After two months of planning, the first Urban Bash event was held at Academy 2 on the 7th of November. The event was conveyed to raise the profile of up and coming Manchester artists who could possess the ability to become major artists on a national and international level, given the right platforms. Aspiring artists Geko, Shotty Horror and RIO were among the nine performers given the chance to grace the stage as DJ Tim Westwood hosted the event.
Youth workers, DJ’s, promoters and financial investors Sleeping Giants all contributed to the organisation of the event, in an attempt to develop and promote new artists through increased recognition. The group has decades of experience between them and have unified their expertise in order to try and revolutionise the North West scene dramatically.
Marvin English (DJ Silva), who has been integral in the likes of bringing Chip, Wretch 32 and Dizzee Rascal to Manchester, is one of three main organisers of the movement. With expansive relations within the music industry, DJ Silva provides inspiration to young artists involved in the project.
Organiser of Urban Bash events Akemia Minnott, who worked as a youth worker for a decade with fellow organiser Melvyn MacDonald, introduced Silva and Mel to the Sleeping Giants after an encounter with a founder member of the investor group. Akemia told TNT, “Too many young artists are being sharked by unethical agents. Me, Mel and Silva understand that young artists need to maintain their individuality, that’s why we are trying to produce a stage for them to shine on”.
The Urban Bash movement has a deep interest in the development of youth on all levels and at the last event it presented disadvantaged youngsters with the chance to interact with the artists. A small group of children from the Wish Upon a Star Foundation attended the event and were given the opportunity to go backstage and have pictures with the artists. Meanwhile Mancunian rapper Geko recently contacted a young fan in Libya by sending a video of himself with the message, “Stay in education, believe in yourself and you can achieve your goals”.
The Urban Bash event has helped in raising the profile of the artists, with pre-established fans of many artists taking interest in the differing types of music on display. Akemia told TNT that the movement aims to “create a collective and open Manchester, in which local talents and differing musical styles can prevail”.
TNT Entertainment Billy Rooney
Photo credit: Urban Bash