Guinness aims to bring more women into Notting Hill Carnival’s sound system scene with new grassroots programme.


Notting Hill Carnival is one of the biggest street festivals in the world with over 36 Sound Systems famously taking over every corner of W10. With more extraordinary female talent changing carnival sound system culture each year, Guinness celebrates the legendary and future female change makers with the ‘Original Sounds Collective’ to inspire more women to enter the scene.

Developed in collaboration with Sound System DJ and Notting Hill Carnival pioneer, Linett Kamala, the initiative looks to bring change by launching a progressive grassroots mentorship programme. Created specifically for women in Sound Systems, the mentorship programme aims to inspire and enable more women to push Carnival culture forward.

Linett and other women in the sound system scene have come together to kick off this community-fist initiative and will form the ‘Original Sounds Collective’. As mentors, they will champion and support those trying to break through in the Carnival space, including up-and-coming sound system operators, DJs, and producers behind the stage. Supported by Guinness, the programme includes bespoke training, experiences, and access to new equipment. Linett will be a part of the mentor lineup alongside other legendary sound system icons, Dubplate Pearl and Ella’D .

Guinness’ support of the ‘Original Sounds Collective’ is born from the brand’s continued commitment to championing women, such as women’s rugby’s Never Settle initiative (an ongoing programme which celebrates diversity in rugby). This year Guinness is taking it one step further by identifying new areas in which to positively impact gender equality for women through Sound Systems. By supporting the formation of the collective, Guinness is helping to raise the profile of past, present and future women of Carnival by providing them with routes into the Carnival space.

Linett Kamala says: “Women have paved the way within Carnival culture in the U.K. since it began, in fact, Notting Hill Carnival was founded by a female community activist, Rhaune Laslett in 1966. Yet, within sound system culture we still see a disparity between men and women when it comes to opportunities and exposure, as the leading figures are predominantly male. That’s why initiatives like this are so vital to changing the narrative and wouldn’t be possible without Guinness’ shared culture and commitment to supporting the past, present and future women of Carnival.”

The ‘Original Sounds Collective’ will form part of Guinness’ wider activation plan at Carnival. This includes a partnership with legendary sound system Disco Hustlers. Over the weekend, the ‘Original Sounds Collective’ will have the chance to be immersed in the sound-system in action, before taking to a stage at Carnival 2024 and other Guinness events as a culmination of their training and development.

Other women aspiring to be a part of sound system culture can reach out to Linett Kamala at @linett_kamala from 28th August to find out more.

Neil Shah, Head of Guinness GB says: “From the traditional Guinness punch drink, to Sound System sponsorship, Guinness has been part of Notting Hill Carnival for many years and is connected within Caribbean communities in the UK and beyond. We developed the Guinness ‘Original Sounds Collective’ by working closely with carnival leaders, such as Linett Kamala with the aim to make a real difference to the community, by championing women who are looking to push Carnival culture forward. Through championing this new generation of women, we hope to inspire others and fulfil our long-term ambition of supporting even more women who are trying to make a name for themselves in this space.”