July 31, 2012 - Peace Mix
With audience filtering in from all directions, a funk band rehearsing upstairs befriended by New Day Foundation, plus full DJ and stage set up, you knew the Yorkshire stop of the Mic Relay tour was going to be a good ‘un.
Cyrus of NDF took on compere duties once more, as Future Arts music expert, MC and hip hop producer J.Bravo began by introducing what he does for Future’s Fusion music programme and his work with Emerging Talent, before showing off his own bars.
17 year old MC and vocalist Mia was the first to perform – charming the audience with her star quality, smooth flow and spunky tom boy attitude.
Second was the brilliant The Stream Flow. A quartet of MCs aged 15 to 16 years old – with total rhythm, flow and masses of showmanship, each had their own unique voice and personality, a bit of Jurassic 5, a lot of grime, but wholly brilliant. Keep your ears eye out for Swifty, Hitman, Pertz and Mr Kid Mars: Leeds won’t be able to keep these four to itself for long.
Next up was 21 year old Ricky Fleming, who’s acoustic pop was a total pleasant surprise. A little bit Ed Sheeran with a big dose of Bob Marley, Ricky‘s songs are heartfelt and classic, played with complete integrity and softly sung, warm vocals. Playing two of his own songs, some of the judges were already whispering “He’s amazing” and this was just third second act of the evening.
A complete contrast, next up were Holly Water and Luigi: a young grime duo with Holly’s empowered, gutsy vocals weaving between Luigi’s cheeky rhymes. Look out for their super catchy, hook-filled tune Riots In The Streets going viral soon.
Donika Hamilton was the last to play the Leeds event of the Peace Mix Mic Relay – who, despite some nasty microphone feedback issues, pulled off a soothing, sweet soul filled set.
With the judges deliberating, NDF poet and the father of the Peace Mix idea, YT took to the stage for an incredibly powerful acapella performance – showing how his stage presence is getting better at each stop.
Leeds was awesome, with a mixed bag of awesome talent. But there can be just one winner – and for Yorkshire this was to be lovely Ricky Fleming, who’s guitar playing, songwriting and perfect vocal skills won the judges over. Congratulations!
Mega thanks to all the fantastic acts who made Leeds such a special stop – and all those behind the scenes at Future Arts for making it happen. See you in Cornwall!