Written by Ayshamar Atkins
Allsortz Open Mic was back this month with yet another fantastic line up of performers and artists at East London’s Rich Mix.
The night was kicked of with singer Shaquille Brown who first performed for Allsortz last September. He began with an acoustic soul version of Bob Marley’s – No Woman No Cry, then following on to sing Stupid Girls – Jasmine Sullivan and Breaking the Law – Emeli Sande. The young performer serenaded the Sunday crowd with his incredible vocal techniques. After speaking with Shaquille, he described his style as Progressive soul allowing the vocals to stylistically remain the same as the original however leaving space for the music to progress and develop. I later spoke with Shaquille about his performing and his journey with Allsortz:
“I have been singing in church all my life, Allsortz [has given] me the chance to learn more about performing and audience interaction”
Next up was wildcard Kyroe, a rapper from London who brought with him masses of energy in his rendition of “Get the Funk Up”, as well as a few of his own original pieces addressing the challenges that life may present that can be over come through a proactive attitude and independence. The second wild card of the night was spoken word artist… who performed his original piece “Message from me to you”, the talented poet had audience members in silence with his very honest and moving piece. The final Wildcard of the night by the name of John K Wilkes brought with him a whole different vibe, transforming the event with the calming and relaxed vibe of the smooth alto sax.
Next to take to the stage was singer-songwriter and musician Ayshamar. The soulful singer performed a set of stripped back songs including acoustic versions of “Twice” – Little Dragon, and “Never Felt This Way” by Alicia keys. Ayshamar also performed an original piece entitled “Fallen Angel” touching upon the relevant themes of abuse, faded innocence and self acceptance.
Spoken word artist Samuel King was next, capturing the attention of those present with his clever and dynamic pieces “Smartphone Love”, “Relationship Goals”, and “Fatherless Britain” truly demonstrating the artist’s gift of words. After speaking with Samuel, it became apparent that the naturally talented writer who focuses on highlighting social issues from the perspective of a young person, first with Allsortz just over two years ago and is currently spending time writing and performing pieces to be released in the near future. Samuel King described his experience performing with Allsortz as:
“Versatile, [they’re a] versatile crowd. You never know what to expect and what to prepare for, each crowd is different.”
Following this was a performance from spoken word artist Rae The Poet who performed her pieces “Letter To My Unborn Child” and “Drunken Thoughts and Sober Actions”; both of which pieces take a mature approach in speaking of tackling abortion, teenage pregnancy, the challenges of bringing a new life into the world and the mistakes of a drunken one night stand. Some extremely wise words from a young poet.
The penultimate act of the event was from the mellow duo, Sister Sidney. The inspirational sisters performed two outstanding covers: “Without you” and “Party and Bull***” – Rita Ora; creating a great atmosphere and engaging the locals at Rich Mix.
The final act of the evening was Solsine who brought Allsortz February 2015 to a lively close! The groups of collective performers (ft. Hannah Symons – currently a contender on the voice) performed a mixture of genres including club, house and electro-pop, created a club like mood with their atmospheric lights and charismatic style. By the end of the night, all audience members were on their feet, singing and dancing along! Definitely a great way to end the night with a bang!