Allsortz Sunday Session @ Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (16/11/14)

Written by Ayshamar Atkins (@Aysha_nikita)

Last Sunday marked the fourth of the weekly sessions held by Allsortz under the AcelorMittal Orbit inside the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park promoting the amazing talent to found in London.

This week, the first on stage was singer-songwriter and entertainer Clinton Elvis, who gave locals a taste of his tropical vibes. The singer brightened the stage with his energetic performance of his original songs including his “Control My Mind” and a touching piece highlighting the struggles of a mother, titled “Momma Don’t Cry”.

Allsortz Sunday Session(J.E.T blowing the audience away with their Motown vibes)

Next to be introduced on stage was the refreshing Vocalist Ella CR, who performed a series of tracks from her E.P “Brand New Me” which was released last Friday. The lyrical singer performed a fascinating set using a drum pulse, and loop machine to record her vocals live on stage, then performing her original pieces on top, allowing the audience to witness the creative process when writing a song.

To follow this were Wildcards J.E.T who began their slot with a cover of Boys II Men – “I’ll Make Love To You”, the trio of silky vocals had audience members in awe of the well-choreographed performance. The group also performed their original acapella song “Love Like You”.  Other wild cards of the day included Soul/RnB singer Deleelah who performed a few tracks from her latest Album, “Devine Evolution”; Young K who graced the stage with his precise lyricism and American style.  The final wildcard of the day was the incredibly gifted rapper Kayroe who shared some inspiring words with the locals of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Allsortz Sunday Session

 

(Deleelah belting out Whitney Houston’s ‘I will Always Love You’)

Singer Rajiv also performed a few of his captivating and upbeat tunes; a stinking feature of the talented singers pieces was the universality of the lyrics therefore grabbing the audience’s attention with its relatability. He also performed a very simple but beautiful rendition of Beyoncé’s “Sweet Dreams”.

Next in line was spoken word artist Jolade who stopped audiences in their tracks with some profound words exploring self-image, taking responsibility for actions and understanding that we control circumstance definitely stirring some thought amongst the park audience.

Kaisler was next to grace the stage with her quirky style and expressive vocal techniques, the singer began by livening the stage with a few of her original pieces generating an uplifting atmosphere and inspiring dance among locals.

The final main slot of the day to feature on stage was the multi-textured vocalist Kit Rice, who performed a series of tracks from single, yet to be released on the 24th November. The singer who sang with soul wrapped up the event nicely!

Don’t forget we’ll be in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park until the end of November so you’ve still got time to pop down and share your Talent! See our events page for more details

Allsortz Sunday Session @ Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (9/11/14)

By Ayshamar Atkins (@Aysha_nikita)

Last weekend saw Allsortz back at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with the third event of a six-week line up of Sunday sessions under the orbit. (See Video – Coming soon)

Introducing the first act to open the showcase was the five-piece band Blank Fiction. The very interactive group of musicians performed their captivating and multi-faceted pieces, which crossed genres including “Fire” and “Unclean Animals” successfully gathering the local crowd with their alternative style.

Allsortz Sunday Sessions 9/11/14

(Jones 2.0 taking to the stage)

American singer and wild card Adrian was next on stage; kindly accompanied by drummer Evan from Blank Fiction. This characteristic cover of One Republic’s “Apologize” definitely took locals by surprise! Other wild cards to perform on the day were singer-songwriter Ayshamar who performed a cover or “Twice” – Little Dragon; Nate Black, who performed a profound piece touching upon themes of self worth and also eight year old Melanie who warmed the audiences with her performance of “Let it Go” from the well known animation Frozen.

Also featuring on the day was singer-songwriter Marianna from North London who performed a graceful set with ease and wowed audiences with her remarkable vocal range and technique. The inspiring and uplifting artist performed original pieces from her recent E.P including “The Time is Now”; she finished her set with an emotive cover of Bob Marley’s “Song of Freedom”.

Next to take the stage was the glamorous singer from Essex, Pharella who is currently working the release of a ten-minute album. With the weather temperamental, Pharella’s summer-time vibe and energy warmed locals on the chilly afternoon. Her set included her pieces “Let’s Get Together” and “She Don’t Care About You”.

