When it was announced in November that Grace Jones would be curating Meltdown 2020, it was almost impossible not to get excited: after all, the singer, actress and style icon is a genuine visionary who could theoretically have booked just about anyone (or anything) to perform at the arts and culture fest which takes place at the Southbank Centre in June.
Well, her first batch of acts has been announced today, and it doesn’t disappoint: Solange, Peaches and Skunk Anansie (who are fronted by recent ‘The Masked Singer’ wild card Skin) all take pride of place on the line-up, offering the sort of distinctive, envelope-pushing female energy that Jones possesses in droves. Jones has also saluted her reggae roots by booking the legendary Lee Scratch Perry, himself a former Meltdown curator, who will be performing with dub producer Adrian Howells, and ‘The Harder They Come’ icon Jimmy Cliff.
Her Meltdown already boasts a strong African presence courtesy of Senegalese superstar Baaba Maal and revered Malian musician and women’s rights campaigner Oumou Sangaré, plus two sets from much-loved South African choral group Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Extra treats come in the form of soul ledge Lee Fields, who’ll perform with his band The Expressions, and Paraorchestra presents: The Love Unlimited Synth Orchestra, in which the world’s first integrated ensemble of professional disabled and non-disabled musicians celebrate the music of Barry White.
Meltdown takes place at Southbank Centre June 12-21 2020. For more on Grace’s love of nudism and Rafael Nadal, read our cover interview with her from 2017.