On Wednesday 28th February, Notting Hill Academy of Music held an event showcasing the hottest up and coming artists from within their academy, which all took place at NHAM Nights. On show was a plethora of new and emerging talent. As refreshing as it was diverse, the evening displayed why Notting Hill Academy is renown as a breeding ground for tomorrow’s musical heavy weights. Located at the iconic Notting Hill Arts Club, with past performers including Ed Sheeran, Mark Ronson, Lily Allen and Rita Ora, you wouldn’t be blamed for assuming that in and amongst the night’s line up were our next generation of future stars.
Among those who performed were RIXX, an artist, producer and self proclaimed entrepreneur, who at 25 confesses his ambition to succeed has been driven by an unrelenting creative energy that he channels through his music and design work. Jake Silke, singer/songwriter from south London, whose unique style incorporates soulful vocals with acoustic guitar. NoisyDog, a Lithuanian born rapper and somewhat of a household name back in his homeland, with a number of top 10 hits in the Hip Hop charts, displayed how 10 years spent here in London has influenced both his work and style. Malunga, a vibrant soul-pop artist from east London with a captivating voice and equally interesting back-story, and now artist in residence at ‘The Roundhouse’ showed us why her new single ‘Whispers In The Dark’ has been track listed on Toddla T’s playlist for BBC Radio 1.
Headlining the evening’s event was London born, multi-genre, emerging artist Jacques Fugee, who is best described as out of the ordinary. Jacques’s love for music is as old as he is but it wasn’t until at 12 years old his cousin, a dancer, would throw down to Kanye West’s ‘Heartless’ in the living room, that he truly found his calling. He immediately fell in love with the song and decided he had to find out more about Kanye. It was during this quest to discover Kanye and encountering an artist so truly individual, that Jacques decided he wanted to create his own music. This passion for making music did not go unnoticed, he quickly became the poster boy for all things musical at school and continued to create through A level, all the way to University. Now days, as well as recording, Jacques studies at The Notting Hill Academy of Music, where he is honing his craft in preparation for a career as an artist. As well as music Jacques is heavily into fashion and the arts, believing that the marriage between music and art is symbiotic. On a typical day off Jacques can be found roaming the Saatchi Gallery or shopping at Dover Street Market. He draws on a range of musical influences from the man who got him started, Kanye West to ASAP Rocky, Travis Scott, The Beatles, Frank Ocean and The 1975.
His performance began with his recent collaboration with German DJ and electronic music producer, Loco Dice. This was followed by ‘Polygon Prince’, a collaboration with close friend and producer Rori, who also played the part of DJ of the night, alongside Tobi. The tracks amazing vocals came from another up and coming artist, Leila Lily. True to his originality, he then experimented onstage with a verse from his unreleased song ‘Vampire Shit’, which for me showed a courage and bravery not often seen in such a young artist. He then cleverly followed with the track that he is most known for and quite obviously the crowd’s favourite, ‘Waves’. The climax of his performance had to be the unveiling of his newest song awaiting release, ‘MIA’, produced by Rori and fellow Notting Hill Academy of Music student Zaid. We were given a flash of the type of live performer that can not only engage an audience but is able to get an audience to participate, no small feet for even the most seasoned artists and a sign of true showmanship. Jacques had a hyped up crowd sing back a song they had only just been exposed to! The set ended with a surprise appearance from newly signed Khalil, and a performance of his ‘Finer Things’.
Photos by Leila Brignall