WITH A quarter of proceeds from downloads of U Got Jokes Volume 8 going towards charity Inside Success, Life & Style caught up with Eddie Kadi to talk about why it was important that he uses his craft to continue to pay it forward.
U Got Jokes, a comedy brand founded in Luton in 2005, by a group of friends at university, brings together the legends and new talent in urban stand up comedy.
Co-founder David Sonowo, who also runs social enterprise Inside Success, said the aim was to be the UK’s answers to Def Jam comedy, creating a platform to showcase tomorrows UK comedic talent.
“We consider ourselves to be ambassadors of UK urban stand-up comedy and culture,” he enthused.
Inside Success has helped many young adults by giving them the tools to succeed from entrepreneurial opportunities to the entertainment industry. Over the years U Got Jokes has grown rapidly, spreading through many comic venues in and around London.
The collective have sold out in numerous venues and theatres, including The London Palladium, Hackney Empire, Catford Theatre and Indigo2.
Excited to fuse his talent for making people laugh with a laudable social cause Kadi said he was at a stage in his life where he felt even more responsible than ever to create opportunities for the youngsters in Britain’s black communities.
Life & Style: U Got Jokes Volume has been released and is available for your fans to go and cop – you must be happy there’s another one…
Eddie Kadi: One thing that is for sure is that the brand has been going on for a while, a long while. We have to remember this started off from the DVD days. Now we are at a stage where the new technology has taken over, Amazon Prime, video on demand, to be a part of that is really special.
But to be a part of that with a show that was at the London Palladium, the first urban stand up show, that makes it even more special.
When I was on stage as the host I tapped into my Bruce Forsyth spirit. Those are the type of guys that have stepped onto that stage and we all know the dynamics, we all know the history about certain institutions so it was nice to bring that type of audience top the congestion charge zone, the real congestion charge zone.
L&S: You’re a very experienced comedian – you’ve been there, done it, worn the T-shirt. When you put out a project like this, what’s the ultimate goal?
EK: For me the ultimate goal with this is for people to have access to the scene, that’s the most important thing.
We’re living in a social media era where a lot of comedians are being produced online. Which I think is a good thing, laughter is laughter.
I think whatever the audience requires we provide for the audience. At the same time, though, I am a big fan of live and I think a lot of people are big fans of live.
We’ve had various questions asking about what’s going on with black live comedy, so it’s good to for people to have access to it and for those who may not know that those shows are still going on and probably the most important thing is for people to know that we have some of the best and most talented comedians in the country.
We’ve got people like Slim, we’ve got Kojo with his recent success on Britain’s Got Talent. We’ve got Travis Jay who opened up for Dave Chappelle and we have Babatunde who is one of my favourite comedians ever – it’s a Champions League line up.
It’s about showcasing the best of what we’ve got to those who do not have access to it and you can access this all over the world. Promoting black comedy in the UK is the number one priority.
L&S: Proceeds from this go to the charity Inside Success – talk about that for those who don’t know about it.
EK: I have a child now, I have siblings that are younger than me I understand the meaning of us being role models and making things easier for your younger ones as they grow up. There is a lack of opportunities here.
My brother just finished university, he wants to start working, get some work experience and get into the industry that he wants to work in but it’s not always that easy.
So it’s nice to have people who are older than you, have the experience and who are able to open up a door for you, that’s what Inside Success is all about.
The build a team that provide opportunities for young people to understand the discipline to organise meetings, develop your marketing and you’re overall confidence to go out there and be a part of the workforce, that’s why for me it is hugely important that Inside Success benefits from this.
Download U Got Jokes Volume 8 from amazon.co.uk/video