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Sound Out: Hoxton Hall presents night of music, dance and poetry from emerging east London talents

PUBLISHED: 12:47 04 March 2019 | UPDATED: 14:19 04 March 2019

Three members of the Hoxton Hall Youth Arts programme are organising the next event, on March 29. Picture: Hoxton Hall.

Three members of the Hoxton Hall Youth Arts programme are organising the next event, on March 29. Picture: Hoxton Hall.

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Ahead of the next event at Hoxton Hall on March 29, we speak to two of the event organisers about how Sound Out puts exciting acts in front of a live audience, sometimes for the first time.

Sound Out gives 12 young musicians, rappers, poets and improv comedians the chance to show their skills. Picture: Hoxton Hall.Sound Out gives 12 young musicians, rappers, poets and improv comedians the chance to show their skills. Picture: Hoxton Hall.

Aaron Appiah-Anderson is one of three young creatives planning Hoxton Hall’s latest Sound Out event.

Together with Ayomide Olaniyan and Isatu Bangura, the trio are responsible for the show on Friday March 29, where up to 12 young performers will take the stage to sing, dance, recite poetry – or do a little of all three – in what is one of the most vibrant and diverse nights on the Hoxton Hall calendar.

It’s a chance to see some super-talented local acts starting out in their careers, and Aaron is quick to assure visitors that the quality of the line-up is taken seriously.

“Sound Out’s ‘call out’ for artists means that only the best voices and the best stage performances make the cut,” he explains, “so it is a night out rather than a showcase where half of your glutes become numb from sitting too long, listening to cats dying onstage with an unwashed cup of watered-down gin.”

Crowds at a previous Sound Out event. Picture: Hoxton Hall.Crowds at a previous Sound Out event. Picture: Hoxton Hall.

So that’s good to know.

Sound Out is open to any artist aged 16 or above and based in east London. While the event itself isn’t new, this latest edition will be the first that has been produced, promoted and programmed entirely by members of Hoxton Hall’s Youth Arts set-up.

Music plays a big part at Sound Out – which runs four times a year – with everything from trap and R&B to grime, folk and alternative rock usually involved.

Co-organiser Ayomide, 22, who lives in Hoxton, says Sound Out is: “to give people the chance to perform on stage, as it’s not easy to get to perform in big places.

“We give upcoming artists (the opportunity) to get that experience; to know what to expect from the industry. We thought: let’s give people the chance and privilege to perform and enjoy themselves. Performance is what we do, and it makes us happy.”

Aaron, Ayomide and Isatu have been working with Hoxton Hall since 2017. It has been their job to narrow down the 30-or-so applicants to a line-up of 12, who will each take a short performing slot on the night. Ayomide says picking the final draft was not easy.

“It’s really hard to pick people because they are so good, they are so talented,” she explains. “I’d say we spent at least three weeks choosing who to pick. We want the line-up to be as diverse as possible – to focus on every genre we can get. There are rappers, singers and spoken-word artists.”

Ayomide, who says working with Aaron and Isatu “has been wonderful”, thinks recruiting the line-up via social media has worked really well.

“We want Sound Out to be serious (in terms of quality), but we also want people to enjoy themselves. For some of these artists, this is the first time they are performing on stage; we want it to be as welcoming an experience as possible.

“We want them to feel loved on stage, if not you have nerves and that could mess up your voice! It’s a night out, but also a chance to network, to meet new people and get to know them.

“I feel if they can tell us what their art means to them and why this chance to perform on stage is important, then we can get a real sense of their passion, and how much they will value the opportunity. It is a pleasure to help these artists get there.”

Sound Out is at Hoxton Hall on Friday March 29, from 7pm. Tickets are £7 (or £5 for cons). For more details, click here.

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