It’s the first week of the month, when UD holds its Open Mic, showcasing new and up-coming talent. Hosted by our very own star on the rise, Nayana, it’s the perfect way to start the month – with a vibe. Starring Aaron P’Reach, Swaggalyricalassassin, Chayz3r, Jsmine Sophia, Ayomide Ukpong, Kadi, Quinn, Krys, Briz, Asriel, KayzTheGreat, BsMnT J, Kesensa, JAHMALE, Meridian, Malaika, Augustus, Yesha, Chowerman & Velli, Tim Duzit and KHAOS KHAYY R, Kat Friar reports from Talent House…
To kick things off, Aaron P’Reach spat some Christianity-infused bars over a garage inspired instrumental. Swaggalyricalassassin then freestyled over a sombre Wretch 32 instrumental. Chayz3r was up next, alternating between rapping and melodic singing, weaving his way through the kick drums of the drill-laced beat. Jsmine Sophia performed her latest single ‘Blind Faith’, her smooth vocals flooded the room with raw emotion. Ayomide Ukpong blessed us with a spoken word piece called ‘When I Get To Heaven’, encouraging people to make the most out of life on earth.
Following on, Kadi poured her heart out about her mental health over melancholic piano keys. Next up, Quinn‘s breathy yet soulful tones rode the guitar-heavy R&B instrumental with ease. Krys finished off the first half of the Open Mic with her gorgeously deep vocals that danced over the Afrobeat instrumental.
After the break, Briz grounded us with a deep narrative as he sat in a chair, spitting bars over Logic‘s ’44 Bars’ instrumental. Asriel‘s trap infused melody had the crowd hyped as he encouraged crowd participation in-between his quick-witted bars. KayzTheGreat had a sick flow and high energy as he rode the bounce of the beat. BsMnT J returned to the Talent House, blessing us with with his wicked lyrics and fast-paced flow over luminous jazz production. Kesensa switched up the pace with graceful vocals on her song about longing for a piece of the sun – something we all know about here in the gloomy UK.
Next up, JAHMALE had buttery smooth vocals as his powerful lyrics sunk through the crowd. Meridian followed, her energy was upbeat and assertive like the production on the instrumental. Malaika then took to the stage, Augustus played guitar for her, giving her harmonious performance a more acoustic feel. Next, Yesha performed a song about addiction, her storytelling ability as strong as her vocal range.
Chowerman and Velli jumped on stage to perform their latest single ‘Brown Boys’, they had great chemistry on stage as they bounced off each other and adlib-ed each other’s verses. Tim Duzit sprayed his bars over a mellow instrumental, juxtaposing his deep voice. Lastly, KHAOS KHAYY R emptied the clip over menacing drill kickdrums.
The jam ensued as people freestyled with ease, with both familiar faces from the line-up and members of the audience we hadn’t had the pleasure of hearing before joining together. The night came to a close, as people made their way out of Talent House, chatting to the new friends they’d made and people they’d networked with. A resounding success say we!
Open Mic returns on March 30th as part of this years Industry Takeover programme. For this special one-away event, UD have joined forces with Complex UK, who will be powering proceedings and supporting artists editorially.
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.