Manchester based magazine launches to counter the London-centric narrative within music media

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A new print magazine is set to launch, based in Manchester, founded to counter the London-centric narrative that often dominates music journalism.

SEEN has been founded by Tunde Adekoya, Kamila Rymajdo and Balraj Samrai, all music industry professionals who are based in Manchester.

Funding has been provided from Arts Council England and Manchester Music City for the project, which was conceived in 2021 with a bold anti-racist manifesto. SEEN’s aim is to celebrate unheard voices, hoping that communities can narrate their own stories and heritage, whilst connecting with global scenes linked to Britain’s colonial history.

Read this next: Manchester is the beating heart of new music in the UK

“Print magazines are like archives of experiences; what was, what is and what could be,” explains Adekoya. “I suppose we felt that there was a lack of these experiences being documented by the global majority of real people who make Britain what it is – a cultural melting pot.”

The first issue celebrates Manchester music, and is accompanied by a launch on October 29 at Bound Art Book Fair at The Whitworth. It spotlights the migration journey of Somalia hailing musician HMD and DJ Paulette, who has written about the need to unionise DJing. Also explored in the first issue are musical scenes which evoke the feeling of belonging and joy, such as the city’s fledgling amapiano movement and its provision for Manchester’s South African community. There’s also a reflective account of the UK’s South Asian undergrounds.

There’s been deep thought into all aspects of the magazine, from the content, to the print’s placement, to considering those who produce work for it, too: “We’ve been thinking about putting the print magazine in different places; spaces where you wouldn’t usually expect to see it – as well as spaces you would – going into the communities where people live who are being written about, so they can get celebrated closer to home,” says Samrai.

Read this next: Mix It Up: artists link up with amapiano stars to create four bold tracks

“There’s also not much regulation around how freelancers are treated within the media; there’s no minimum wage when it comes to pay, so what we wanted to do is ensure people are paid a fair wage,” adds Rymajdo.

At the Bound Art Book fair, SEEN will present a panel discussion with the three founders and writers Tayyab Amin and Santina Robinson, whose work features in the first issue.

Pre-order will be available soon to get your hands on the debut issue, which you can keep an eye out for here. If you’re interested in attending the launch event, you can register here.

Niamh Ingram is Mixmag’s Weekend Editor, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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