Esther Bokuma


Exploring infrastructures of care through holistic wellness and emergent artist-led models for marginalised musicians and music professionals in Britain

Esther “Estée Blu” Lenda is an R&B-Jazz Artist, Writer, Music Executive and Founder of BLU WAV Artist Wellbeing from London, UK. Since launching in 2015, Estée Blu has been supported by Help Musicians, AfroPunk, COLORS, the MOBO Awards and Camden Roundhouse, as a Resident Artist. During her musical hiatus, activism has been a key driver. She sits on various executive boards as a Trustee for music charity Sound Connections, a Director for women and gender minority CIC the F-List and is a part of the Richard Antwi Scholarship committee, for emerging Black music professionals. Her work has been published on Music Business Worldwide, Mixmag and PRS, discussing race and gender inequality, mental health and wellbeing in UK Music. In December 2022, Blu was nominated as a Music Week Rising Star, due to her activism.


Black British music is a global success story, but this story hides the systemic challenges faced. In October 2021, the Black Lives in Music organisation published the results of the largest survey ever conducted concerning Black British musicians and industry professionals in the UK. The report revealed that:Three in five (63%) Black music creators have experienced direct/indirect racism in the music industry. 31% of all Black music creators believe their mental wellbeing has worsened since starting their music career, rising to 42% of Black women. My study will explore models of collective care and holistic wellbeing for Black British Artists. The aim is not only to recognise what their conditions reveal, but to also investigate alternative ways of embedding care into this community. I believe that this project will build on existing research across the music business, health, technology, diversity and social transformation in arts and culture.