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This is Brukout! Seani B reflects on the growth of the brand

CREW: From left - Seani B alongside E. Mak and Big Zeeks, who are blowing up the airwaves with their track 'Yo'

REGULAR READERS of this column will have heard me mention that as well as sharing my thoughts and insights with you via The Voice, we also have a few other arms of activity at BrukOut HQ.

August signifies a pivotal period for us. A couple of weeks ago we presented the first in what we hope will be an annual showcased called 'Dancehall BrukOut Live'. As well as a host of very-well received support acts, the main act was Masicka, and his star shone brightly. He had proclaimed in this very column that London was his place, and he proved that to be the case with a dazzling 45 minutes set including all of his hits. I was particularly impressed with his very obvious warm rapport with the audience, his work ethic, and general mannerisms. I predict a very bright future for him.

Staying on the live front, I had the pleasure of bringing BrukOut to one of the most spectacular festivals in the UK. Boardmasters is set in Cornwall (sea, sand and surf and all that!), and we teamed up with our friends at House Of Marley for a six-hour spectacular. The rain couldn’t stop us, and we definitely brought the dancehall vibes to the coast. Big up my sister Melody Kane for representing alongside me.

Our monthly club night at Notting Hill Arts Club in London has just celebrated its first anniversary – doesn’t time fly?! It feels like only yesterday that doing a monthly night was an idea around the table in the office, and now we are a year old! Big up all of those that have come and been part of the journey so far, and a massive 'welcome' to those who have just caught-up on the BrukOut vibe.


ONE TO WATCH: BrukOut artist Alicai Harley

Last week saw the debut release on the label element of BrukOut. Alicai Harley is a 20 year-old south Londoner whose single Gold is doing big things at the moment. It was included in the influential Spotify UK ‘New Music Friday” playlist when it was released last week. Already being championed by MistaJam, DJ Target, Ras Kwame and Smooth Fuego in Birmingham, this track is something we are so excited about. Alicai is an incredible talent, and from the first time I heard her work I felt she could become a big deal. She was born in Jamaica and came here in 2002, and her ability to write and perform is admirable and something that will just get better and better.

The second release on BrukOut is from a pair from west London. E-Mak and Zeeks. The track is called Yo and it has become something of an anthem in the last few months. I have seen the reaction to the track for myself up and down the country, and we think we have something special on our hands here!

So in true Superman fashion I took off my Clark Kent label boss outfit and changed into reporter mode. I asked E Mak how the tune came about.

“I originally started Yo in 2015 with producer Sunny Kale. It stayed on my hard drive until recently when I listened to it again and thought that Zeeks would sound good on it. He wasn’t very active as an artist at the time but I knew he could sound crazy on it! We stayed in the studio all day and made different choruses but none of them really worked for us. After a while Zeeks started to freestyle and we found the Yo hook. The rest was easy.”

It’s really good to see the pair of them in tandem and working off each other, particularly live. I asked how the hook up came about.

“I’m from Hayes and Zeeks is from Harlesden in north west London. We both come from Jamaican backgrounds. I met Zeeks through a friend who is an engineer (as am I). I used to record him in the 6 Figure Music studios and we got on from the start”, he says.

“We both make authentic, honest music. Whatever the sonic sound, whatever the subject, I’m trying to stay in my lane and maintain authenticity.”

I’m very struck by the humility, down to earth nature and thought that he has to his music and his life. Both young men are incredibly talented but possess a great hunger and desire to success by doing it the right way.

“My family are my inspiration”, he tells me.

“No matter what I see or hear, nothing affects me like real life and the experiences of my family. Musically my range goes from Alkaline to James Blake, whether sonically or for what they stand for”.

So there you have it. An insight into the world of BrukOut – I hope you can experience it in one way or another in the next few weeks – whether it’s coming down to visit us at Carnival, streaming the records, or just continuing to read our thoughts right here at The Voice.

Thanks for your support so far – onwards and upwards!

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