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 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.
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’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!