Record label One Little Indian changes name to help fight racism

British independent record label One Little Indian has changed its name following correspondence with a music fan whom labelled it racially offensive.

Founder Derek Birkett announced the name change, as well as the removal of label’s logo, in a Facebook post shared via the company’s official page. “From today the label will be called One Little Independent Records,” wrote Birkett.

“The last few weeks have been a monumental learning curve. Following the receipt of an eye-opening letter from a Crass fan that detailed precisely why the logo and label name are offensive, as well as the violent history of the terminology, I felt equally appalled and grateful to them for making me understand what must be changed,” he continued.


Posted by One Little Indian Records on Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Birkett went on to explain that he had mistakenly thought the label name and logo was respectful to the Indigenous People of the Americas, whose love of peace and nature had been an inspiration to the anarchist punk movement he was a part of in the band Flux of Pink Indians. “I was naive enough at the time of founding my label to think that the name and logo was reflective of my respect and appreciation of the culture,” Birkett wrote.

He added: “I’m aware that my white privilege has sheltered me and fostered my ignorance on these issues. I realise now that the label name and logo instead perpetuated a harmful stereotyping and exploitation of Indigenous Peoples’ culture. This is the exact opposite of what was intended. However, I know that it is not the intentions but the impact that is important.”

The label, which was founded in 1985, formerly had Bjork and Sigur Rós on its roster. Current artists include Olafur Arnalds and Alabama 3.

Towards the end of the post Birkett apologised “unreservedly” to anyone who was offended by the original name and logo. “I recognise now that both contribute to racism and should have been addressed a long, long time ago,” he wrote.

Additionally, Birkett said he has made and will continue to make donations to a number of organisations including the Honouring Indigenous Peoples Charitable Corporation and The Association on American Indian Affairs.