the bass is pumping through the streets of notting hill. the air smells like jerk chicken and we try to catch each others hands so that we don’t lose our friends. it’s bank holiday in england and that means the caribbean population of london is celebrating the infamous notting hill carnival.
millions of people come together– not just to take a short glimpse on some minority cultures of the city and how they do some exotic dancing, but to experience the massive statement that is sent out from notting hill. this statement tells us about the enrichment of foreign cultures in a society, about getting together and mixed up. it explains the energetic roots of the caribibean and african societies and about the biggest influence on british culture ever.
you can feel and hear those influences everywhere, but especially in the london music scene. you ask yourself why every year a new sound is pumping out of london. here we go: its the result of the cultural soundstyle mashup that influence each other and make you hear sounds that are only available in the heart of the london club scene or — of course — at the notting hill carnival.
one curious difference to Berlins feeling is how explosively London was influenced by its multicultural inhabitants. While Berlin has a vast community of expats, former Turkish guest workers now coming into their third and fourth generations and of course the influx of many Europeans trying to settle in our beloved city, everyone seems to stay within their own cultural inheritance. Meanwhile, in London, everything is ACTUALLY mixed up. People listen to foreign music, mash it up with their original European styles, people party to the same atmosphere, Soca in the evening, Grime in the morning. You wouldn’t find many intercultural Turkish music parties in Berlin though. In London, where you come from really doesn’t mattter anymore– once you’re there you’ll join the ever evolving mix of styles and rhythms.
so this is the epicentre of the cultural melting pot that london became. for me it’s a place to feel well, to learn, to dance, to be impressed, to be influenced. It’s a plus for my cultural horizon. i wouldn’t want to miss that. this is why i’ll be in notting hill next year again. Pull Up!