Allsortz of Love in the air – February 2015

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.

Allsortz Feb 2015
Shaquille Brown

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”

Allsortz Feb 2015
Ayshamar

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.

Allsortz Feb 2015
Samuel King

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.”

Allsortz Feb 2015
One half of the fab duo Sister Sidney

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.

Allsortz Feb 2015The 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!

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Allsortz Open Mic does Friday Tonic with MasterCard

Written by Ayshamar Atkins

October was a busy month for Allsortz! As well as our usual monthly gig at Rich Mix we crossed the river to embraced the audience at the Southbank Centre: Queen Elizabeth Hall as a part of the “WHY? Festival” supported by Mischon de Reya. We took over a special Friday Tonic with MasterCard session and showcased our own unique brand of entertaining tonic!

Allsortz Open Mic takeover Friday Tonic with MasterCard at Southbank Centre
Allsortz Open Mic takeover Friday Tonic with MasterCard at Southbank Centre (Mila Falls)

The first act to grace the stage was the up and coming Mila falls and her three piece band; beginning with a set of stripped back covers including Waves by Mr. Probz and Wake Me Up by Avicii ft. Aloe BlaccAs she took centre stage under the luminous reddish purple light, her unique and distinctive vocals became apparent, combined with her lively and spirited stage presence, immediately captivating the audience’s attention and inspiring dance throughout the venue.

Next to be introduced to the stage was spoken word artist Izara B with her compelling piece Materialistic Society, exploring our view of society, it’s structure and the impact this has on us as individuals. This was then followed by an exclusive performance of her latest piece entitled “Kiss of Death”; not only was this piece contrasting in terms of style and theme, it also retained an immensely honest, open and moving message leaving the audience in silence throughout the powerful deliverance of the piece.

Narko @SouthbankCentre
Allsortz Open Mic takeover Friday Tonic with MasterCard at Southbank Centre (Narko)

Rapper Narko then engaged the audience shortly afterwards by diving straight into his first song. One aspect of his performance that was really striking was his natural sense of stage presence, and this became more evident after a conversation with an audience member, which led straight into his final piece leaving us swept away by his authentic lyrical rhymes once again.

Following Narko, the charismatic duo: Sister Sidney took to the stage, skillfully charming the audience with their soulfully expressive voices. After performing two of their original pieces, the pair then moved on to perform a colorful acoustic version of Rita Ora’s – Just how we do.

To switch up the evening a little were the wild cards; for those unfamiliar with the concept, this allows anyone one who is feeling inspired take over the stage for a few minutes and to share their talent.

Allsortz Open Mic takeover Friday Tonic with MasterCard at Southbank Centre
Allsortz Open Mic takeover Friday Tonic with MasterCard at Southbank Centre

First up was Laura who presented a graceful medley of well-known songs including Stand Still and Look Pretty by The Wreckers; which she later explained represents a time in her life. Also to appear on stage was Milly, a young performer who instantly had the audience entertained with her quirky sense of style and explorative vocal techniques. The next wild card was Kyroe, who radiated confidence while rapping about the struggles of being successful and the thought of wanting something much bigger. We also had the pleasure of welcoming spoken word artist Kayrond to the stage with his humble, honest number tackling the issue of self expression and the path to self discovery. Next up was Germ Adan a member of the Adan project – a Scottish/ Haitian group based in the states, the dynamic singer serenaded the audience with a song reflecting on the trials of being in a long distance relationship, and to make the piece even more special it was sang in French Creole and accompanied by a steel string ukulele!

Moving back to the Main performance slots, young Shaquille, was next in line with his incredibly mellow voice. The singer and his two guitarists performed two classic covers – Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone and an all time favorite by Bob Marley, this originally interpreted acoustic cover definitely had the audience enjoying themselves to the maximum!

 DC Scribbla was next up with his old school American flow, including his original songs 98 Flows and Summertime, as usual the youthful artist had the audiences’ heads bobbing and singing along. One of the great things about this performance was his explanation behind the pieces, making it that much more relatable! DC Scribbla also performed a track off of his debut project called Girls, creating a different kind of energy.

