Live Show Review: Nathan Sykes at the Sun Bizarre Gig in London

Nathan Sykes

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Photo Credit: Daniel Jones

While the web allows Grown Folks Music to be anywhere and everywhere, it’s always amazing when we actually have “boots on the ground” in different cities at the same time. This time, we not only had eyes and ears in a different city, but in a different country. Friend to GFM and guest writer, Victoria Clarke, was in the house at the Brooklyn Bowl at the O2 in London for Nathan Sykes‘ Sun Bizarre Gig charity performance for PACT (The Parents Association of Children with Tumours and Leukaemia) on Sunday, May 15, 2016. She graciously wrote this review for us to share with you Growns– because we feel Mr. Sykes is a young vocalist you should know. Read below and enjoy.

The path from boy band member to solo music artist is a notoriously tricky one and is always best approached with caution. How do you set yourself up as an individual artist? How do you win over new fans and ensure you keep your existing ones? And finally, how do you prove all the doubters wrong?

Well, if you’re Nathan Sykes you play an intimate gig in aid of charity at London’s 02 Arena and blow the audience away with your soulful vocals. Any artist will testify that acoustic sets are tough– there is nowhere to hide! However, Sykes took to the stage and performed a 60-minute acoustic set featuring singles from his upcoming debut solo album including “Kiss Me Quick”, “Over and Over Again” and the new release “Give It Up”. In addition, he performed covers of “Stitches” and “Thinking out Loud”.

What made his set unique was each song seem to cover a different musical genre and/or era. From the upbeat and big- band inspired “Kiss Me Quick”, to the ’60s sound of “More Than You’ll Ever Know” and “Famous”, to the early ’90s R&B sound of “Give it Up” (which contains an interpolation Blackstreet’s “Don’t Leave Me”).

A confident and engaging performer, it was clear he had the crowd (myself included) in the palm of his hand. He was clearly humbled by the reaction and had a witty dialogue with the crowd. In a Q & A session following the performance, the singer revealed that his solo album which is due for release later this year, is based on 2 or 3 life experiences and that he worked with producers such as Babyface and Diane Warren.

I am sure Sunday’s gig was only a snapshot into Nathan’s musical ability– he hinted that he would be back on the road with his eight-piece band this year.

If you do get the chance to see this singer, then I advise you to take it! If this man’s voice can make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up in a small venue imagine what he can do in an arena setting.

To find out more about PACT and how you can help click here.

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Listen to “Give It Up” by Nathan Sykes

Standing in the Gap – Project Hygiene & Briclyn Entertainment

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Project Hygiene 9.22 flier

The gap between caring and compassion is closed by doing something. Twin sisters Anshay and Anshia Tull stand between that gap with outstretched arms consistently looking for ways to close it. One way has been the creation of Project Hygiene, a non-profit organization developed to combat bullying by increasing the awareness of health and wellness, as well as access to personal hygiene projects. The organization was launched in 2011 and partnered with various organizations in New York City, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Bowie, Maryland and Washington, D.C., the home of tomorrow night’s “A Night to Give Back” at the famed Howard Theater.

Each Project Hygiene event is coupled with a drive to collect toiletries to be donated to a local youth organization and Sunday’s event isn’t any different as items collected with go to the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center of Washington, D.C. among other sites. Headlining the bill at The Howard is Honor Society, a pop/rock band and Aaron Camper, the electric R&B/pop performer. Also performing will be Ben O’Neill, Holly Would and Marlee in the Mixx. The show will be hosted by Chi Rizzo and music for the night will be handled by 12-year-old DJ Beauty and the Beatz.

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Personally experiencing the effects Breast Cancer has on its victims and families motivated Anshia into action; she’s back at the Howard Theater on October 8th,as her company, Briclyn Entertainment, presents “Pink Alive”, a concert benefitting Breast Cancer and her alma mater Bowie State University’s homecoming. “Pink Alive” is an opportunity for Anshia and Briclyn to not only remember the lives lost to the illness, but celebrate those who continue to fight each day. Those like her aunts, one whose fight ended a few years ago and the other who beats the odds daily as the first African-American female police captain in Wilmington, Delaware. “Pink Alive” reminds us there’s plenty of reason to celebrate, but also miles to go in research and support as we look to eradicate the illness that has affected millions. Among the sponsors for the evening will be Angela’s Hair Salon, who will donate wigs to The Wig Exchange, a Westchester, New York based organization that provides high-quality wigs and various means of support to women undergoing chemotherapy.

An event of this magnitude needed a lineup to match the vastnessof the cause and Briclyn Entertainment put together a cast worthy of the stage; Avery*Sunshine will grace the stage with her dazzling voice and personality, as well the soulful Algebra Blessett and Breast Cancer advocate Q. Parker of 112. Joining that trio will be newcomer and Washington, D.C. native Michelyn Cierra. The events are a homecoming for the Tulls, who though they’ve moved on to Atlanta and New York, were born and bred on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and roots spread all throughout the DMV area.

For additional information on Project Hygiene and a list of items suggested for donation, please visit the organizations’ Facebook page (Facebook.com/ProjectHygiene), Briclyn Entertainment’s homepage (www.briclynent.net) or email the team (info@briclynent.net). Briclyn’s Homepage is also where you can find additional information for the 1st Annual Pink Alive concert and tickets for both events can be purchased at www.TheHowardTheatre.com.