The unique genre-bender has dropped “No Blacks, No dogs, No Irish” ahead of a hotly anticipated debut LP. Listen here.
Skinny Pelembe reportedly wrote the track upon his first day arriving in London, having been raised in Doncaster and born in Johannesburg. The song’s title refers to the notorious discriminatory signs that hung from shop windows in the post-war years, turning people away. This kind of segregation came at a time of large-scale immigration from Ireland, as well as from commonwealth countries, such as the Caribbean nations that made up the Windrush Generation.
For Pelembe to align his track with this image is a bold statement, therefore, and it shows a young artist determined to make waves at the same time as making people dance. A quick-paced and shifting beat runs the rhythm forward while an assortment of synths, percussive effects and background sounds of talking and bustle provide texture on top. A pensive guitar picks its way through and lyrics lay out the small details of discrimination, in a voice that is half-sung, half-rapped.
The track comes ahead of what promises to be a hard hitting debut album, to be released on Brownswood later this year. Listen to “No Blacks, No Dogs, No Irish” below: