December 7, 2021 • By Christine Pasalo Norland

Black Artist Database

Never underestimate the power of a spreadsheet and those who know how to harness them.

From such beginnings came the Black Artist Database, also known as B.A.D. (@blackartistdatabase). Co-founded by Nakeitha Delanancy (@niks__dj) and originally launched in Summer 2020 as Black Bandcamp, the community-sourced catalog now exists as an online platform that allows Black artists, musicians, labels, producers, and creatives from around the world to find and connect with each other directly rather than through the processes of the mainstream music industry.

"Black Bandcamp was created as a response to the structural mistreatment of Black folk in the underground electronic industry," writes the B.A.D. team on the website’s About page.

Since then, the database has expanded to include artists in a variety of music and performance genres from acoustic to funk, folk to hip hop, Afrobeat to spoken word. They’ve also launched a Black Creative Database that collates and shares profiles of those working in such fields as design, curation, content creation, journalism, photography and videography, and storytelling.

"By aggregating such a wealth of Black artists on a centralised platform, we highlight the boundless range of Black musicality and enable the Black voice to shine as a collective," states the B.A.D. team.

Central to the project is giving Black artists and creatives the ability to submit themselves to the database via the site’s embedded Google forms for artists and creatives. To further enrich and uplift the community, B.A.D. also posts articles and podcasts. Ultimately, B.A.D. aims to provide in-person offerings, including panels, forums, and other celebratory and networking events.

“Maintaining a presence in the physical sense is beneficial to the furthering of Black liberation, Black ownership and cross-continental connection,” states the team. “Creating spaces where Black people can be comfortable and safe while enjoying themselves is a goal in its own right, but it also inspires newer generations of Black folk, serves to form networks, and educates all folk on the origins of the music they so love.”

Support B.A.D.’s work by becoming a B.A.D. Patreon member, shopping the B.A.D. store, and partnering with B.A.D. via its [pause] initiative.

To continue to boost the searchability of this independent and Black-owned resource, links to B.A.D.’s databases have been added to our Resources page. Learn more about B.A.D.’s spreadsheet origin from Nabil Ayers’ article “What Black Music Month Means Now” published on Pitchfork.


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