Monday 5th March 2012, Sky channel 199 at 10pm
Whatever you do, do not make any other plans! For Repdat, in association with OHtv, will be showcasing the hottest, UK Urban talent to break through the barriers of 2012.
Filmed exclusively at the luxurious Kempinska club in London, 9 artists competed in 3 genres, Reggae, Rap and RnB to be crowned the OneMic winner. Winning the coveted prize of a 6 hour studio session with Unit 10 Recordings and a music video produced by Jimmy Chiba!
Guest Judges, Maria Kempinska (club owner & founder of Jongleurs comedy club), Tippa Irie (80’s reggae legend), Lady Lush (a rap artist who toured with Lady Gaga) and Solomon Penumuchi (an A&R scout for Sony/BMG) all had a hard time determining the winners. It’s a wonder the fire crew weren’t called out with all the talent that set the stage ablaze.
Lil Miss Sunrize was the first act to kickstart the Reggae Category. A feisty lady who lit up the stage with her presence and feel good tune – “You make me want to be in the sunshine listening to you…you make me feel good!” remarked Judge Maria.
Next to follow in the same category came the mighty Askala overflowing with confidence and full of acappella praise to Jah. Her strong vocals, stage presence and catchy hook “put jah first” had the judges and audience alike bobbing their heads along. One judge however, Tippa Irie, caused a stir when he commented on Askala’s dress sense “the way you look is not doing anything for me” he later went on to add that his fellow female judges (Kempinska & Lush) “will take you shopping” a comment that sent ripples of hisses and cussing throughout the audience. Judge Solomon however came to Askala’s rescue by saying that he really liked her image and thought it was cool.
Reddman UK was the final Reggae artist to grace the stage and he OWNED it! Full of character and with a song you couldn’t help but dance to, Reddman UK was in control and loving every second of his time on stage, even judge Lady Lush had to congratulate him, “You had a lot of energy” she gasped. “You looked cool and was cool” said Maria. Judge Solomon added that he “loved the track” and thought it would “do well on radio and in clubs“. Reddman UK later disclosed that his track was already being played by Choicefm…
The second bout of heavyweights were the Rap contenders. Here the judges were “looking for someone unique” someone that would light up the room – cue the entrance of Bhype! With his tongue in cheek lyrics, charisma and swagger to match, Bhype tore up the stage and sent the crowd into a frenzy when he performed “Heels and Handbags”. All four judges had nothing but praise for him “I’m finding it difficult to find something negative” commented Maria, even Tippa Irie (the Simon Cowell of the judges) remarked that he “liked the hype, the swagger!”
But just when you thought Bhype had it in the bag, up stepped Fdot1 with his remake of a classic Rose Royce hit “Love don’t live here anymore”. Looking like he had just electrocuted himself, the energy that he flung out in his lyrical content onto the judges and the crowd, wowed everyone. Working both the stage and the floor, Fdot1’s presence alone could light up a darkened room. “You remind me of Bone Thugs & Harmony…” declared Lady Lush “you kept everyone involved!”
So what could third contender Smartz bring to the ring that the other two hadn’t? Bhype rapped about the fine ladies and the amount of ‘swagger in his balls’, while “Fdot1” spat lyrics about being played but Smartz, being true to his name, gave the crowd and judges realness in a thought provoking track about his “darkest days” even judge Maria said that she could relate to that, “I absolutely loved the song and I think we’ve all been there and had our darkest days.” This round was a hard one for the judges to decide on…
Opening up the final round in the RnB/Soul category was Davinia. With her song about how she couldn’t get enough of a guy – sung with perhaps just a little too much sensuality (I couldn’t catch much of the verses only the hook) but from her body language it sure seemed like a song for late nights by the fireside. While the judges were impressed they did feel that they wanted more from her and each gave positive feedback.
Following Davinia was Deja (who incidently wasn’t billed to compete but did so as someone dropped out) his shy, nervousness made me want to wrap him up in my arms but it was me who melted when he sang the opening bars to his song “Fall”. If there was a song that you wanted a man to sing to you on Valentines Day – this would be it! The clarity of his voice, against the accompanying guitar, beautiful lyrics and his whole persona pulled at heartstrings throughout the audience. Speaking of his performance, Lady Lush said that he had a “versatile voice that can do other styles of music and that’s rare.” Solomon too commented on his versatility and song which was in his words “Simple but nice (with) heartfelt lyrics” Maria added that he looked great and that she couldn’t wait to see him perform more, while Tippa said that Deja had a great future.
Ending the battle was Andrea Galaxy with her song “Sweetest Sin”. But this wasn’t any old love song, it was a dark and heavy track which Andrea pulled off with her equally powerful voice. This song could easily make the transition into the charts and would do very well, the production was fantastic. The only constructive critism the judges had was that she needed to own the stage but otherwise they were highly impressed.
So with all the judges again being so full of praise – how could they possibly choose a winner?? to find out that answer you need to tune in to OHtv, Sky channel 199 on 5/3/12 @ 10pm!