Dr Alex de Lacey

Staff details

Position Lecturer, Admissions Tutor for BMus Music
Department Music
Email a.delacey (@gold.ac.uk)
Dr Alex de Lacey

I teach Popular Music within the department, and act as Admissions Tutor for the BMus Music Programme. My work centres on group creativity and live improvisation in grime music and jazz. My doctoral thesis, entitled Level Up: Live Performance and Collective Creativity in Grime Music, examined crew interactivity and the development of new stylistic tropes in situ at pirate radio stations and raves.

I have presented research at the Royal Musical Association, IASPM, European Hip Hop Studies Network, the Subcultures Network International Conference, and various other fora. My scholarly articles appear in Global Hip-Hop Studies and Popular Music History, with a chapter forthcoming in the edited volume Critical Digital Pedagogy.

I also write as a journalist for Songlines, Red Bull, Passion of the Weiss, and Keepin It Grimy. I am an active participant in the London grime scene as a DJ and broadcaster, and regularly perform with grime collective Over The Edge.

I currently teach on the following modules in the Department: Popular Music History (Level 4); Approaches to Contemporary Music (Level 4); What Is Jazz (Level 5); Music / Modernities (Level 6); Minimalism and Post-Minimalism (Level 6); Research Essay (Level 6); Popular Music and Its Critics (Masters); Dissertation (Masters); Creative Project (Masters).

I also designed and delivered a course entitled Grime Music: Histories, Performance and Performativity in 2018–19 as part of Advanced Popular Music Studies (Level 6). In 2021–22 I will be teaching a new study area for APMS that I developed, which is entitled Music on the Move: Colonialism, Capitalism and the Digital Age. 

Using Digital Technology to Develop Critical Media Literacy and Foster Classroom Discourse. PG Certificate in Higher Education. Goldsmiths, University of London, March 1 2020.

“Empire State, they forgot about up North”: hip-hop practice at America’s frontiers. Kent Americanist Symposium. University of Kent, Canterbury, November 21 2020.

“Locked in, Locked Out?” Grime performance practice and the academy. Breaking Rules, European Hip Hop Meeting. LKCA, Rotterdam, September 11 2020.

“The Location of Musical Knowledge”. Roundtable (Chair and co-ordinator). Royal Musical Association Annual Conference. Goldsmiths, University of London, September 10 2020.

Pirate Mentality: How Radio has shaped Creative Practice in Grime Music. Royal Musical Association Annual Conference. Goldsmiths, University of London, September 09 2020.

 “Wot Do U Call it? Doof Doof ”: articulations of glocality in Australian grime music. London Calling – IASPM UK and Ireland Biannual Conference. University of West London, May 19 2020.

Grime music’s ‘elements’: the development of the ‘through ball’ as a performance technique and the implications of tradition and codification upon creative practice. Elements Bristol Hip-Hop Conference. University of Bristol, June 6 2019.

Understanding Group Creative Practice in Grime Music. The Uses of Musical Knowledge Symposium. Goldsmiths, University of London, May 11 2019.

“East London where the mandem ah boop”: narratives of space and place in grime music and their effect on practice. Popular Music – Grime Beyond the Borders and into the Hinterlands. Birmingham City University, December 5 2018.

‘“So, you just go to gigs and write about them?” Popular Music Ethnography: Theory, Methodology, Praxis’. Goldsmiths Music Research Series. Goldsmiths University, November 13 2018.

“07961897033, I’m so E3”: grime’s epicentre and reductive narratives of space and place. The 2nd International Conference of the Interdisciplinary Network for the study of Subcultures, Popular Music and Social Change. University of Reading, September 7 2018.

Restart That!: The (mis)representation of grime music and the argument for an interprofessional agenda.  Crosstown Traffic: Popular Music Theory and Practice. University of Huddersfield, September 4 2018.

Professional Activity
Early Career Research (ECR) Representative for IASPM (UK & EIRE).

Research Interests

My research is focused across three broad areas: improvisation and creative process; the global mediation of Afrodiasporic musical forms; the role of radio as both a performance ground, and a site for the articulation of lived experience. I welcome enquiries from potential research students.



de Lacey, Alex. 2021. Pirate mentality: How London radio has shaped creative practice in grime music. Radio Journal: International Studies in Broadcast & Audio Media, 19(1), pp. 197-215. ISSN 1476-4504

de Lacey, Alex. 2020. ‘Let us know you’re locked’: Pirate radio broadcasts as historical and musical artefact. Popular Music History, 12(2), pp. 194-214. ISSN 1740-7133

de Lacey, Alex. 2020. ‘Wot do u call it? Doof doof’: Articulations of glocality in Australian grime music. Global Hip Hop Studies, 1(1), pp. 115-141. ISSN 2632-6825

de Lacey, A. 2020. Mitchell Ohriner, "Flow: The Rhythmic Voice in Rap Music". Journal of the Society for Musicology in Ireland, 15(2020), pp. 31-35. ISSN 1649-7341