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Positive vibrations: GRRRL deliver a vitalizing performance in Hoxton

PUBLISHED: 12:58 25 August 2017 | UPDATED: 13:24 25 August 2017

All proceeds from the night went to In Place of War who work to support artists in sites of conflict. Picture: Graham Turner

All proceeds from the night went to In Place of War who work to support artists in sites of conflict. Picture: Graham Turner

Archant

Global collaboration GRRRL got all of Hackney’s groove on in Folklore last night

GRRRL Live features Speech Debelle, winner of the 2009 Mercury Prize for Speech Therapy, alongside musical talent from all over the world. Picture: Graham Turner GRRRL Live features Speech Debelle, winner of the 2009 Mercury Prize for Speech Therapy, alongside musical talent from all over the world. Picture: Graham Turner

Last night Hoxton’s Folklore played host to In Place of War with their latest venture, GRRRL. Billed as a fusion of styles as varied as ghetto bass and dancehall, reggae and electronica, and soul and dark techno, it was difficult to know what to expect from the all-female group’s second London performance.

Led by Brazilian director, Laima Leyton of Mixhell and Soulwax, the group included voices from all over the globe. Stand out performances came from Ghanaian Noella Wiyaala who combined English with her native dialects. Brazilian dancehall vocalist Lei Di Dai provided the audience with a rousing mix of low-pitched growls and fast-paced outbursts.

Also delivering an enigmatic combination of traditional Bangladeshi vocals with an electro-pop beat laid down by Henrietta Smith-Rolla on the decks was Sohini Alam. Slick rapping came from Zimbabwe’s AWA Khiwe, whilst Capte Town’s Nono Nkoane handled her voice with composure. Fellow band members include DJ Mabe Chacín hailing from Caracas, and Mercury Prize winner Speech Debelle.

Despite the varied styles of the artists, the overall sound was one of overwhelming positivity, reflected in the repetitive lyrical motif of “positive vibrations.” Their collaborative sound was empowered creativity and their support of one another’s talents.

GRRRL’s unique success was not only in delivering an energetic performance that lasted just under an hour with no pause for breath, but in emboldening the audience to “do what you want, get your groove on,” in life as much as on the dancefloor. Their cultural collaboration celebrated the boundless power of sound when a group of confident and talented women are brought together from across the globe.

The night ran well into the small hours, with DJ sets from Paranoid London, Mixhell, Mamiko Motto, Tasty Lopez, Thomas Pardhy and B’N’B. All proceeds from the night went to In Place of War that supports artists and starting dialogue through creativity in places of conflict. GRRRL’s tracks will be available to buy after the tour closes on September 2.

GRRRL and In Place of War delivered an exceptional performance and project from an indisputably talented group of inspiring women.

5 Stars

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