might have heard of AGB. Previously only organising events, AGB is finally expanding into the multi-purpose platform it was always meant to be. ‘The name was always Avant- Garde Brighton’, Jed stresses.
‘We’ve felt like the UK scene is starting to lack some originality and creativity. Mainstream platforms right now are pushing the same music and music videos. If you’re not inside of this sort of bubble, then you’re excluded from that’. ‘The intention was sort of always to expand AGB into something that promotes genuine creativity’, Jed continues, ‘it feels like the perfect time to really focus on that Avantgarde bit.’
A city known for its weirdness, it’s no surprise that Brighton’s music scene goes beyond the drill that mainstream media loves to promote. ‘I think creativity is really pushed in Brighton – it spills into the music scene’. That creativity results in a huge variety of artists in the hip-hop scene alone. ‘In the hip hop bubble you’ll get trap artists, hip hop artists, pure UK rap artists. You will get some drill artists too. People [in Brighton] like hearing something different’.
AGB’s team has big plans to help ‘push some boundaries’. Apart from aiming to drastically increase the number of their events in the next year, their new YouTube and radio show are a new space for Brighton’s artists to take risks and experiment. Recorded monthly for Decadence radio, the show is comprised of Brighton’s hottest tracks and interviews with local talent. AGB’s YouTube page offers up similar opportunities for artists to showcase their work; ‘we’ve got an email, AGBsubmissions@gmail.com, where people can send songs. Then we can potentially provide the music video by bringing in students, videographers, and directors. If you’ve already got a video that’s cool and creative and we like the song, then we’ll upload it as well.’
That’s not all; the YouTube channel will feature a live lounge series featuring a mix of singers and bands, and an array of six-man cyphers. If there’s one thing all AGB’s plans are leading to, it’s a strong community for Brighton’s artists.
‘I’m a big believer in community’, Jed reveals. ‘I think it’s sort of strange that we live in a society where we don’t know our neighbours. Bringing the community together on a local level is really important to me.’ Having been raised in Devon (the area inspiring Jed’s new EP, out soon) around the community centre run by his dad, it’s easy to see why. ‘I’m not nationalistic, I’m very like, localistic’ he explains with a laugh.
‘We want to really involve young creatives. I feel like there’s not enough opportunity for people starting out to get involved straight away’. Whether you’re interested in writing, social media or music, ‘turn up to one of our events or message us, because I’m sure that I’ll be able to find a way for you to gain some experience somehow. That’s my number one bit of advice for anyone starting anything – just get out there and meet people that do it.’
With more content, events and networking opportunities for anyone involved in Brighton’s music scene on the horizon, it looks like it’ll be a busy year for AGB. For Jed, ‘It feels slightly weird. Because it was always the intention to do this. But I never really thought I’d do it.’ Mainly, though, ‘it’s good to be getting more involved in the community’ and promote music that ‘thinks outside of the box’.
Whether you’re a long-time Brighton hip-hop fan, or someone looking to dip their toe into Brighton’s unique music scene, you can get tickets to AGB’s next show here.
Words by Kate Bowie