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UD Low Down: Open Mic @ Talent House, 02/02

The second UD Open Mic of 2023 brought in an array of hot new talent to grace the stage at UD’s Talent House on 2nd February. Starring BASE-ment J, A8ilty, 3Dee, Silvana, Straight Bernz, K.Kay, Jay Krimzz, Ayo Fred, Cherralyn, Iris, Thaxxter, King Jelz, David GotSound, Saiming, J2, Dan Dannah, Nic Hanson, D Wills, Loose, Aker, Promise, Michael, Mar!k and your host, Nayana

There’s really nowhere better to be than UD on the first Thursday of the month. Our Open Mic returned to showcase rising talent. BASE-ment J started off rapping over hi-speed hi-hats, the beat began to unravel and change tempo as did his flow.

A8ilty poured his heart out in his latest song ‘Looking For Love’, through rapping and singing melodically. Don Kevo rapped braggadocios bars over his self-labelled ‘Afrodrill’ as his flow bounced over the beat. Following on, 3Dee’s smooth, slow beat allowed them to spit bars with conviction.

Next we had a change of pace with Silvana, the guitar strums complimenting her gorgeous riffs and runs. Straight Bernz then performed some reflective spoken word on life’s challenges, exploring metaphors on his mental health. K.Kay came all the way from Birmingham, spitting over a menacing beat with a vengeance. Jay Krimzz’s great stage presence shone through as he rapped melodically over a drill beat.

Ayo Fred returned to the UD stage with his 90’s vibes. Cherralyn came through with her deep vocal tone, not backing down from someone who wronged her. French singer Iris’ powerful voice came with a lot of range, from strong belts to falsetto runs.

Thaxxter had some soulful vocals and he was hitting glass shattering high notes as emotion flowed through him. Next up was King Jelz who slided on the keys of Dave’s ‘Streatham’ beat as he freestyled with quick wit.

Then we had some of UD’s 2023 Incubator artists perform. DavidGotSound spitting over a liquid drum and bass instrumental, dedicating his bars to a special someone. Saiming performed an unreleased track, meticulous bars over a jazz fused hip hop instrumental that had a vintage feel to it.

Dan Dannah’s ‘Dangerous’ took it back to traditional grime- the tune is certain to have gun fingers rising in the air.

Nic Hanson’s sultry falsetto and seductive baritone got a reload when he started fumbling around with the keyboard. His bluesy keys complimented his style of singing perfectly and the crowd was blown away.

D Wills’ gritty cadence shone through as he shared some wicked bars with us that he’d written recently. Loose had wicked energy and his fast paced flow was vibrant, he seemed like a natural on stage. Aker’s choregraphy combined with the bars he was spitting allowed the audience to see his star quality as the cheers came flooding in during the dance break. J2’s mellow ‘Same Sh*t Different Toilet’ took a chill approach to introspection. 

The jam is always a certified vibe. Host Nayana and Mar!k encouraged people to fill out the participant surveys in their improvisation as Saiming returned to the stage, his freestyle piggybacked off their encouragement. Various other rappers returned to spit a quick freestyle. J2 did an acoustic version of his latest single ’24/7′. Before we knew it, Nayana jumped back on to sing to us that the night had come to an end. And you know where we’ll be – back at it again at the beginning of March.

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 March 2023. Email openmic@udmusic.org with links to your music if you’d like to perform. Performers and audience must sign up – free tickets available from udtickets.com.

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