Beeston (B)Eats

I write this column with minutes to go before I head over to Splendour Festival over at Batman’s crib, Wollaton Hall. I have prepped myself for war with wellies and full on outfit changes for every weather outcome, a bit drastic I know, but as you can tell, this ain’t my first rodeo cowboy. It had only taken a total of 15 minutes to throw together an outfit, leggings check, t-shirt, (in case of miracle, however unlikely), Rain Mac and Hoody for warmth (check). The truth is I may have had more time to prep however I had spent the morning on a vital and massively important mission, namely heading to the Farmers Market to pick up some B.B.C’s, yep that’s Beeston Brownie Company and their little slabs of brownie heaven. The eyes fought it out over the varieties on offer and I walked away clutching a telltale brown bag filled with a Caramac and Salted Caramel treats (I never was any good at picking one choice) stopping myself at the three for £6 offer and managing to leave happy in the fact my addiction hasn’t yet spiraled out of control.

Once home I raided the cupboard for snacks to take as a picnic, if I was a nice person the brownies would have taken place in my rucksack to share amongst friends at the daylong music festival alongside the Rhubarb and Custard creams and Kettle Chips, however I am not, and left them to chill in the fridge safe in the knowledge that I am a greedy adult that doesn’t have to share goodies, more importantly they would sit as a reward for when I eventually made it home.

I arrived at the Splendour gates full of hope, as the sun shone on my face, heading over to the Confetti stage I naively took out my blanket and perched down as Notts Own Do Nothing took to the stage, I should have known I had tempted fate and soon enough the heavens opened leaving the masses to fight for coverage under trees. The merry dance of ‘Quick grab a jacket it is raining!’ to ‘Omg the suns out am sweating ‘happened over the hours like a clothing version of the Hokey Cokey. Luckily the sun finally made an appearance for 90s Britpop act Ash who absolutely killed it performing ‘Burn baby Burn’ and my guilty pleasure ‘Girl from Mars’, The vast majority were present for Mr. Rory Graham otherwise known as Rag N Bone Man, for those in the dark, his deep baritone belted out this smash from 2016-All together now. “I’m only human after all, I’m only human after all, don’t put your blame on meeeeee’.

My love of priest comedy Father Ted introduced me to the band I had come to see, ska supremes The Specials , they quickly pulled out all the stops on an enviable back catalogue (‘A message to you Rudy’, ’Too much Too Young’ and ‘Rat Race’. I was most gutted the set list didn’t include ‘Ghost Town’, if you do not get the reference, stop reading this at once and watch ‘Think Fast Father Ted’. It’s ok I will wait….

The last act on in the disappearing daylight were Welsh rockers Manic Street Preachers, while their brand of political hits didn’t appeal to me ‘Back in the day’ (I was a raver dance head) I heard the music with fresh ears, the anger, the warning in the lyrics contained in “If you tolerate this your children will be next”, maybe back then it was all too feely and deep thinking and didn’t have any horn samples or sped up vocals for my tastes. I couldn’t tell you what they finished with or an encore as usual I had darted out before the masses and was in the fridge with a face full of my cherished brownies and a hot chocolate by half ten (so rock and roll) I was even thoughtful enough to save the partner a bite of one, see I can share!!

Beeston Beats: Purple Rain

Ooooo we have been lucky sausages!! Getting a lush, sneaky peek into what spring holds, and in early Feb too, last year we were ten foot deep in snow (artistic license) and this year the whispers of BBQ bounced around faster than my falling back off the wagon post dryanuary. While in the midst of this cruel mini spurt of glorious sunshine and this issue of the very fine Beestonian being centred around the topic of Outdoors I had a brainwave (yes it does happen occasionally) about beautiful sunshine and beer gardens with fruity cider and hazy afternoon drinking, followed by only just making it home for a slap up Sunday dinner to soak it up, (ya can feel the beautiful summer glow on ya face right now I bet!) I arranged a meet up with a band from the local area, picturing butterflies and nature and a laid back photo shoot by the weir….

