Review: @AbstraktArtists Presents: Natty, Courtney Bennett & @RU1FAM (@NattyMusic)

Camden’s Jazz Café is prob­ably the best live music ven­ue in Lon­don, with it’s intim­ate vibe and great acous­tics it’s per­fect for real music and last week it hos­ted Abstrakt Artists’ latest event fea­tur­ing Court­ney Ben­nett, RU1 Fam and Natty. The col­our­ful Mari­ette Immacu­late, a Lon­don based radio presen­ter and fash­ion blog­ger, hos­ted the even­ing hyp­ing the crowd between acts along with DJ Sean Styles who played some great hip-hop tracks includ­ing 90s clas­sics, all mixed seam­lessly.

Sean Styles

First on stage was Court­ney Ben­nett, a super-tal­en­ted young artist who’s already been a big hit on you­tube and is stead­ily mak­ing a name for her­self on the live scene. She kicked her set off with a smooth mash up cov­er of Drake’s Fur­thest Thing’ and Aaliyah’s ‘One in a Mil­lion’. Not being the biggest Drake fan I was appre­hens­ive when she first announced the cov­er, but I needn’t have been, she gave the song a totally ori­gin­al feel, put­ting her own style on it, as she did with her next song; a cov­er of Sweet Female Attitude’s 90s gar­age anthem ‘Flowers’, which she per­formed in a beau­ti­fully soul­ful style. The rest of her set con­sisted of ori­gin­al tracks includ­ing soon-released debut single ‘Motives’. Through­out her time on stage Court­ney switched between singing and rap­ping seam­lessly and with amaz­ing ease. Her singing voice is car­a­mel-smooth and soul­ful and her rap­ping abil­ity high, play­ing with words, short­en­ing and elong­at­ing syl­lables to fit around the music and cre­ate their own rhythms. Her band, who she told me before the show she had only met on the day, were also incred­ible, really set­ting off the night with a soul­ful tone. Court­ney spoke with the crowd between songs adding an ele­ment of reli­ab­il­ity, which is often lost in live per­form­ance. The set was a per­fect start to the even­ing and show­cased Courtney’s tal­ent, which should see her become a big name over the next few years.

Next on stage was hip-hop col­lect­ive RU1 Fam con­sist­ing of artists includ­ing No Name, MCM, Dan­Jah­Dan, Hunta PRO, Mer­cury, Majic­al and Watusi 87. From the start of the set these guys worked hard on stage, hyp­ing the crowd (‘Put your ones up!’) and cre­at­ing a per­fect vibe. What is really spe­cial about RU1 Fam is the con­nectiv­ity that is clear between the mem­bers, dur­ing the per­form­ance they came togeth­er flaw­lessly, boun­cing off each oth­er, there was a real fam­ily feel to the group and musi­cians.

RU1 Fam

They also show­cased a range of rap­ping styles with some parts hard and lean­ing towards aggress­ive and oth­ers much softer and del­ic­ately handled, this was bril­liant as it gave the crowd everything they wanted and also dis­played the group’s supreme tal­ents well.

RU1 Fam just released EP ‘I Am 1’ and they per­formed songs from this includ­ing ‘Real Life Hip-Hop’ and crowd pleas­er ‘I Am 1’. The flows were flaw­less the whole way through the set, it was great to see this kind of con­scious hip-hop per­formed by such a tight group, there was a real ret­ro feel to the vibe, remin­is­cent of t he golden era of hip hop in the 90s, it was great to exper­i­ence, I highly recom­mend catch­ing RU1 Fam at a live show. This is hip-hop taken back to its roots and the group do it expertly.

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The even­ing was roun­ded off by Natty who per­formed an awe­some set. His voice sounds even bet­ter live than it does on record with a beau­ti­fully thick rich­ness and so much soul. The ven­ue was per­fect and for the sound and the pos­it­ive vibe run­ning through the place was palp­able. A high­light was Natty per­form­ing an acous­tic ver­sion of his hit ‘July’ after people in the crowd shouted requests for it ‘I don’t ever do what people tell me’ replied Natty, ‘but tonight…’ and the crowd loved it. The band and Natty’s acous­tic gui­tar play­ing were fault­less and mar­ried up with his soul­ful voice per­fectly cre­at­ing a beau­ti­ful sound through­out the set.

The whole night was an amaz­ing exper­i­ence, Abstrakt Artists put on a great event with all three acts deliv­er­ing bey­ond neces­sity, all of them cre­ated some­thing beau­ti­ful and spe­cial, and they all did so whil­st main­tain­ing the most pos­it­ive vibe I have felt at a live gig for a long time. This is how live music should be.

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Pho­to­graphy by Rae Smith

Micky Roots

Micky Roots

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Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal

Edit­or / PR Con­sult­ant at No Bounds
Rish­ma Dhali­wal has extens­ive exper­i­ence study­ing and work­ing in the music and media industry. Hav­ing writ­ten a thes­is on how Hip Hop acts as a social move­ment, she has spent years research­ing and con­nect­ing with artists who use the art form as a tool for bring­ing a voice to the voice­less. Cur­rently work­ing in TV, Rish­ma brings her PR and media know­ledge to I am Hip Hop and oth­er pro­jects by No Bounds.

About Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal
Rishma Dhaliwal has extensive experience studying and working in the music and media industry. Having written a thesis on how Hip Hop acts as a social movement, she has spent years researching and connecting with artists who use the art form as a tool for bringing a voice to the voiceless. Currently working in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media knowledge to I am Hip Hop and other projects by No Bounds.

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