Dance music's patron saint in session live from AVA Festival.
When the story of dance culture in the 2010s comes to be told, few will match Marea Stamper, best known worldwide as The Black Madonna, for impact. Through messages of inclusivity and positivity (plus holding bad apples in the industry accountable when necessary) she has shifted the landscape, punching through a glass ceiling many considered to be cast in concrete, hoisting a new generation of artists with her, and preaching an alternate history that places The B-52s side-by-side with Basic Channel in the electronic canon.
Even with BBC Radio 1 residencies and headline stints in festivals across the world to take care of, Stamper's ongoing work to "equalise music" has taken on a fresh urgency, helping refugees and sheltering marginalised people at risk while holding down a gruelling tour schedule. Before her headline set at AVA Festival, Gabriel Szatan sat down with her to discuss how audiences can keep an activist fire burning, and the importance of logging off now and again to enact real change.