The first UD Open Mic of the year brought in an array of hot new talent to grace the stage at UD’s Talent House on 12th January.
Kicking off the night, we had JiggyJigh performing his song ‘Tinder’. He prepared the crowd for a back-and-forth participation with some lyrics from his song. His performance was upbeat and cheeky, a great start to the night. Next, we had ReepMan spitting bars and hitting the audience with his smooth flow and confident stage presence. Ayo Fred took us back with an old-school hip-hop instrumental and the flow to match. His performance ended with getting us to do a call and response of some classic hip-hop tunes.
William and his friend graced the stage, mentioning that the song they were performing was a reminder that he doesn’t need to get back with his ex-girlfriend who he’d broken up with recently. It wasn’t long before his phone began to ring mid-performance, and low and behold it was his ex-girlfriend. He declined the call and him and his friend decided to freestyle instead, taking it in turns to spit off the dome.
Spoken word artist, Blaize, switched up intimacy in the room as he performed his piece ‘On My Mind’, his poetry had the room clicking in praise during nearly every line. Don Kevo brought back the G-Funk, giving the open mic 90’s party vibes. Our next slam poet, Tumi performed their poem ‘To Something Else’ – their storytelling ability was incredible.
Next, we had Damélola bringing some more R&B vibes into the mix, interpolating ‘Insane’ by Summer Walker in her intro. Aija was up next, singing a song called ‘Breathe’, which stemmed from her having a panic attack and talking herself through it. Her silky vocals glided over the funk-fused R&B beat with ease.
Nomadic Libaax gave us the best of both worlds with poetry and rap – the two really go hand in hand. His poem showed his appreciation for poetry while his rap performance was animated, he made use of various voices for impact, keeping the audience engaged.
Rosa’s sweet tones and dance moves gave off old-school Justin Timberlake vibes. Joshua-Alexander was our last spoken word artist of the night, performing his poem ‘Peaceful Badman’ as he enthralled the crowd with his well-crafted words. Next, we had Krimzz bringing trap to the Talent House, the sentiments in his song were quite motivational – he had that ‘money on my mind’ mindset. When A8ility touched the stage he brought Krimzz back to perform a collaboration they had together and the energy they had was unmatched as they bounced off of each other, adlib-ing each other’s verses. Lastly, Leon Maddy made history as the first harmonica player of the UD Open Mic’s. It was completely unexpected but what a nice surprise it was! He was really going in on the harmonica, ranging between long notes and fast-paced sections.
The night finished with a jam, led by host Nayana and Mar!k. Various performers came on stage to improvise, vibe and have a good time. It was the perfect start to the year – really refreshing to see new faces on the mic. Make sure you start saving every first Thursday of the month, there’s nowhere better to be than at the Open Mic at UD.
Words: Kat Friar. Kat is a freelance journalist, DJ and photographer with a passion for music. She likes to cover all bases regarding music so whether it’s a new album, a rising artist or a gig, she’ll be writing about it.
Photography: Saadiq T
Open Mic will return to Talent House on 2nd February 2023. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with links to your music if you’d like to perform. Performers and audience must sign up – free tickets available from udtickets.com.