MIXTAPE: Chantal Herbert, Sister Shack | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Words: Chantal Herbert

I’m Chantal Herbert, the founder of feminist Black and Queer-led CIC Sister Shack. I am also a DJ and Audio Producer, and this is my Mixtape to celebrate Our Pride 2023. Our Pride Festival is a five-day LGBTQIA+ events programmed by Sister Shack CIC, taking place at various venues in Newcastle from Tuesday 18th-Saturday 22nd July. In 2019, we saw a need for an alternative Pride offering, and we have since hosted all-day Pride events and online events. After a successful application, we received a National Lottery Project Grant to bring Our Pride Festival to life.

En Vogue – Free Your Mind
I heard this song as a child, and my mind was blown. The four Black women on my screen were mind-blowing, and the video was equally so. I did not realise until years later that it resonated with me because it is about people’s prejudices and is a plea for respecting everyone equally. It is an underrated song that advocates for social justice and change. En Vogue are a very underrated group, and so is this song. As the song states at the start, “Prejudice, wrote a song about it, like to hear it here it go.”

Janelle Monae – Lipstick Lover
Where do you start with the non-binary force that is Janelle Monae? Although this song only came out in June, it is already a staple Black LGBTQIA+ anthem for all to enjoy.

Bakar – Hell N Back
A really catchy song about what it is to be in love. It’s a great song to start a DJ set with; it sets the tone well. Major head bopper.

Cyndi Lauper – She Bop
This masterpiece is simply about masturbation. It’s a radical song written and performed by a woman. To me, this is a feminist song, and Cyndi Lauper is a true feminist icon. So many of her songs are about women being in control and being in control of their own narrative, and She Bop is no different. The video is also fun to watch.

Mariah Carey – Heartbreaker
An absolute summer, winter, spring and autumn jam and the vocal layering on this is magic.

The Internet ft. Kaytranada – Girl
This is a seriously cool and sexy song about love and desire. I feel like The Internet are massively underrated, which is a real shame, especially as they are fronted by a lesbian Black woman.

Bikini Kill – Rebel Girl
“The power of Rebel Girl is that it’s about being a feminist pirate, being an adventurer,” says Bikini Kill singer Kathleen Hanna. “It’s not about standing at the back and not participating. It’s about loving and defending your friends and the confusion between friendship and sexuality.” What else do I need to say after that?

Skunk Anansie – Weak
Skunk Anansie’s lead singer Skin was one the first Black women I had ever seen singing rock music. She was the first Black woman to ever headline at Glastonbury, which was forgotten for a long time. She is totally unapologetic about every aspect of herself, and she is so talented. This song absolutely wails.

Sugababes – Stronger
The original line-up of the Sugababes is still the best (in my opinion). Still, this song is my favourite by the second line-up. I find it uplifting as fuck.

Shamir – On The Regular
It’s a majorly catchy tune that makes me want to strut around being extra.

Britney Spears – Toxic
I mean, why not. This song is pure cheese, and I am here for all of it.


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