Allsortz Sunday Sessions 9/11/14

(Pharella on stage at Allsortz Sunday Session 9/11/14)

To follow this was rapper Jones 2.0 who performed an impressive rap variation of Frank Sinatra’s song “That’s Life”. This was followed by his pieces “Out of My Life” and “Rosé”, both of which featured catchy tunes displaying the rappers skill.

Subsequent to this was rapper 4i. The conscious rapper began with one of his unreleased tracks  “Midnight Moan”, the bouncy piece had locals participating and clapping along to the beat. The positive artist also performed a few tracks of his E.P “Soul Rich” scheduled for release later this week.

Folk acoustic singer-songwriter Alice was next to grace the stage with her latest piece – written only a week ago; “Angel Man”. The upbeat folk dance song created a unique atmosphere and engaged the audience of the park.

Next up was stand out rapper Strive, who gathered a nice audience with his festive vibe performing his catchy piece “More Time” from his debut E.P “Beginning of Beginning”. The rapper also performed his tracks “Brazil” and “Empire” which had the locals grooving and whistling along.

The final WildCard and act of yet another day of quality talent was the massively energetic Clinton Elvis, the very animated and tropical singer-songwriter, musician and performer, shared his good vibes with his tracks “Control Your Mind” and “My Angel”.

Don’t forget we’ll be in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park until the end of November so you’ve still got time to pop down and share your Talent! See our events page for more details

Allsortz Sunday Sessions @ Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (2/11/14)

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.

Allsortz Sunday Session 2/11/14

 

(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.

Allsortz Sunday Sessions 2/11/14

(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”.

Don’t forget we’ll be in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park until the end of November so you’ve still got time to pop down and share your Talent! See our events page for more details

Allsortz goes ‘Carnival Xtra’ for the Great British Carnival

Carnival Xtra Review, 27 July 2014

By Ella Achola

Pics of the day courtesy of Michael Wornell

Three stages. Five hosts. Close to 40 acts. Over 100 individual performers. This was the challenge Allsortz Open Mic mastered exceptionally well in order to curate the artistic programme of the youth element, CarnivalXtra, of the Great British Carnival at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford last Sunday. Against the backdrop of the Olympic Stadium and the ArcelorMittal Orbit observation tower, CarnivalXtra had an impressive skyline easily matched by the quality of performances.

Allsortz had three stages featuring different acts simultaneously; Ship of Fools, the Spoken Word Stage, and Carpenters Lock. With approximately 60,000 people passing through the Olympic Park on a regular day, it was not surprising that the park almost seemed to overspill at times, attracting many surprised visitors who stopped on bridges and sidewalks to catch a glimpse of the superb line-up Carnival Xtra had to offer.

photo 3-2

Ship of Fools

Ship of Fools opened up with a little performance by the two hosts Don and Bowaa who reminded the audience to “go crazy, go bananas” and respect the artists since after all “every act is somebody’s child.” The audience complied when the first band, Blank Fiction, took the stage with what they describe as alternative rock “with a dash of pop and soul.” They played a great set, setting the festival vibe that characterised this stage for the remainder of the performances. I was back at this stage later in the day and was disappointed to find that I could only catch the end of the LC Collective, a group of four female MCs who I saw from afar had attracted a vibrant crowd that had so obviously enjoyed this collective’s engaging hip-hop performance. Another act I caught on Ship of Fools was Hanna’s Marines. Before this band had even begun the grass was packed with all kinds of people –families, couples and groups of friends – bopping their heads to the beats of the DJ. Singer Hanna kept the audience entertained with her music that she sums up as “KT Tunstall inspired by Paramore.” Cielo is a band that ties together pop, rap, hip-hop, funk and jazz with some Latin grooves and “catchy hooks.” Their energy was truly palpable and had the grass packed out once again. Filling the stage with some serious action, the lead singer got the crowd to join in the evident fun Cielo were having during their set, getting the crowd to put their hands in the air and cheering for what was an exceptional performance. Mila Falls closed this set of acts, singing pop music to a funky beat that even kept those members of the audience on their toes who had been dancing to the music on this stage for hours. She had one of the biggest presences of the day that was sustained by her full-blown supporting band. In the words of host Bowaa, “fresh, young talent” really did take over this stage today.