In reality though the best laid plans relying on the weather in late Feb early March is incredibly stupid, and my ideas turned as fast as a picnic by Skeggeh beach on a bank holiday. The early spring photo op turned into a lets go to the pub idea and what better pub to head to than the Jolly Anglers, with  Andrew Sully, Ryan Richardson, Aaron Weedon, Chris Atkinson better known as Lilac Grove, the only band to play at the pub since, well maybe ever. The weather was shockingly horrendous as the rain made for a miserable Sunday morning coupled with the fact the night before I had attended a fellow Beestonian’s hen party, (Congratulations are in order by the way as by the time this hits the lucky couple will be sunning themselves on their hunnymooon). So here is a shameless Congrats to Claire and Mike J.

Anyhoo back to the job in hand as it were, one half of the band turn up bang on time and we exchange hi and heys in the dreary car park as we wait for the pub to open (I mean rest of the band). Despite being horrendous (I did mention that didn’t I?) the lads are in high spirits as we have a very chilled out interview style over a few pints of Pepsi and not so Pepsi.

The bands namesake Lilac grove, being the road that connects Meadow to Humber Road and is home to various foods, floor and maintenance companies so why pick that name? The band says they had a few different names in the hat and that one stuck (although they didn’t elaborate which ones fell to the wayside). They all naturally passed the How Beeston are you test, with talk of favourite hang outs of The Berliner and Hop Pole, coincidentally two of the venues also to host the band via the Micks music Festival and the annual must for music lovers Oxjam. Their previous gig at The Jolly Angler (also  have you ever seen a jolly angler? Like ever?), Became a thing as Lilacite? Aaron and his dad are regulars int’ pub while he’s not playing for the casuals. In fact the band are so Beeston Andrew mentions that he went to school with  Nactus Kunan (the last band I interviewed way back in issue 59). We randomly talk about music and mainly being influenced by Arctic Monkeys  and how much they enjoyed their gig in Feb and looking forward to their return on March 29th. I would love to tell you more of their set but as Pete Doherty very rudely delayed me getting back to this neck of the woods as he was exceptionally late on stage on the same night I only managed to catch their last track.  No need to panic though as they return at the Berliner on 5th May, Hop Pole 24th May and 7th Sep at the crown. I can tell you that the pub was very busy and full of new faces I hadn’t seen before it was obviously a successful night as they have been invited back so quickly. News in the pipeline includes recording over at eleven in Long Eaton (the former silver prize band) a brand spanking debut E.P for release in May. So get down and support some local lads and the pub music scene, go on ya know ya wannna!!!

LD

Beeston Beats: Das Schuhzimmer

If das Schu fits

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By Lulu Davenport.

Why hello January, where on earth did you come from? The festivities have gone and left most of us skint, over indulged and with failed New Year’s resolutions falling as fast as they were made.  Currently i am on day 20 of the highly controversial Dry January, Shhhh it’s a secret!  to make matters worse i have been offered a free shot by a barman (has anyone ever heard of this before?) been baked a boozy cointreau cake and won, yes actually won for the first time in my life A HAMPER FULL OF CIDER!! As these goodies taunt me and very quietly call my name i am safe in the knowledge that December i blitzed it properly.

I feel like i have failed in bringing the latest in Entertainment news to these pages, My head hangs in shame as i heard a new shiny bar had opened way back on November 16th and it took a whole month for the news to filter down to my ears (maybe they were filled with tinsel), even worse a friend had visited before me, shock! Horror!  I feel i have let everyone reading this down… but not for long, i herded up some friends (it’s easy to lure people out when it’s December) and sprinted ok, maybe waddled, to the newest bar on the circuit.

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Located next door to the Berliner, Das Schuhzimmer (meaning the shoe room) is the newest addition to the high road run that has seen the Gin bar, Berliner and totally tapped, pop up to offer Beestonites, Calpol shots, Espresso martinis, experimental stouts and ales by Totally brewed and many varieties of gin, it’s amazing anyone ever makes it into Beeston town centre. For those who have been to boilermaker in Nottingham and Washhouse in Manchester, Das Shu is a bar masquerading as something else.

I managed to catch up with manager James Thomas a thoroughly lovely chap who also runs the Berliner.

Hi and welcome to beeston beats, what is Das Schuhzimmer exactly?

Das Schuhzimmer is a speakeasy cocktail bar, using high quality ingredients and unique flavours. Most cocktails on our menu are our own creations.

