So, allow me to set the scene; in a secluded and peaceful garden, hidden somewhere in the colourful East London, lit with pretty lights and oozing with beautiful sounds – you’ll never guess what I saw…
No, not pixies.. No, not fairies.. and no, not outrageous hipsters! I actually saw some seriously soulful talent courtesy of last week’s Art in the Garden event by the Sargeant and Kavuma project.
The evening was a celebration of London’s culture filled with nothing but good vibes. There was musical and poetic talent, a hilarious host and the fact that the event took place in Dalston’s Eastern Curve Garden made the atmosphere that much cooler. As an audience, we could breathe fresh air and enjoy the show from the comfort of cute cushions making the experience unique and unlike anything that I have attended before. There was even a cool sense of community as I bumped into some lovely new people and a few familiar faces. Oh and did I mention that there was BBQ food?! – what more could you ask for?
The chilled outside concert had many artists who were great and so I hand it to everyone who graced the stage. However, with more than a few brilliant performers, I’ve chosen to share with you my favourite acts that seriously stood out.
First up, Mark Mathews, a guitarist and singer/songwriter. His husky voice and distinctive sound mixed indie-pop and a hint of country – a pleasant introduction to the evening. I must also thank Mark for the fact that his catchy song ‘London Lives’ stayed in my head for the duration of the event!
Another favourite of mine was the bubbly Kemi Ade. Her beautiful cover of Jill Scott’s ‘Getting in the Way’ had the audience gripped with every note. Her neo-soul vibes were mesmerising and her scat singing was a bonus to the performance. If this wasn’t enough, the girl came with a soulful switch-up of the old-school classic, ‘Sweet like Chocolate’. I’m a big fan of this lady and no, I am not just being biased because we both have big curly hair! Okay perhaps a little…
The talented Samuel King also honored the stage and though I’d heard some of his poetry before, it was a whole new level seeing him perform live. My favourite piece by him was ‘Smartphone Love’ – a poem that took me back with every ounce of clever wordplay. His delivery embodied everything that I adore in spoken word – creativity, wit and a hint of humour.
Theresa Lola was another memorable part of the night. Though the seriousness of her pieces transformed the previously relaxed feel of the event, it was a welcomed change to your more amusing spoken word pieces. She delivered an intense domestic violence piece with the excellent Russeni of Rhythm of Men. Following this was a powerful poem on dementia. Her pieces had to be applauded for the passion that was put into them.
Another performer who I cannot help but mention goes by the name of Omar TKIF. Omar ..oh Omar. The guy’s voice embodied soul and he stood out as his style was unlike that of anyone else. His soulful singing had everyone listening in awe and had the ladies falling in love.
Last but not least, it feels only appropriate to discuss my favourite performance of the evening and probably the best spoken word artist that I have ever come across, Jolade. As the sun began to set and the atmosphere began to chill, Jolade came to the stage and awakened everyone with a jaw-dropping set. He stood out to me as every sentence of his had meaning and inspiring messages were packed into his words. As you all know, inspiration is basically my middle name and one particular part of the performance that stood out was his simple steps to remember:
- Be yourself
- Love yourself
- Take your time
- Take more time
- Enjoy the journey
- The world is yours
Couldn’t have said it better myself!
Now, guys, as much as I would love to have spoken about everyone that performed, I understand that your attention spans don’t stretch that far (sorry). So, have a look at my snaps from the event, check out the talent and make sure that you’re at the next S & K event!
A massive thank you to the Sargeant and Kavuma project for a memorable evening – a true celebration of London’s culture tucked away in a secluded garden in the heart of East London.