Our friends at The Bootstrap Company invited PMOI to curate the live music for their annual summer party at Dalston Roof Park, and we were only too happy to oblige. Somehow we managed to blag our musical heroes The Invisible for a DJ set, it was the perfect excuse to invite Denai Moore along to play before she goes stellar (and whose beautiful Saudade EP we’ve had on repeat for 6 months, after PMOI events intern extraordinaire Amina thrust it under my nose), in keeping with the mixed events of the day we have poetry (a first!) from the witty and provocative Musa Okwonga, and a party ain’t a party without a DJ set from NTS Radio’s morning marauder Marshmello.
There will also be lots of other activities on the day – a four storey mural, the launch of the Bootstrap Campus, swing dance lessons in a bunker, a design exhibition, comedy from Hackney’s finest Kojo and various other amusements in and around the Bootstrap Company’s various spaces. Tickets are only £3 but they’re going fast…
If you have an idea, project, event or brand you want to bring to life online but you’re not quite sure how to do it, come along for a free one on one advice session. I’ll be sharing some insights about the power of momentum, how to grow a community instead of “followers”, marketing myths, what makes bloggers blog, the biggest PR pitfalls, strategies that work, and how to tell compelling stories to help you find your way through the mysterious world of marketing. It’s first come first served so please don’t be late and please do bring a pen…
This was our third year at Soundwave Festival in Croatia, and much like a healthy farm occasionally you need a fallow year – which meant we got to concentrate all of our energies on a six hour long beach party with no live stage to worry about.
Having never DJ’d publicly before, apart from the odd guest slot on Marshmello’s morning show on NTS Radio, I was rather nervous, so Jack Prideaux and I knocked out a quick half hour selector set each before bringing in the big guns – a few people came to see what I was playing though, a mixture of tropical, bashment, brass, and some very slutty RnB and hip hop.
Chris P Cuts, who has rapidly become on of my favourite DJs in the last year (you may have heard him covering for Kutmah on NTS , he also DJs for Roots Manuva and Spoek Mathambo) was up first. I’ve never met someone quite so enthusiastic about DJing as Chris – who quite literally and very endearingly – cannot stop talking about it. His set travelled through time and across genres as though neither really existed; he plays old school tunes like he was actually there and weaves it in to totally different new music like it was a sample.
I don’t know if he was joking when he said he’d play a really chilled set, but it never happened, much to my joy and the slight chagrin of the festival organisers (“you guys can just play loads of A Tribe Called Quest and relaxed stuff at your party yeah…”). It wasn’t long before we were all screw facing to Busta’s “Twerk It” and loads of amazing and obscure stuff I will never know the name of.
The legendary Mr Thing arrived from a boat party for our last hour at the beach (which turned in to almost two) to go back to back with Kidkanevil.I was expecting it to get Dilla / Pete Rock / Premo heavy but they just got more hyped on new stuff with loads of bass until we were all in danger of getting permanent Yayo face. They eventually calmed it down to hand over to Tall Black Guy, but not before dropping some serious classics. Our Soundwave beach party is always one of the highlights of my year but this year it seemed even more special – huge thanks to the festival for inviting us, all of those who played, and to our crew for dancing all day.
A few months ago, I was chatting to fellow blogger Kenny Fresh of FRSH SLCTS about the whole blogging thing, and he asked my thoughts on it and where it was all heading. I told him that for me personally, blogging no longer felt like it was enough – I was frustrated by the transient nature of blogging, and the (sometimes) negative impact the more powerful blogs can have on artists. I started blogging because I was an event promoter and music PR who was excited about music and wanted a place to share it with my friends, but it quickly transpired that I had other skills I could use to help the artists I have covered over the years and I still do. That conversation really stayed with me, and over the coming months you can expect to find new PMOI resources and workshops launching – more info on that soon.
There is a big infrastructure gap for many emerging and independent artists – it’s hard to find management and booking agents willing to take you on if you don’t have a label deal almost on the table, so artists end up taking on all of those roles themselves. It’s not easy, and one of the things that can really help with artist development is funding. A couple of grand to help record your EP, make a video, pay a PR company and cover rehearsal space can make a huge difference, but so many people feel unsure or intimidated by the process. I have worked as a fundraiser years ago so I have some experience, but it took the encouragement of my friend Noah to get me to start applying for funding for PMOI. I’ve been lucky enough to receive support from the BBC Performing Arts Fund (though the urban music scheme no longer exists) and most recently the PRS Foundation. I’ve found them to be lovely, knowledgeable, extremely helpful people and I am eternally grateful to them.
I’ve written this guide to encourage other people to apply for funding, but I would also encourage anyone who is thinking of applying but is unsure to get in touch with funding organisations directly and to ask for their advice – they are only too happy to give it.
*Since this post will go live on the eve of the first deadline for the heavily publicized new PRSF Momentum Music Award, I would also add a note about that here. Over 2000 applications have been started for only 8 places in this quarter. I would highly recommend you either wait for the next quarter, or apply to the PRSF Individuals or Women Make Music schemes (for which application numbers are expected to drop), and in addition to the recently simplified Arts Council Grants for the Arts Scheme.
It has been a wonderful run of shows at the Old Queens Head, and it took me right until the last one to work up the courage to ask our secret special guest Andreya Triana to perform, (which is ridiculous because she’s a friend and a lovely human being who seems to be a fan of PMOI Live)! However, watching her grow as an artist and in stature over the last five years has been so exciting and her recent sell out show at the Union Chapel was definitely a landmark, so it was a genuine honour to be blessed with her presence and beautiful performance, which started with a powerful tribute to her mother entitled “Everything You Never Had”, and ended with an incredible beatbox / looped cover of the Eurythmics “Sweet Dreams” after some raucous demands for an encore. A personal highlight was the audience becoming an impromptu choir, helping Andreya take it to church for “Lost Where I Belong”.
I booked Rosie Lowe back in March after her sell out show at the Sebright Arms; I was an instant fan and have been listening to the demo of her EP non-stop this year. I also have a sneaking suspicion that shortly after it’s released (with production by Dave Okumu of The Invisible and Kwes), she’ll be catapulted in to the stratosphere, so I was thrilled when she agreed so far in advance. I had a sneaking suspicion she was slightly nervous before her set, but you would never have known from the confident and masterful performance she gave. The cheering started in the middle of songs – in particular “Ghost” which you can hear at the start of this video. The murmur as I walked through the crowd after the encore they didn’t get was “she’s amazing, and I’ve never heard of her?!”, a testament to Rosie’s talent and the quality of her performance.
We will be back soon, with more exciting live events and the videos from the first half of this year.
You can view the rest of the photos on our Facebook page.