What was your inspiration?

People in Beeston have wanted a shoe shop for a very long time, my Granddad used to run a Shoe Shop ‘Rose Shoes’ in Beeston years ago, so i took the opportunity to build Beestons first secret bar, to play on people’s hopes up for a shoe shop, but also to create a great addition to Beestons nightlife.

How is Das different to The Berliner?

Being in Berlin inspired me to open The Berliner, so i wanted to continue a bit of a German theme with the name, but it has a very different atmosphere and feel. It’s all table service, and it’s quite chilled, compared with Berliner, where we might have a live band on or more of a ‘party’ atmosphere on weekends.

What does Das Schu bring to Beeston?

Beestons nightlife is already fantastic, but I’d recommend DS as a nice cocktail bar to go to on date nights, without the need to go into town. It’s something different to bring your friends to and the cocktails we’ve created really are special.

If you were a shoe which style would you be?

Good question, probably a pair of Loake Brogues – good quality and stylish.

What is the future for Schuhzimmer?

People of Beeston have also wanted a cinema for a while, so we’re running a cinema night (Tipsy Cinema Club) every Wednesday from February in DS, ticket only and all films can be found on our Facebook Page.

Thanks James i shall be in to sample more cocktails when the dreaded Dryanuary is over, make mine a triple!  In other news, i have found a sign bearing my namesake hanging high up in the Victoria hotel, it’s the only one i have ever seen from Davenports beers, apparently there was a jingle ‘Beer at home means Davenports!”  In a completely unrelated ad -Wanted tall person with own tool kit must have an alibi ready. Anyhoo am off theres plenty more adventures to be had, see you next time me hearty’s!

LD

Beeston Beats at the BOO-at and Horses

Arghhhhh it’s upon us!! Theres no hiding now! Christmas has well and truly landed, and as you feast (…of Stephen…) your gaze over this mighty fine publication (doesn’t it look shiny and awesome?), the festive season will have invaded homes along with trees, tinsel, relentless adverts, good will (dunno who he is) and glitter, o so much glitter!! Then there’s the music and Michael Buble…don’t even get me started….

However nestled in-between the long hazy days of summer and the impending stress inducing retail Holiday shop was a lovely time of year I particularly like Autumn, with its cosy nights in, pretty fireworks and more importantly Halloween, the only time of year I can say the bags under my eyes are part of my outfit, there’s also the parties and one in particular caught my eye over in‘t Rylands at the Boat and Horses on Trent road, the first special steampunk spook-tacular social event (now say that after an eggnog) to be held on Saturday 27th October.

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Having changed hands quite a few times in the last few years, B+H has recently has a sexy new refit widening its appeal with real ales and gins. Being a keen steampunk enthusiast, I headed over, dressed to kill in a basque, long flowing dress and loads of fake blood and of course goggles. ‘Boat had really taken a lot of time decorating every spare space with creepy ornaments, and even hiring a few zombies to terrify bystanders. Set up in the function room was the stalls with all things steampunky from creations, hats, clothing and beautiful handmade goodies. On stage, sir Gregory master of ceremonies and his subordinate lackey Doc Cogs performed tea duelling, for those unfamiliar to the duel, biscuits are chosen and dunked in tea and the winner is those with the unsoggiest erm biscuit, this may seem tame but many a relationships and friendship have been lost in a tea duelling battle…

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In the main bar live music from that acoustic punk performer Paul Carbuncle, the always entertaining Pixie Styx, a few of the corndodgers and  Subway Circus along with Boats on the ocean taking the music far into the dead of night.

Right before I ramble on even more, there’s an apology due from myself to Berliner from last issue as (eeekk) I did a  whooopsie (not quite sure how I’ve morphed into Frank Spencer but Anyhoo) I wrongly stated that their Oktoberfest was Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd September when in fact it was the weekend after!!! My bad as the kids say.

