Havana Cultura is a global initiative developed by Havana Club International (producer of Havana Club, the authentic Cuban rum) to give a unique platform to today’s Cuban artists from all disciplines. 2009 marked the beginning of Gilles’s partnership with the Havana Cultura project as he travelled to Havana to carry out initial explorations of the Cuban underground and record an album: ‘Havana Cultura: New Cuba Sound’. He discovered Havana’s fertile – and fiercely independent – hip-hop culture: nodded to the riotous thump ‘n’ grind of Cuba’s homegrown reggaeton movement and highlighted a clique of artists innovating in the spaces between jazz, soul, traditional Cuban rhythms and hip-hop.
The Worldwide Awards is an annual showcase of music that Gilles has championed throughout the year on his BBC radio show. Expect avant-garde and emerging acts such as Ady Suleiman, Michael Kiwanuka, Portico Quartet,Jay Electronica, Flying Lotus, SBTRK, and Jonwayne.