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Fundraiser for new London venue sets world record

The duo behind Soul Mama, a new London-based music venue and restaurant, have been awarded a Guinness World Record for their fundraising efforts.

MOBO-winning British saxophonist YolanDa Brown and her manager Adetokunbo “T” Oyelola broke the record for the most money pledged worldwide for a Kickstarter restaurant project, having raised £248,148 for the new venue in just eight weeks.

The Afro-Caribbean restaurant and music venue is due to open in “early 2024” at a location to be confirmed, though an official date is yet to be announced.

Capitalising on the pair’s music expertise, the venue will regularly host local and emerging recording artists, with a strong focus on jazz, soul, gospel and reggae.

The venue will regularly host local and emerging recording artists, with a strong focus on jazz, soul, gospel and reggae

“In setting a Guinness World Records title, Soul Mama didn’t just secure funds; we wove a tapestry of dreams shared by thousands,” says Brown.

“A testament to what we can achieve when we unite and believe. This record is not just a number—it’s a promise to fill every visit with laughter, comfort, and a sense of belonging. At Soul Mama, we’re more than a music venue and restaurant; we’re a home for dreamers and believers who see the world not just as it is, but as it could be, full of joy, connection, and shared moments that linger in the heart long after the night ends. A big thank you to everyone who supported us so far and the new people who will discover us along our journey and jump on the Soul Mama Train.”

Soul Mama’s fundraiser launched last year with a selection of packages available to purchase – from tickets to YolanDa’s first concert at Soul Mama to pre-booked meals and memberships.

Brown is chair of the BPI, a Member of the Arts and Media Honours Committee and a broadcaster on BBC Radio 4. She has toured with The Temptations, Jools Holland’s Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, Billy Ocean, Dave Stewart from Eurythmics, Kelly Jones from Stereophonics and Rick Astley.

Oyelola is a manager and promoter, and owns entertainment management and consultancy brand Black Grape Global.

The pair will confirm an opening date, upcoming live events and food offerings for Soul Mama during a live-streamed announcement on 15 April.


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Canadian band in Guinness World Record attempt

Canadian band Loops have attempted to break a Guinness World Record (GWR) with their whistle-stop tour of Metro Vancouver.

Last week, the duo – singer Kevin Roy and instrumentalist Jon Fennell – bid to set a new record for the most ticketed shows played in different cities within a 12-hour period.

In accordance with GWR stipulations, the cities must have populations of more than 15,000, be at least 50 km apart and sell at least 10 tickets, with sets required to be 15 minutes long without breaks longer than 30 seconds.

The verified record is currently held by US singer Minhee Jones, who played eight shows on 7 December 2019.

“It was pretty fun the whole day. We were laser-focused on what we had to do”

CBC reports the British Columbia pair performed nine 15-minute gigs across Squamish, Vancouver, Abbotsford, Burnaby, Chilliwack, Richmond, Mission, Delta and Langley on 8 July, starting at 10am and finishing their set with 20 minutes to spare. Tickets cost C$1 (€0.68) each, with proceeds going to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.

“It was pretty fun the whole day,” Roy tells CBS. “We were laser-focused on what we had to do.”

Loops will now present their “filmed and time-recorded” evidence to Guinness World Records, but expect it to take some time before their record-breaking feat is confirmed.

UK artist Tom Grennan also played 10 gigs over 12 hours in 2018 but in communities with populations of less than 15,000.


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