Launched last year in response to global lockdowns and music's industry-wide shutdown, Bandcamp's self-titled Friday fundraiser waived their share of sales in an effort to put more money into the pockets of the independent artists and labels that populate the site. Now a monthly institution taking place on the first Friday of every month, Bandcamp Fridays have raised over $52 million since last March with plans to keep it going into the foreseeable future.

In comparison to the fraction of a fraction of a cent that artists are typically paid out from other streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, Bandcamp Fridays was a much needed life-preserver for most and served to highlight just one of the many glaring inequities that the pandemic has exposed.

This past year also saw the launch of Black Bandcamp, a crowd-sourced list of Black artists, producers and labels collected in one place to make it easier to discover and support Black talent on the platform. What started out as a Google spreadsheet has since become a sprawling database encompassing thousands of artists — and today, Black Bandcamp is relaunching as the Black Artist Database (B.A.D.) with a revamped website to match its newly expanded scale and scope.

B.AD. describes its mission as bringing "the richness of creative talent from the global Black diaspora to the surface, in pursuit of wage equity, transparency and stable employment for our communities." In addition to musical talent, more than 3,500 profiles include people in publishing, visual and digital art, media production, curation and discourse. Each profile provides links to the artist's respective website or Bandcamp page, allowing users to filter by name, location and genre, as well as random shuffle setting in case you're feeling adventurous.

Beyond this database, B.A.D. will also begin featuring editorial content, a multimedia in-conversation series and an exclusive monthly mix, with this month's coming from Detroit techno pioneer Eddie Fowles. An initiative called [pause] will round out B.A.D.'s immediate activations that seeks "to support and encourage businesses in the music industry towards the goal of more equitable workspaces."

The Black Artist Database {B.A.D.) is currently open for new submissions with those seeking to apply encouraged to fill out the form here. With another Bandcamp Friday approaching May 7th, you might as well bookmark the website now and get a headstart loading up your cart with plenty of amazing artists ready for you to uncover.

Photos courtesy of Black Artist Database

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