Emerging talent and Street Orchestra Live toured six East London boroughs – all in a day, mind – to launch the 2018 #Artskickers Awards
The whirlwind tour, named the #Artskickers Urban Symphony, brought together some of London’s finest emerging young musicians, grime artists, singers and dancers to collaborate with acclaimed professional musician, Renell Shaw, and Street Orchestra Live, conducted by renowned Dutch musician, Gijs Kramers. Comedian Kat Boyce, who roused the crowds at Barking Town Centre, Westfield Stratford City, Mile End Ecology Pavilion, Dalston Square & Dalston Eastern Curve Garden, Walthamstow Town Centre and Wood Green, accompanied them. The gods must have been smiling because the weather was glorious and the day could not have been better.
As regular readers will know, the #Artskickers Awards is the brainchild of Angie Gough, AKA The Arts Crusader, and was launched in 2017. Angie has now teamed up with Space Embrace Community Interest Company‘s director, Kay Richardson, who is also involved with the Well Street Common Festival. With these two forces of nature at the helm, #Artskickers will surely go from strength to strength.
#Artskickers 2018 Launch Day Superheroes
Renell Shaw, Musical Director
Renell has built an exceptional resume of work in a myriad of musical fields, collaborating, recording and touring alongside artists such as Rudimental, Jess Glynne, Skepta, Maverick Sabre, Aloe Blacc, Nitin Sawhney and Speech Debelle amongst many others. From the age of 13, he’s had stints as a consultant on the creative teams at the Hackney Empire Theatre and London Philharmonic Orchestra and is a passionate believer in the importance of the creative arts for young people. He is a regular and highly respected music mentor for young artists on the Hackney Empire Artist Development Programme and musical director of Alter Ego.
Kat Boyce, MC
Truly a creative force, Kat is the embodiment of the word, ‘entertainer’. His talent and experience spans DJ’ing on Choice FM, Presenting for MTV, stand up comedy, MC stints, Panto, acting, dancing and choreograph
Gijs Kramers, Orchestra Conductor / Musical Director
Gijs (pronounced KHY-SSS) is the leader of Street Orchestra Live (SOL) and has been artistic director and conductor of the Ricciotti Ensemble, Amsterdam. He participated in master classes by Peter Stark in London and conducted in the final of the International Conducting Master class in Pitest, Romania in 2010. He is also principal conductor of string orchestra Metamorphosen and conducted the Nederlands Strijkers Gilde in 2014 and 2015.
Street Orchestra Live
Street Orchestra Live (SOL) plays concerts of flexible duration in public and private spaces, specifically to audiences that would otherwise be unlikely to experience live symphonic music. Performances are free of charge and held in public spaces as well as locations such as hospitals, prisons, schools, transport hubs, libraries or community halls.
Shining the spotlight on four Rising Stars
Spoken word artist Chifa Khelfaoui, 19 lives in Hackney and was last year’s first prize winner for the Alter Ego talent show. An aspiring actress and filmmaker, she has taken part in the Artist Development Programme (ADP) at the Hackney Empire, and her spoken word piece, Decorated Walls was performed at Hackney Live Lounge, a live stream project by Rising Tide and Hackney Live. In addition to her creative pursuits, Chifa enjoys reading, socialising, and sports of all kinds and is a keen Real Madrid fan. Chifa is currently studying Performing Arts (BTEC) at City and Islington College. Follow Chifa on Instagram: @chifa.k
Spoken Word Artist Di-Andre Ebanks-Silvera, 18, lives in Hackney and is the CEO of 1st Verse Music. Di-Andre won first prize in the Alter Ego talent show at the age of 13 for his spoken word performance, Dear You Recognising his innate talent for communication, a (very smart) primary school teacher put him on the debating team, planting the seed for an interest in a law career. Di-Andre is currently studying Sociology, History and Politics at Wanstead High and recently produced and performed Making of a King to a sold out audience at Islington’s Platform Theatre. Follow Di-Andre on Instagram: @1stvrsmusic
Singer Princess Olowogboye, 19, lives in Barking and won second place in last year’s Alter Ego talent show with Vocal Collective Urban Flames. She says a highlight of the experience was that all the contestants were so supportive of one another. A natural performer, she began singing in a choir while in primary school and later featured in her secondary school’s production of We Will Rock You as well as performing with Urban Flames at The Royal Albert Hall. Currently studying Drama at Kingston University, Princess enjoys song writing, singing, performing and cooking and is considering becoming a drama teacher in future.
Rapper Will Jones, 16, lives in Haringey and is currently preparing for his GCSEs. He has earned a place at
Bodens College of Performing Arts for the coming year where he will be studying Performing Arts (BTEC). Future plans include an aspiration to attend RADA. Will has taken part in productions at the Royal Court Theatre and the Haringey Shed and counts his Mum as his greatest inspiration. He’s been an ambassador for youth theatre, as well as volunteering with SEN children and he’s also a member of the Navy Sea Cadets and has taken part in the NCS Challenge.
Follow Will on Instagram: @chuckystar_
Images courtesy of Ash Knotek. © Ash Knotek