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Martin Guttridge-Hewitt
12 October 2023, 11:50

Leke Adesoye, Junglist Movement creator, has died

A legend of the drum & bass and rave scene responsible for timeless iconography

Photo of Leke Adesoye smiling wearing glasses and a blue sweater
via Facebook

Fashion designer, illustrator, and drum & bass music figurehead Leke Adesoye, creator of the iconic Junglist Movement design, has died. 

The news was confirmed yesterday in a statement shared to his Facebook page. It read: “It is great sadness to announce the loss of our beloved, Leke Adesoye. He passed way peacefully at UCL Hospital on Tuesday 10th October after his long illness. He passed away peacefully surrounded by his family and was not in any pain."

In 2022, Adesoye was admitted to hospital having fallen and injured his leg. Suffering from sickle cell anaemia, specialist treatment was required, including blood transfusions to avoid organ failure. 

Adesoye was then diagnosed with a giant cell tumour on the bone, and spent the past year undergoing treatment. A GoFundMe page was launched to help ease the financial pressure of being unable to work, with more than £16,000 raised from hundreds of donors. In May, 'The Aerosoul Album', a compilation featuring tracks by some of the most respected artists in jungle and drum & bass including Seba, Double O, and Harmony, was also released in support. 

Adesoye leaves behind a huge legacy in the UK rave scene and beyond, having set up a number of clothing brands under the Aerosoul label in a bid to represent grassroots and underground culture.

These included Soulero Sista, Babysoul, and the iconic Junglist Movement design. The latter appeared in countless iterations since inception, most notably on a t-shirt during the record shop scene in 1990s club movie Human Traffic, and on face masks produced in the pandemic to raise money for University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH).

“[I] have been attending UCLH for over five years for treatment,” Adesoye wrote at the time. “If it wasn't for the hard work and passion of the front line staff within UCLH, myself along with thousands of others could well be living a much less life expectancy and quality of life.”

Adesoye's creative collaborations saw him work with luminaries including Rodney P, Omar, Skitz, Ty, Kenny Ken, Moose, and Ron. Since his death was announced, tributes have poured in from across the music and culture worlds, including Simon Colebrooke, of seminal outfit 2 Bad Mice, DJ Slipmatt, and Simon 'Bassline' Smith.