The Influence Project - Lalah Hathaway

The Influence Project

27 Jun – 22 Aug 2018
East Wing Galleries
East Wing

Featuring never-seen-before photographic portraits of pioneers of R&B, Funk, Soul, Afrobeat and Hip Hop.

The Influence Project is an ongoing photography project celebrating the global impact of African American musicians, who pushed boundaries creatively, socially and politically, whilst simultaneously laying the foundations of contemporary music.

The exhibition seeks to make these pioneers visible, highlighting their impact on contemporary musicians, from direct forms of sampling, to the role of mentors and role models.

Creative partners photographer Alexis Chabala and Curator Lorayne Crawford, have approached artists they have a relationship with or who had strong influences in their life to photograph. Together they are passionate about giving their heroes a platform, revealing the interdependent links between them and something of the spirit of their music or character.

Fantastic Negrito
Fantastic Negrito
George Clinto
George Clinton

The exhibition captures the characters of both icons and contemporary artists including George Clinton, Shuggie Otis, Candi Staton, Sister Sledge to Anderson. Paak and NAO. The exhibition also includes previous Somerset House Summer Series artists including Erykah Badu, Aloe Blacc, Laura Mvula, Robert Glasper, plus Jorja Smith and The Roots who will be playing this year. 

The show also includes a new film featuring artists talking candidly on camera about their inspirations and a unique soundtrack will fill the gallery floor.

Header image: Lalah Hathaway by Alexis Chabala


The exhibition hosts free, live music sets each Friday afternoon. Co-programmed by two Somerset House Residents, MOBO and Music For Youth, expect to see up-and-coming musical talent playing stripped back sets, surrounded by Alexis Chabala's photographic portraits of key R&B, Soul and Hip Hop pioneers.