Maka also contributed to the city’s celebration of the sound system culture in 2019.
This exhibition recognised the impact that Jamaican music has had on culture and explores its past, present and future, with special focus on the untold story of the Southampton Blues Parties of the 70s and 80s. The exhibition was devised by Don John and together with archival materials and contemporary artist Gerard Hanson explored the story and impact of Jamaica and Jamaican-influenced music on British culture, particularly through the story of the ‘Shebeens’ or ‘Blues’ clubs in Southampton.
There was a free evening of celebration and affirmation with an exhibition preview, a film screening of Mykaell Riley’s ‘Bass Culture’,and a special blues party hosted by MAKA foundation, Southampton’s leading reggae sound system since 1979. Bass Culture is the first Arts and Humanities Research Council award to the Black Music Research Unit at the University of Westminster. It takes the form of a three-year project exploring the impact of Jamaican and Jamaican-influenced music on British culture. Covering the period from the 1960s to the present day, the research explores the profound ways in which the island’s music remade popular music in Britain – and was fundamental in the emergence of multiculturism in the British cities and the redefinition of the post-colonial nation.
Over the years, Maka Foundation has been involved in a number of events and festivals that have contributed to the vibrant music culture of Southampton. They have been featured at the Carnival Garden Party at SoBar, where they took over for the after-party. They also participated in the Re:Claim Street Festival in Southampton, where they were part of a sound “battle” showcasing the city’s best Caribbean-influenced sound systems.
The group’s history is a testament to their dedication to reggae music and the sound system scene, marking them as a significant cultural group in Southampton.