Archives for posts with tag: Hip Hop

So, my old friends. It’s been a little while. The past few weeks I have been lucky enough to receive the support of the BBC. I’m truly grateful that a prestigious organisation has taken interest in my work. Here’s some of what’s been going on:

Interview on Yasser’s show:

Cynikal_BBC_Asian_Network Cynikal_Yasser

Listen back:

Watch the video: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p016wfz5

Live Lounge: 

Cynikal_Live_Lounge Cynikal_BBC_Live_Lounge

Maida Vale (BBC Introducing Masterclass)

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BBC Asian Network - On The Scene In 2013

Earlier this month, I was named on the official BBC Asian Network ‘On The Scene In 2013’ list. They have selected 8 artists who they feel will be doing big things in 2013, and thankfully I’ve been chosen as one of them.

Thanks so much to the BBC for supporting me, especially DJs Yasser, Kan D Man and Limelight. Shouts out to CJ Beatz, Ally McCrae and Jen Long for giving me my chance on Radio 1 and 1Xtra too.

Finally, a big thank you to everyone on my team, my family, my friends and my fans, who’ve ALL made this possible, and congratulations to the other artists.

2013, let’s go!

Performing on NYE was a really exciting experience. My friend told me the way you welcome the New Year is the way the rest of it will continue. I sure hope so!

Here’s some footage of pre-gig soundcheck with a brand new setup, where Samson Jatto is playing electronic drumkit and samples, Ryan Robinson on guitar and Chloe Blackwell on backing vocals.

Song title: Jim Beam. Taken from the Breakfast mixtape, which can be downloaded via http://cynikal.bandcamp.com

It’s been 6 months since my debut mixtape ‘Breakfast’ dropped. Just want to say a big thank you to EVERYONE who has downloaded, blogged, published and supported.

We managed to garner features from some of the biggest publications, radio and TV stations in the country, something I am extremely grateful for.

But in all honesty, the key thing was being able to deliver an honest snapshot of my thoughts and feelings in recent times, and to have people appreciate it.

Thank you for listening. On to the next one!

 

Initially, my family were not supportive of my musical endeavours. I had to win their respect, and in due time they allowed me to pursue something I was clearly so passionate about.

Two years ago (November 2010), I proudly graduated from Leeds College of Music with first class Honours in BA Music Production. The University invited me to perform at the graduation ceremony, as I was joined on stage by my compadres, The Street Orchestra.

As far as Hip Hop goes, I don’t know if this is something a rapper has done before, but regardless, this achievement will always stand tall in my memory, as that day, I defied whatever stereotype there is of a Hip Hop artist, and that is something I will continue to do throughout my career.

My Olympic Pass

“I have my artist pass for the Olympics – It’s somewhat surreal, especially because I was born in East Ham, and I grew up just down the road in Ilford. The old East End heritage played a massive role in sculpting the capital’s history, but that era has gone and a new one has arrived. I just didn’t think it would be in my lifetime.”

In the Zone

Being back at One Mic for what must be the third or fourth time was such a great experience, especially as two of my friends (Skillit and Khalaeliah) were also on the bill. The venue, Queen of Hoxton, is always an awesome place to play – the acoustics suit my flavour and the sound-man always manages to strike that delicate balance between the thumping bass of my percussionist and the clarity of my vocals – he’s done a fair few gigs of mine now.

On the night, I performed the track ‘Jim Beam’, taken off my ‘Breakfast’ mixtape for the first time. That was probably the highlight of my set, because I got to play the character I created in the song, and of course bring him to life.

Can’t stress how much fun it was, and how your receptiveness as an audience gave me another precious memory to cherish.

Thank you, and catch you on August 3rd at the next one. My website has all my upcoming performances.

One Mic

Breakfast Mixtape Cover

I’ve purposely left it a while between my last entry and this one. Firstly, I was making up for lost time since spending the best part of four weeks terribly ill; after all, there was the matter of a small mixtape to complete. Secondly, I didn’t want to give too much information away about the tape before it dropped, and for the couple weeks after release, it was important for it to simmer on its own accord. And most importantly, I was fully engrossed in the creative process to the point which nothing else mattered – I hadn’t felt so focussed since I was in my final year at Uni.

Anyway, for those who have the tape already, thanks for downloading, and for those who don’t, you can get here.

If you’d like a bit more information on the process behind the product, have a watch of this interview:

Been so busy handling the promo for the video itself, that I actually couldn’t summon the energy to blog it with my usual bit of prose. But here we are, precisely one week since the visuals dropped, and at least we now have the luxury of hindsight.

I’m very happy with how it turned out – the boys over at PHDLDN (directors) allowed me to incorporate my creative vision to the fullest. I wanted to capture the essence of performance, together with the sense of movement, and partnered with the use of minimal editing, creative camera play and good colour grading. Well, we have that.

It’s a warm up video, and so the key was to not get ahead of ourselves and maintain the middle ground between action and cutting. Seeing as my Exhibit A video worked so well, I thought it would be best to encapsulate some of that guerilla-style production value.

It’s been received well by various media outlets, with bloggers including DJ Semtex, SoulCulture, Hip Hop Chronicle, Yin&Yang, True Tiger and We Plug Good Music for example. The track was also placed on the A-list for a second week over at 107.3 Reprezent FM. I hope there is lots more good news to come, but for now.. lose your balance:

Also, here’s a little bonus, behind the scenes footage which was recorded via my friend Fuzzy Phase‘s mobile. The verse and outro is the actual take we used for the video!

I’m not really certain whether I feel this way because of my nature, or because I should actually be unsatisfied, but either way that’s how I feel. Last night I performed at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club for a third time (thanks to Ruby Sings) – a feat which Hip Hop artists can’t often boast. It was great – great in the sense that for various reasons I had a good time before, during and after, but where I feel void is with my performance. I can do better.

We rocked the crowd, partially down to the brilliance of my band (The Street Orchestra), my amazing backing vocalist (Debbie Aramide), the songs, the overall vibe, and flashes of my better form, but for me that doesn’t mean anything if I don’t leave the stage feeling I performed to at least 90% of my capacity. There’s always that unobtainable-10%-margin down to being human, but I feel like I was a good 10% below that line; for me, that’s not good enough. I’m going to make sure I work harder in rehearsal, and out of rehearsal – the next show will be something.

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