Damsel Elysium: What does Decolonisation in Music look like?

My name is Djenaba but you may know me as Damsel Elysium. I’m a sound and visual artist working with string instruments and field recordings. I love working with sound and music is my passion. However, it hadn’t always been this way.

Growing up and studying music had a profoundly traumatic effect on me and it wasn’t until recently I began to question what had happened. I started writing these thoughts down into an essay, and then the idea of an audio diary came into play. This podcast is an amalgamation of my discoveries, realising that it was the musical system with its colonial roots that had impacted mine and many others’ experiences.

I spoke to music lead artists Gary Crosby of Tomorrow’s Warriors, singer-songwriter Lucinda Chua, violinist Sarah Daramy-Wiliams, writer and DJ Elijah T.C, and violist and movement trainer Kayleigh Miller who had incredibly rich reviews on what decolonisation of music looks like which made me think even further about the topic. We explore education, money, power, health and the music industry – considering genres from Classical, Grime, and Hip-Hop to Jazz, Electronic and Experimental.

The project that started out as a cathartic experience then led to this educational audio documentary with Ear Opener, has truly been a pleasure to work on. I hope you learn something new and continue the conversation on breaking down the barriers in music to make it a more welcoming, moving and safe space to be.

Watch on Youtube:

Listen on Spotify:

Featuring interviews from Lucinda Chua, Elijah TC, Sarah Daramy-Williams, Kayleigh Miller & Dr Gary Crosby. Created by Damsel Elysium, as part of Clod Ensemble’s Ear Opener series.

Audio Edited by Damsel Elysium + Paul Clark
Youtube Visualiser by Bianca Phillips


Damsel Elysium is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, experimental sound and visual artist based in London using double bass, violin and original recorded sounds to explore alternative communication and connections with space and nature. They have collaborated with Simone Rocha, Vogue x Gucci, FKA Twigs and many more.


In 2021 Damsel Elysium was resident Sound and Music Creator at Clod Ensemble, after which they became Associate Artist for 6 months.