The first Thursday of the month is all about UD’s Open Mic.
Our beloved host NAYANA AB was away so the lovely Malaika stepped up and did a great job of filling in and leading the night.
To kick things off, Jakka hit us with potent bars and a versatile flow.
Maintaining the rap vibes, we had Swift The Poet spitting over an MF Doom instrumental, hitting us with a boom bap style cadence.
Switching it up with some neo-soul, Amara Love and her acoustic guitarist delivered silky vocals that took our breath away amidst her riffs and runs.
Back to rap, Chino’s punchy flow flew at the speed of light over intricate production.
Lamar Waves’ melodic singing lit up the crowd and had everyone vibing to his lush voice.
Zones performed his new single called ‘Heartbeat’, his delivery was gritty and menacing.
Donso Pedro teased a little bit of beatboxing before getting us to rehearse a call and response for his emotional R&B-tinged track.
Next, Jardaker Baker’s quirky, self-dubbed conscious rap took to the stage and had the crowd cheering him on.
Kaan continued with the conscious rap as he discussed struggles within society and relationships.
GALIA was up next, her soft tone brushing against the acoustic guitar she was playing.
When we returned from the break, EFTY’s airy tone lit up the room accompanied by sharp lyricism.
Our host Malaika, covered Amy Winehouse’s ‘Back To Black‘, adding rich soul to the classic.
Gaffa’s witty flow impressed the audience.
Shenz performed two tracks – Etta James’ ‘I’d Rather Go Blind’ in the style of Beyoncé aswell as an original song of her own, both showcasing her impeccable R&B vocals – complete with a Destiny’s Child sample of ‘So Good’, bringing all the nostalgia.
Next up, Sweep performed Dancehall-tinged track ‘Giddy Up’ and encouraged call and response.
Following on, Luana Clarice did two songs, hitting us with her silky, dulcet vocals, over genre-fusing instrumental.
Rashád’s angelic vocals covered Ed Sheeran’s ‘Thinking Out Loud’ – don’t tell Ed, but I think Rashád’s cover was better than the original!
Next up, Thae’s deep, soulful vocals left the crowd in awe.
Lastly, RICHBEATS began drumming the beats of old R&B classics with a guessing game vibe, the crowd harmonising as they sang along whenever they guessed the track he was playing – though some were more obvious than others. He wrapped the Open Mic up nicely, everyone was gutted by the time the event had ended – there’s something about them that always leaves you wanting more.
You know where you need to be on the first Thursday of July. See you at Talent House for more live music moments…
Words & photography: 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.