Sounds That Made Me | Finding Empowerment in the Music of Asian Dub Foundation
For any person of colour, few moments rival the feeling of finally seeing people who look like yourself in music or entertainment for the first time. Multimedia journalist Zab Mustefa, who grew up in the 1990s as the only South Asian family in a Glasgow council estate, can speak to the power of this transformative turning point.
Marginalised because of her ethnicity and subjected to constant discrimination, Zab always gravitated towards music as a form of escapism. But the moment she first heard Asian Dub Foundations’ Rafi’s Revenge and saw their faces on the album, something clicked.
Founded in London in 1993, the electronic music band was a rare example of a musical outfit comprised of a majority of members with South Asian ethnicity. They regularly used music as a tool to fight back against inequality in society, inspiring generations of South Asians growing up in the UK as a result. As for Zab, she channelled their ethos into her subsequent career as a voice for social change through music.
Watch Zab’s journey of empowerment through representation in music, and how she finds inspiration in lyrics to make a difference through her own writing.
What moment of sound changed your life? In our Sounds That Made Me series, we drop in on journalists, researchers, and sound connoisseurs to ask them this very question. What we hear sheds light on the depth of music’s personal and cultural impact…