One Little Indian changes name to One Little Independent

One Little Indian changes name to One Little Independent

Indie label One Little Indian has changed its name to One Little Independent.

MD and founder Derek Birkett said that the label had been on a “monumental learning curve” in recent weeks.

It follows widespread calls for change in the music industry, in response to protests in the US and UK by Black Lives Matter. 

Record labels and the Grammys have dropped the use of the term ‘urban’, following the Black Out Tuesday initiative. The UK’s Black Music Coalition has called for the industry to stop using the term, among other measures aimed at tackling racism.

One Little Indian was launched in 1985. The company’s most successful artist is Bjork. Paul McCartney has released music on the label, which has also been home to Crass, Kathryn Williams and Skunk Anansie, among others. 

In a statement, Birkett said: “I have immediately started making arrangements to stop using the One Little Indian Records name and logo, with our digital properties in the process of this change right now. From today the label will be called One Little Independent Records.

“The last few weeks have been a monumental learning curve. Following the receipt of an eye-opeing letter from a Crass fan that detailed precisely why the logo and label name are offensive, as well as the violent history of the terminology, I felt equally appalled and grateful to them for making me understand what must be changed.” 

Birkett described how the name was inspired during the 1970s by his interest in the indigenous people of the Americas.

“I was naïve enough at the time of founding my label to think that the name and logo was reflective of my respect and appreciation of the culture,” he said. 

“I’m aware that my white privilege has sheltered me and fostered my ignorance on these issues. I realise now that the label name and logo instead perpetuated a harmful stereotyping and exploitation of indigenous people’s culture. That is the exact opposite of what was intended. However, I know that it is not the intentions but the impact that is important.”

Birkett added that he wanted to “apologise unreservedly” to anyone that has been offended by the name and logo.

The company has mad donations to a number of organisations, including the Honouring Indigenous People’s Charitable Corporation and The Association On American Indian Affairs.

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