Vijay Mistry

"I have always lived in Leicester and love being from this city; I cannot imagine living anywhere else"

What do you do?

Currently I run the arts organisation, 2Funky Arts, which specialises in the development and promotion of black music and arts. We deliver creative learning programmes and workshops for young people and emerging local artists, and we engage with thousands of people each year by embracing the artistic diversity in Leicester.

I also own three music venues: 2Funky Music Café, 2Funky Street Kitchen and The 2Funky Lounge. I host multiple events such as Festival 2Funky, live music and open mic nights, and I have recently launched the radio station ‘Radio2Funky 95.0 FM’.

How did you get to where you are?

I was always interested in business and music and in 1997 I opened a record store, specialising in black music, which went on to become one of the UK’s most prolific stores. I wanted to provide a platform for black music and arts and so over the years, we also started delivering workshops around rapping, singing, graffiti art, street-dancing, etc. This led to launching the arts organisation, 2Funky Arts. From there we have helped thousands of young people and local artists, developing them musically and working on issue-based projects.

My continuous work and passion for music and the arts, has given me opportunities to venture into dance events, comedy shows, documentaries, exhibitions, festivals, club nights, concerts, record labels, magazine publishing and plenty more!

Why do you love what you do?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved music and an extension of the arts; it keeps me in love with what I do and because of this, my job has never felt like work.

I love being entrepreneurial and looking for the next idea/project I can move into. And also, working with young people and emerging artists and helping them to grow and reach new opportunities, is so rewarding and makes my job have more purpose.

Why are you based in Leicester?

I have always lived in Leicester and love being from this city; I cannot imagine living anywhere else.

LC is a city with so much diversity, local talent and community. I feel there are great opportunities for the arts here, so I want to stay here to give more to the arts sector and increase the chances for emerging artists and young people.

I want to provide them with a space to develop their skills and express their talent.

What next?

At the moment we are delivering a series of online concerts due to the lockdown, featuring a variety of local artists from Ministry of Soul to Lydia Lutudi. And very soon we will start to plan our annual festival for 2021!

As our radio station has just launched, we are directing a lot of our energy in this direction as it is a huge 5 year project. We feature a diverse mix of radio shows, so that listeners get a nice blend of new music, local talent, news updates, artist interviews and creative advice. We are always looking for help and there are many different roles available for people to get involved with, just visit

As for upcoming projects, I have many great ideas in the works. But you’ll have to watch this space to find out!

Social media accounts to follow:

Facebook: @2funkyempire / @radio2funky / @2funkymusiccafe

Twitter: @2funkyempire / @radio2funky / @2funkymusiccafe

Instagram: @2funkyempire / @radio2funky / @2funkymusiccafe