Allsortz does Carnival Xtra

Carpenter’s Lock

“Awesome, authentic, and original” are the three words Miss K, host of Carpenter’s Lock, used when I asked her to describe the acts that had performed on her stage. The first act I encountered here was Sylvia Mwenze who needed nothing more but a guitar, drums and a back-up singer to let her beautiful voice ring across the river that separated the stage from the audience. Sister Sidney was comprised of two lovely ladies who are actually sisters, Claire Louise and Indyanna Sydney, whose music is a mix of pop, rock and acoustic. They also kept instrumentals to a minimum, again highlighting the beauty of their voices that created a chilled atmosphere as Indyanna strummed her guitar. What stuck out at their performance was their cover of Rita Ora’s ‘How We Do’, which they completely made their own and had me hanging on to every note. I wasn’t surprised to see that DC Scribbla had the crowd on lock when I caught his rap performance of ‘Valentine’, a song I fell in love with during his last performance. Although it was just him on stage DC Scribbla commanded the space and owned it, visibly enjoying every minute of his performance. Next up were De’Vide who kept up DC Scribbla’s energy. Having previously been on The Voice, this duo of rapper and acoustic singer had a set of good music and vibes, also engaging with the audience. I stumbled across Anna Serrano’s performance during what was meant to be a short break, unable to keep myself from writing about her incredible vocals that were accompanied by nothing more than a keyboard. She came on strong with a cover of John Legend’s ‘All of Me’ as her voice took over the entire area and managed not only to keep the large audience that had gathered on the other side of the river entertained but also captivate passers-by who stopped to catch her equally impressive cover of Chaka Khan’s ‘Ain’t Nobody’.

Allsortz Open Mic does Carnival Xtra for Great British Carnival
Allsortz Open Mic does Carnival Xtra for Great British Carnival

Spoken Word Stage

The beauty of writing spoken word reviews is that they easily write themselves. “Consciously deep” and “passionate” are the words co-hosts Ace and Izara B used to sum up the acts on their stage; three words that can most definitely be applied to Farida Momtaz who drew a large crowd with her socially conscious poetry. Talking about her generation that she believes is flooded with Peter Pans – adult men still stuck in their youth and afraid to grow up – she problematized how we are losing out on so many young men’s potential and the “spectacular” destinies they could live out. MOAK was up next and he had the crowd intrigued, stopping passers-by who paused to listen to what he had to say. He brought back two of my favourites from the last Allsortz Open Mic, ‘Look Brother’ and ‘One Of The Guys’, and shared his experiences of navigating Ghanaian values in British culture, urging people to stay true to where they come from. Emmanuel Speaks pointed out that being free is not just measured in actual chains but equally requires escaping mental captivity while also touching on the topic of structural discrimination, important subjects that he tied up in a set of striking lyrics. Ellen Blane switched up the spoken word programme as she filled the air with a voice that instantly reminded me of Ellie Goulding. Her impressive vocals and obvious confidence far exceeded her sixteen years of age as she managed to retain the crowd’s interest throughout her entire 30-minute set. After missing her last performance I was particularly pleased to catch Izara B who captivated the audience. In her own words, her spoken word piece ‘Resurrection’ uses religion as a play on words and revisits her own journey of self-discovery that forced her to learn to acknowledge her entire self, inclusive of all flaws. Breaking with the spoken word tradition once again, the last act I saw on this stage was Gypsy Stars who were able to attract the largest crowd in this space today. Wearing colourful, traditional dresses, the women in the band put on a memorable performance both singing and dancing as the men joined in the singing at times and generally accompanied them on string instruments and an accordion. In addition to the spoken words artists programmed by Allsortz, there were also open mic slots throughout the day.

Generally, it weren’t just the acts that drew me in but I was equally impressed by all hosts across the different stages. On the Spoken Word Stage, host Ace gave the crowd a free lesson he emphasized is never taught in school, reminding the audience that our conscience and sub-conscience are in constant struggle with one another and it is repetition and positivity that truly transform a person as repetition becomes habit and habit becomes embedded into our sub-conscience, the true game changer that takes precedence over our conscience.

The Great British Carnival ended with a literal bang as everyone was brought together in an eruption of fireworks and parade, showcasing a plethora of different costumes and vibrant colours lighting up the darkening sky and giving Carnival Xtra the beautiful finale it truly deserved. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for this event again next year!