Allsortz Open Mic takeover Friday Tonic with MasterCard at Southbank Centre
Allsortz Open Mic takeover Friday Tonic with MasterCard at Southbank Centre (DC SCRIBBLA)

The penultimate act and final wild card of an evening of immense talent, was Adrian Benjamin Haeske who had flown in from Germany to meet his long distance love. While walking south of the riverbank the young couple discovered Allsortz Open Mic taking place and romantically Adrian decided to dedicate a song to his love, Gressa.  Pompeii – Bastille. This acoustic cover was not only a beautiful second to last performance with the spotlight surrounding Gressa, but to finish the gifted artist announced his love.

Finally to wrap up the event, Mila Falls returned to close the show with a number of originals. This successful and impressionable set included her lively and energetic performances of her songs including Voices and Remember me.

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Allsortz Open Mic does ‘Eargasm’ – August 2014

Written Ella Achola (@ella_achola)

“Vibrant, raw talent and enjoyable” is what Izara B, director and creative assistant of Allsortz Open Mic, hoped for Eargasm to be that night and full of talent it was indeed. Allsortz worked together with Lyrix Organix and 3 Styles to organise this event, bringing together a range of artists and designers to take over the Dalston Roof Park for a night of Eargasm. Host Dekan, Allsortz Open Mic founder, did not fail on his promise to showcase London’s best upcoming talent in exchange for love and support for the artists from the audience, which continuously filled the roof park as fears of rain and thunderstorms dwindled and the performers’ energy enveloped the beautiful roof space.

During the sound check I explored the fashion side of the event, swaying to the old school hip-hop tunes of DJ Olivia Au (gold). I left impressed by how many use fashion as a means to inspire and empower young people. Alongside The Bakery by Cakey, which uniquely combines cake, sweets and clothing, Strip Clothing, and Mayamada, an anime and manga inspired clothing brand, there was also Strut Daily, my favourite stall of the night. A female empowerment brand, Nadine and Toy go beyond pure fashion and also work with young girls in Hackney aged 13 to 16, facilitating so-called struta workshops in dance, drama and fashion to build the girls’ confidence.

Clinton Elvis(Clinton Elvis)

Clinton Elvis opened up the musical part of Eargasm with high notes and dance moves to the well-known hits of Michael Jackson. He was followed by the live human beatbox performance of Bass 6 who not only hit the audience with the most unusual of sounds but also personal beatboxed renditions of Benny Benassi’s ‘Satisfaction’ and Louis Armstrong’s ‘What A Wonderful World.’

The atmosphere got cosier as the sky turned darker and one half of Sister Sidney took the stage, lulling us all in a performance sounding no less soulful than when the sibling duo performed together at the Great British Carnival, Claire’s beautiful vocals warming up the chilly roof park.

Sister Sidney

(Sister Sidney)

Next up was Allsortz favourite Ayshamar who owned the stage with a soul performance that was simple but spoke volumes nonetheless. Ayshamar is a singer/songwriter who started playing the piano when she was three years old. Speaking to her she told me she was inspired by everyday things she sees, the people around her, and her personal life journey, using her music as an opportunity to engage with her identity and allow for others to relate to it.

India Graye filled the terrace with a voice that hit each note crystal clear as she was accompanied by nothing more than her ukulele and followed performances of rapper Raptum and singer Jem Cooke before another Allsortz favourite, DC SCRIBBLA, a young rapper, got the crowd clapping and grooving to his old school tunes that remind of a musical era unfortunately long gone. He had just flown in from Texas, deciding to kick jet lag and travel fatigue to the curb and join us on the roof park with an energy that easily matched that of the older (and more rested) performers of the night. DC started making music when he was ten years old and quotes his influences as Lupe Fiasco and Kanye West. His main genre is hip-hop, which he likes to mix with other genres as he is inspired by life in London and being young.

Izara B was the only spoken word artist of the night, performing her piece ‘Materialistic Society’, which criticises a society in which the rich get richer and the poor strive for an illusion built by capitalist society’s expectations of what it means to be happy. She rightfully reminds us that fulfilling our needs should not be equated to having it all, and that materialism is not crucial to survival. She excelled in capturing the audience with nothing more than her voice, delivering her lines with passion and energy.

Miss Sha(Miss Sha)

Miss Sha’s performed some beautiful slow tunes about love and relationships before Shemzy closed Eargasm with a bang, switching up his hip hop set with some acapella “to get people’s attention”, which he did indeed.

Allsortz Open Mic, Lyrix Organix and 3 Styles succeeded in putting together a night of music and fashion that was engaging, stimulating and showcased a wide range of upcoming talent. Make sure to catch their next events in September!