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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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