Switching things up for Industry Takeover 2023, Open Mic, hosted by UD’s very own Nayana, was powered by Complex UK, who will soon be supporting some of their favourite artists on the come-up editorially. Tumi, Saint CJ, Hillarynx, Zuko Rosemeid, Valerie Njenga, Allyson, YESHA, David GotSound, Chrissy Day, Mar!k, J2, D Wills, Ashley Tragic, BsMnT J, MALAIKA, Humble Shaun, ESTHER DURIN and many more took to the Talent House stage. Maria Hanlon reports…
First up, tumi performed a stunning and thought-provoking spoken word piece to kick things off. Callum Jaye followed, performing a brilliant track surrounding Asperger’s Syndrome and men’s mental health. He went on to tell us that he was also putting on an event to raise awareness for knife crime too, so his whole performance was definitely impactful. Next up was Hillarynx who performed her unreleased track ‘Belly Full’ which quickly got the audience singing back & dancing. The whole crowd was loving it!
The next artist to perform was Zuko Rosemeid who had great stage presence and had the audience engaged throughout his entire performance. Valerie Njenga was up next and her beautiful vocals filled the room and gave us those trusty goosebumps. Allyson was the next artist to perform and her riffs and runs had the audience absolutely mesmerised.
YESHA stepped on stage next to rap a freestyle that the crowd were all vibing with. Then, returning to Open Mic was Mar!k who performed two tracks. First a Bob Marley cover which everyone went wild for and then, for his second song, he asked the audience for random words which he used to create a freestyle – very impressive.
Another artist who’s been to UD’s previous Open Mics and is a current Incubator participant was David GotSound who shared two of his original tracks, both of which went down an absolute treat.
As we entered the second half of the evening it was BsMnT J’s turn. His bars were quick and witty and loved by the crowd. Ashley Tragic is another familiar face at UD’s Open Mic, he performed two tracks. His quick flows gave him a stand out sound allowing him to have the audience in the palm of his hand. For the second track he rapped over the backing beat of Britney Spears’ ‘Toxic’ which was amazing. After Ashely Tragic was Humble Shaun, who performed one track with other musicians and one track alone. They were both brilliant, with very powerful and hard hitting lyrics.
MALAIKA and Chrys Enow performed their track ‘Daydreaming’ together. Chrys had produced the track while MALAIKA wrote it. The chorus was super catchy and everyone was singing along. It was Chrissy Day’s turn next; Chrissy has been to the Open Mic before and is also part of UD’s Incubator Programme (along with David GotSound and Mar!k who performed earlier). Chrissy shared two stunning songs, and had an almighty applause from everyone in the room. There was even a reload for her much anticipate summer drop, ‘Outside’.
The evening was coming to an end but there was still time for a few more artists to perform. ESTHER DURIN was ready to go next. She performed two songs, the first song she dedicated to God and her vocal ability demonstrated in both songs blew everyone away.
Zoka The Author picked up the pace with his energy, stage presence and pure talent. He moved around the stage getting everyone feeling lively.
D Wills also kept the energy high with his electric performance which got the crowd involved. Last up was J2 who performed a song about not being OK and being honest with your feelings which was really moving. His strong vocal and down to earth stage presence kept the audience’s attention, ending the night on a high.
Although the evening was almost over, there was still time for a jam. Nayana, who had been the fabulous host for the evening, started off the jam and encouraged others to get involved. Both previous performers and new faces took to the stage to sing a combination of covers, freestyles and original material bringing the evening to a close perfectly. The energy in the room was beautiful, full of talent, inspiration and new connections.
Words: Maria Hanlon @mariahanlon
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Open Mic returns to Talent House on May 4th. Sign up for a free spot…. UDtickets.com