Young fresh Jazz Soul Hip Hop Spoken Word mesh of goodness from one of my favourite up and coming artists Oscar Laurence. After seeing him last year at a Poejazzi show I’ve been hooked and following his moves. He has a great natural sound and feel to his music and there is a rawness to it that takes me back to my college days where you just made music you loved with no complications. James Massiah provides the icing on the cake with his trademark flow and lyrical content fitting perfectly over the track.

Love this someone to begin following without a doubt!!!

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So there we were Tuesday night in the LDN halfway in-between Kings Cross and Angel in a small unique cosy venue lovers of good poetry, music and performance were crammed into Suya to celebrate one of the leading brands in the UK live scene Poejazzi and the launch of their new app. Over the next 16 weeks those who download the app will be treated to a new piece of poetry from a different writer each week. You will get it in written form as well as filmed visual performance of the piece from the poet. By all accounts this is a MASSIVE DEAL and as always the poejazzi team assembled a lineup worthy of the occasion. Poetry from Adam Kammerling and Laurie Bolger (“looking like a primary school art teacher” LOVED THAT LINE) had the crowd in stitches and smiles nodding in approval. Will Adlard left us with some mellow blues come folk acoustic musings whilst Oscar Laurence and his band of cool calm bad ass young guns i think can safely say blew everyone away in the crowd with their ridiculous musicianship. Admittedly a little rough around the edges but there is nothing better then seeing the brilliance of young musicians playing music they love and honing their craft. I’m sure this will be a name you will see a lot more of over the next 10 years.

A special mention has to go out to Joshua Idehen who has successfully looked over the Poejazzi for many years now. One of the finest hosts around, he always provides his audiences with a fantastic night out and the fact that the crowd was like a who’s who of the Poetry world (GREEdS, Natalie Fiawoo, Alex Gwyther, Simon Mole, Cecilia Knapp, Zia Ahmed, Sean Mahoney, Raymond Antrobus i could go on but you get the idea…) is a testament to the service he and the brand has provided lovers of the art with. The launch of this App is now taking the art form to new places and hopefully the phone and computer screens of poetry lovers around the world.

The app will be available on Android and Apple devices next week get downloading!

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After an amazing 2013 the Poejazzi crew are back with their first event of the year and its a special one as they celebrate the launch of the Poejazzi App. As always you’ll be treated to a mixture of eclectic sounds and goodness featuring electro acoustic folk soul and of course Poetry. Confirmed on the bill Music is Remedy favourite Adam Kammerling plus much much more. More details here

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James Massiah was in action this week at Poejazzi and as usual he brought his visual team with me and as always they caught some footage of the great man in action. It was a truly brilliant performance that you need to watch a couple of times to really appreciate! Sit back and enjoy!

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Big fan of the work of Musa Okwonga and last week he dropped some new visuals for his latest project The Kings Will where he combines his poetic genius with producer Giles electronic beats. The results as you can hear are quality and Naomi Gilbert has come up with some funny fitting visuals to tell the tale of the track. The guys launch the project at the next Poejazzi next month get your tickets here.

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The Spoken Word/Poetry scene is on fire in London town. Long running events like One Taste and Poetry & Motion and Lyrical geniuses like David J and Polar Bear have helped a scene evolve and grow. Nurturing new wordsmiths, inspiring new events into life and allowing the genre to mix and play with its brothers HipHop and Soul. The emergence of nights like Writers Block, Rum Punch and Chill Pill and artists with hunger ambition and quality like G.R.E.E.D.S, Holly McNish and Deanna Rodger have pushed the artform to new heights and audiences.

Poejazzi is a night that has been at the forefront of this scene for sometime now. Their mission this year was to make 2010 The Year Of The Poet and they have been working hard to make that a reality. Already this year they’ve had shows at The Camden Crawl, Days of Decadence and Royal Festival to name a few. Last Thursday was the highlight of the year so far as they sold out The E4 Udderbelly on The Southbank providing a crowd of 400+ peeps an evening they wouldn’t be forgetting anytime soon!

Lail Arid acted as host for the evening performing songs before introducing each act. She had a friendly, quirky nice style warming the crowd nicely and getting a smile out of everyone when she did her cover Salt & Pepper’s “Lets Talk About Sex”… jokes!

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The show however really kicked off when organisers Josh and Musa hit the stage with their band Benin City. A mad mesh of Soul/Funk/Afrobeat provides a perfect backbeat for their lyrical tales of life in the capital and those that climb the ladder searching for happiness and the struggle of the creative minds searching for something else in life. The set was brilliant the horn Section brought it all to life whilst the Drums and Bass held it all together. Josh and Musa were on top form working all sides of the stage and crowd. Dancing and prancing around even fitting costume changes! Backing them immaculately on BVs was Belinda Zhawi. They set the tone for what was to come…
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Second half of the show featured one of the scenes hero’s. An artist who has grown with the scene and inspired many, his manipulation and delivery of words leaves me in a daze and awe of his skills. Inua Ellams as always did not disappoint. A genius and modern day Shakespeare his words left me looking at the homeless and stars on a different light completely.

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Headlining the night Yungun kept the level of quality high and produced a set approving his headline status. The band brought colour and energy to his rhymes. Lyrically dude had a lot to say and delivered with intelligence and swagger building a great rapport with a crowd that probably knew little about him. His performance renewed my lost hope in UK HipHop leaving me feeling that there are quality artists out there with strong beats and serious song content, they just need a platform like the one Yungun was provided with that evening and boy did he make the most of it! I’m sure he gained more then just one new fan that night.

All in all it was quite an amazing night. Taking a spoken word out of a bar/ venue and into a fully seated sold out venue backed by E4…. now thats what i call pushing things FORWARD! Year of the Poet indeed… bravo!

All pictures taken by Craig Thomas

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Recording taken from the E4 Uderbelly last summer of the guys who claim that 2010 is the year of the poet and they may well be right! This is my personal favourite track from their debut EP and is just so funny and on point can’t nobody deliver like Joshua… YOU KNOW THE BEAT SOUNDS NICE!!! Catch these guys at the Roundhouse on Tuesday March 2nd for some great performances and more of their crazy antics!!!

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