“There is representation, yes but there’s a lot of work to be done and I believe the artists are there but I’m not sure if the gatekeepers trust us just yet.” Murli talks to TLMT

Murli talks to the Last Mixed Tape about his brand new single ‘Till The Wheels Fall Off’ which came out last Friday and raised funds for MASI (Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland).

What’s the last song you listened to on Spotify?

The last song I listened to on Spotify is:  Nana Del Mediterráneo by María José Llergo

What inspired your new single “Till The Wheels Fall Off”?

The simple answer is racism in football but to be honest, that was just, at the time, the latest in a series of high profile incidents of racism that led to me writing this song to raise awareness and to amplify the voices of people, myself included, who are still processing how to make their way through a racist world.

‘Till The Wheels Fall Off’ has come out at the same time as the Black Lives Matters protests across the world as well as protests here in Ireland to end direct provision. What role does music and art play in times like these?

I think music and art play an important role in times like these, by way of support, offering perspective, catharsis, and while doing that, being a source of inspiration.

How has this the protest influenced you as an artist?

At the moment, I’m not in a position to see the influence it’s having on me as an artist just yet. I haven’t been able to do anything creative since but it’s influencing me a lot as a person. Only time will tell how much it’s influencing my art.

How do you think black artists are represented here in Ireland?

Ireland is at a place where maybe we’re still getting to know black people in general, so representation is an issue across the board, and as a black Irish artist, you’re going to be affected. There is representation, yes but there’s a lot of work to be done and I believe the artists are there but I’m not sure if the gatekeepers trust us just yet. I think there’s still an invisible box for what type of black artists we are willing to celebrate at the top. What’s happening currently is hopefully going to open the door for dialogue and eventually more acceptance from the wider public. I don’t think most people right now couldn’t name two black artists who aren’t rappers. Are we ready to embrace unapologetically black artists?

What black artists would you recommend to readers of the Last Mixed Tape?

NC Grey, Harrison Paul, Tolü Makay, Alicia Raye, Evans Junior, Shiv, Pat Lagoon.

What do you hope people take away from listening to ‘Till The Wheels Fall Off’?

I hope people realise racism is real and a serious issue, globally. What may seem like an isolated incident, actually affects more than just the people directly involved.

‘Till The Wheels Fall Off‘ by Murli is out now. For more information on MASI visit masi.ie.

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