UNLEASHED – through the eyes of Rising Star in Journalism, Estrella Mabika

Fresh, rich, raw and any other words that makes it sound like I’m talking about meat.

This year’s Music Potential UNLEASHED was at an all time high with talent coming from London, Birmingham and Belfast. The show at Camden’s KOKO was the culmination of Capital XTRA’s Music Potential 2018. The acts gave it their all – consisting of soloists, duets and groups, with not one disappointing performance and all unique.

The first act of the night was Reeceyboi, the winner of Jay London’s Christmas competition with his track ‘Tellin’ Me’. He definitely opened the show with a bang and dance moves only he could pull off! Next up, ‘Bad Gyal’ Neisha took the stage with her catchy lyrics and Lauryn Hill vibes – not just down to her sample of the American singer’s ‘Doo-wop (That Thing)” which had the crowd singing along. Following Neisha was one of my favourite acts of the night Ben Goodwin, he performed an acoustic set that enchanted the entire venue, there was a collective shock from the audience at his amazing vocals when he began singing and the falsetto note he hit at the end had girls in the audience clutching at their imaginary pearls.


Ben Goodwin stunned us all with ‘Oceans’
Photography: Isha Shah

The night flowed on; Ayy with their old school/alternative track “Hail Mary”, Conor and Jonny – the first duet of the night with their beautifully written love song which sounded like it’d been pulled right out of a film, KOKO – the only group of the night with their eclectic blend of voices. Then – after a quick DJ set from Jamo Beatz – our first ambassador performance from M.O, who shut the place down with their covers and finally their smash hit ‘Bad Vibe’.

After M.O’s performance, we were introduced to the big personality that was Nujax. His confidence filled the veune and his message at the end, telling us how he’d been in prison the year before and was now performing at KOKO a year later courtesy of Capital XTRA was a real advocate for the programme. We had our second duet afterwards with Rebekah and Chris, full of passion which was written all over their faces. Nina Fine and her smooth, sultry voice followed on from the duo, featuring rapper Phoen!x Tha Rude Boii who had already performed on stage as part of the group, also called KOKO.

Okeam Briscoe (pictured below) – Oh. My. God. His voice. He gave me all the feels. His song reminded of 90’s RnB, when men weren’t afraid to pour all their feelings into a song, definitely my favourite of the night. Our final duet: Dyrti San & Skyrrpt, the first and only pure rappers of the night.

My favourite performance of the night, Okeam poured his heart out with ‘The Love Trend’
Photography: Isha Shah

I would say Alice La was the most different from all the other acts with her electronic track and strong vocals. She definitely made the audience stand up and take notice of her!

Alice La mixed it up with ‘Swipe Right’, available now on Spotify
Photography: Isha Shah

Last but definitely not least, was Ruth Brown a.k.a The Voice (sorry, Whitney). Her voice is phenomenal, I watched her on The Voice UK and I am so glad she is still doing music! Her performance of original song, ‘I won’t complain’ took the roof off KOKO. Her voice is magnificent, if the audience wasn’t already standing she would’ve hands down received a standing ovation. And finally, Hackney born and bred Not3s took to the stage and KILLED IT.

My top 5 performances of the night (excluding ambassadors):

  1. Okeam Briscoe
  2. Ruth Brown
  3. Reeceyboi
  4. Ben Goodwin
  5. Conor and Jonny

The night was a complete success, everyone involved with creating the show should be extremely proud of themselves. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, no doubt my snapchat viewers did too…