By Ayshamar Atkins (@Aysha_nikita)
This weekend consisted of another exciting event from Allsortz Open Mic, which took place under the ArcelorMittal Orbit at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park as a part of a six-week representation of some of the best emerging talent in London. Despite the whether being somewhat dreary, the event went ahead and with successful results! (See Video below)
The first act to warm the locals last Sunday was the stylish Miss Sha with her silvery vocals. The singer performed a mixture of covers, also featuring her very own “Take The Blame” and a Jazz version of Sam Smith’s “La La La”, stopping passers on their way to the Orbit.
(J.E.T taking on the WildCard challenge)
Next to perform was singer Cleo, who arrived on stage with a massive smile on her face while radiating with energy. Her acoustic movement consisted of her original works “Drive” and “Unlucky Girl”, which had a powerful and alternative feel. Cleo who displayed an impressive vocal range on the day had locals participating in her cover of the well-known song “Burn” by Ellie Goulding.
Up next was the up and coming Samuel King, who performed a set of political pieces in relation to the social structure in Britain. His first piece titled “Powerless” featured a description of power and the effect it can have on an individual depending on their context; the informative piece also focused on the deception of power and how simply taking control life can redirect power in your favor. The poet also performed two other pieces also relevant to the theme of being trapped within a system; suggesting in order to break free, one must first self-assess and identify their own morals and beliefs.
Singer Eleni C was next on stage, with a reflective cover or Emile Sandé’s – “Clown”, following this emotive performance was her original song “Building Castles”. In this piece the powerful vocalist explored the definition of beauty, raising the fact that many try to hide with outward appearances, consequently forgetting about the importance of inner beauty.
(Maureen and Lynette taking to the stage after a shift at work)
The next act to feature on stage was rapper Lemzi, who began with cleverly placed lyrical rhymes in his original song “Push Push”, highlighting the struggles of being successful. The talented artist gathered a nice crowd with his next piece; a cover of the well-known track “Paradise” – Cold Play, with his own creative spin on the song; clearly demonstrating his gift with words.
Also to perform on stage was Tolu, the rapper began with an inspiring piece about his own personal journey, highlighting themes of determination and perseverance; making the best of a situation in order to be successful. His set also featured his short and sweet piece “Insanity”.
Connie Craven was the next artist to be welcomed on to the stage. The singer-song writer performed a simple set and illustrated impressive musical skill, creating the perfect chilled atmosphere for a Sunday afternoon.
Wild card Dhark Knyte was up next with his piece “Jordan’s”, challenging stereotypes about up and coming rappers, being from the “hood”, gang culture, difficulties in school and being judged based up on skin color and the problems this may entail. This compelling performance left a powerful message resounding among the locals of Queen Elizabeth Park.
Following this was the talented Izara B with her compelling pieces “Materialistic Society” and “Resurrection”. Both pieces were delivered with passion, stopping many and encouraging them to listen to her wise words.
After this was a lively performance from L-Reece. The informed rapper began with his original track from his first E.P “Positive to Negative” which focused on changing perspectives. The dynamic and confident rapper had audience members enthused with his uplifting performance.
Group J.E.T. were up next with their soulful a capella, the group performed an original piece with an old school Motown feel and after a positive response, the trio performed an encore of Miguel’s “How Many Drinks”. After such a successful performance, it is evident the well-synchronized group are extremely talented individually and work well together!
Penultimate act Shay D, began with a few pieces exploring the justice system and how this relates to her own personal struggles, the moving performance raised many relevant issues including housing, unity as a community and youth, leaving the audience deep in thought.
Last on stage where the colorful duo Maureen and Lynette, both local workers who provided a fun ending to the showcase with their cover of Lauren Hill’s “Killing me softly”.