Despite it being famous for its markets and sheepskin coats Peckham has become one of London’s top locations in which young people like to go on a night out. Music and Art have been very popular cultures for young people and it has been epitomised by one man named Mickey Smith.
Mickey Smith is the co-founder of the CLF Art Cafe and has been a local resident in for 14 years. The cafe had been opened since 2007 when it was just a run down mix of storage spaces, garment manufacturers and a church on the verge of demolition. Smith had a Vision he wanted to not only make the music scene in Peckham a friendly and enjoyable scene. He has given a platform for artists to make a name for themselves also such as Dauwud and Lapalux.
Being a young boy in the 1980’s raving and being a party goer he felt that it was something he had to do. Also, with his mum influencing him into reggae music it was in his genes he had to be involved in the music scene. Starting in Hong Kong in the 1990’s then returning to London in 1999.
“From a young age music and art has been the reason I wake up in the morning,”. He told JLDN about the impact music has on his life.
With the Bussey Building close to demolition he felt it was his responsibilty to keep it and make it an appealing place for the youth.
Not only is he the co-founder of the cafe, but he is also hosting a number of its events such as the south London soul train, the funk, Soul and Rare Groove review, and Batukarma. He is deeply involved in what goes on this venue and deserves a lot of credit for the progress since it had opened.
Despite his involvement in the cafe, he is also a music producer, promoter, and writer. He is also a graphic designer and a copywriter. This shows how much work he puts for himself.
“Once I moved into the area I suddenly felt something click I could make myself something here.” he also told JLDN about why he choose Peckham and why it was the best place for him to make something out of the cafe.
“When I first moved to Peckham I knew I was gonna love it and I instantly knew there was an opportunity to make something for myself here.” he also told JLDN.
This is a man who has made the CLF Art cafe to have a legacy and made him a legend in Peckham and will give people with different tastes in music an opportunity to have a good time.