Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of witnessing a moment of true expression and unity down at the Islington Assembly Hall. My first at this praised music venue and also a first to experience a performance by Jay Prince. This East London artist has a sound that is a blend of genres, from hip-hop and jazz, mixed with electronic beats that is firmly rooted in UK production. Which just continues to solidify that rising artists from the UK cannot be boxed in to one genre.
The night started well, with supporting acts Renz, Sam Wise and a short set from DJ Chuckie. Both artists demonstrated what having fun on stage really looks like and was very aware of the impact they were having on the audience. Though clearly different, I think both artists warmed us up in an appropriate way, by truly setting the scene and having us buzzing.
Then comes Jay Prince. Running on stage filled with charismatic energy and dressed in his own merch. He also had support from Kojey Radical, Mahalia and an extremely talented live band. Now Jay Prince is a performer. I know on stage wasn’t just him, but from the first song to the last song, his energy was maintained. He worked well with the whole band to provide a great performance. What I really appreciated was how he manipulated his songs to suit his audience. The variety and dynamic of the show, demonstrated the true thought and intent behind it. An example of this was the flow of the songs. Being a part of the audience became very exciting because we just didn’t know what was going to come next. Whether it was a vocalist solo, or another artist coming out. I felt he kept us on our toes and that spontaneity was received really well.
He performed songs from new EP Wonder, which dropped on the 25th of January. Along with some old classics that fans couldn’t help but sing along to. There was a lot of love on stage and a lot of love from the audience. The love was just there. And for any artist, that would have been the highlight of the night. His diversity, passion and talent as a performer is clear on stage. He is still on his Wonder Tour but already, it’s looking like Jay Prince is on his way to having a momentous 2019.
Stream/Download Jay Prince’s Wonder EP below.
Photography credit: Josh Whittle @whitzdef