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  • Book of the Month – Darcus Beese autobiography – Rebel With A Cause


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    ‘Rebel With A Cause’ is the remarkable story of Darcus Beese: legendary music-industry executive, OBE and a man Music Week described as “one of the great A&R people of his or any generation”.

    It is the inspirational story of how a teenage Londoner (and apprentice hairdresser) worked his way up from being the ‘tea boy’ to becoming the President of one of the UK’s biggest and most successful record labels – Island Records. From signing and nurturing some of the greatest artists of the twenty-first century including Amy Winehouse, Mumford & Sons, Dizzee Rascal, Florence and the Machine and more,  to him moving to New York to run Island USA but becoming despondent at what he saw and encountered.

    To be published on 15 August through Nine Eight, the dedicated music imprint of Bonnier Books UK. Pre-orders are available now from HERE.

    Alongside Darcus’s career successes, ‘Rebel with a Cause’ is also the story of a young man raised in musically fertile and politically febrile times. Activist parents Darcus Howe and Barbara Beese were prominent activists in west London, and members of the Mangrove Nine, during a time when racism was rife, not only on the streets, in schools and on the terraces, but also in the highest institutions of power. Fighting for equality – for himself and for his artists – has therefore been inevitable for Darcus. This is the incredible tale of an inspirational leader and rebel with a true cause.

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    Darcus Beese said: ‘It feels unreal to me. As a kid, I never thought or dreamed that one day I would be writing my story, let alone having it published. But now I think why not me? Growing up in a family of activists, a mother and father who fought to change British society, I’ve always understood the importance of using your voice, and always felt a duty to speak my mind and stand up for what was right. Writing the book, looking back over my fifty-plus years, I really appreciate how blessed I am to have such a strong beautiful family and to have enjoyed the most amazing experiences working alongside some of the greatest musical talents. Hopefully, there’s plenty more to come. If this book inspires one kid to believe in themselves, to stay true to themselves, then it’ll be worthwhile.’

    Pete Selby – publishing director of Nine Eight Books – said: ‘Darcus is one of the truly great music people of the past twenty-five years; a compassionate firebrand, musical zealot and no-bullsh*t ringleader. But Rebel With A Cause is also a book about family – be that growing up with his revolutionary parents Darcus Howe and Barbara Beese, at his second home of Island Records or the impact and influence of his own children. It’s an incredible story about how one man played a system which was stacked against him from birth and ended up going all the way to the top.’

    Darcus Beese (OBE) was the president of Island Records in the UK and the first black CEO of a UK record company. He is also largely regarded as the best A&R man of his generation, signing and nurturing the likes of Amy Winehouse, Florence and the Machine, and Mumford and Sons. His family background is no less enthralling. His father was activist and broadcaster Darcus Howe and his mother was Barbara Beese, former UK Black Panther. Both were featured in the 2021 Steve McQueen short film ‘Mangrove’ as part of his Small Axe series. Darcus has recently launched his own label in a joint venture with  Warner Music UK.

    ‘Rebel With a Cause’ will be published on 15 August in hardback, eBook and audiobook

    The post Book of the Month – Darcus Beese autobiography – Rebel With A Cause appeared first on Decoded Magazine.


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