As I ended my last piece with saying I was scuttling off to the beer festival at the Victory club I did as promised and accidentally fell in on the last day, when lo and behold the ales were reduced to an awesome ONE POUND (!!) a pint, quickly a flying visit turned into a mammoth drinking session with the only food consumed being a bag of mini cheddars. The next morning I woke up nursing a hangover and finding myself a fully fledged member of the Victory Club. It set me back £11 for the year, the moral of the story is there is no such thing as a cheap pint. It worked out well in the end as I decided to make use of my membership by checking out heavy rockers V8 when they stopped off at the venues classic rock night which is every third Friday Moshing for two hours to System of a Down and Motorhead covers has helped ease my morning for the Greyhound slightly, what adventures are next? I dread to think.  Till next time, enjoy the silly season and whatever you do don’t you open that trapppppdoooorrr!!

LD

Oxjam in the house

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The 2018 Oxjam Beeston Music Festival began quietly with the first of our ‘house concerts’: local composer and pianist Richard Hinsley played on a lovely sunny Sunday afternoon for thirty guests. There are more to follow – if you are interested in putting on an Oxjam House Concert, contact us via the website. Pop in and see us at the Beeston Carnival where we’ll have tickets and flyers for all events – Unplugged 22nd September, Takeover 13th October, Classical 17th November, Ceilidh 1st December; visit the website oxjambeeston.org or find us on Facebook.

Photos © Jenny Langran

CT

Beeston Beats: Interview with Nactus Kunan

Music, gigs and festivals – who’s out this weekend?

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According to online information station Wikipedia, ‘Nactus kunan is an extant species of slender-toe geckos described in 2012, and indigenous to the Admiralty Islands of Papua New Guinea. It is brightly coloured, and its specific name means “bumblebee” in the local Nali language.’

Although I am an avid supporter of nature I haven’t decided to give Sir David Attenborough a run for his money instead I have stumbled upon the musical stylings of local Beeston band of the aforementioned gecko name. Individually known as Jack Kwiecinski, Josef Bone, Antony Rocco Onorati and John Wood the lads have formed Nactus Kunan and flying the flag for a style of music aptly named RnBeeston. Being a nosey so and so, I Facebook stalked them and frog marched them to the canalside heritage for an interrogation into all things beestony, musicy (technical term) and an impromptu photo session. Luckily the guys were willing victims and happily chatted to me even though the world was wrapped up in the world cup frenzy.

In the cafe the staff are just about coping with the fire alarm that’s blaring and rings through the heritage centre at what feels like a million decibels, i order a coffee and wait outside, sure enough over bound half of the band quickly followed by the remaining members, I suggest starting the photo shoot as the weather looks ridiculously murky and rain seems imminent.  The garden at the heritage centre is a great setting for photos and the bands easy going demeanour helps as my suggestions for the photos are met with an impressive eagerness. We briefly chat  about favourite pubs, Fast Lane and musical influences, take some more photos and head to Owens place for some shots with the weir in the background, altogether a fun and productive meet, want to know what the band had to say? Here it is from the ‘osses cakehole…

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Morning Nactus Kunan, how are you today?

We’ve just been diagnosed with a terminal case of World Cup fever, but other than that we’re very well thanks!

Tell us a bit about Nactus Kunan…

We’re a four-piece, alternative band that formed in 2017. Our music draws from a diverse range of influences including Dr Dre, Sade, George Michael and New Order. We combine heavy synths, slick guitars and 808 beats to create (what we think) is our own distinctive sound.

How did you all meet?

We all went to Chilwell School. Jack and Tony have been mates since they bonded over a shared love of 50 Cent and PES4 when they were about 12. Joe and John were in different school years, but we all ended up gravitating towards each other when we got a bit older. The friendship consolidated over a few years in the pub in Beeston, before Jack and Joe started trying to write some songs together

What’s your favourite thing about this lovely neck of the woods?

Heaven is a place on Earth. We love Beeston, so it’s very difficult to pick our favourite thing about the area. Aside from the fact it has the best transport links in Europe and a burgeoning, multicultural high-street, we’d probably have to say the pubs. We love the beer garden at the Star and we regularly score a respectable 17 out of 30 on the Crown pub quiz! Also Poppa Pizza The best pizza in the city bar none!

Who are you favourite local artists and why?

We really like Max Loelz, he has this laid-back, hip-hop vibe which we’re into. Also, Joe’s brother Charlie plays guitar for Yazmin Lacey who’s an incredible talent – she’s just started getting massive in the jazz world. We’re good friends with a band called Amulet as well. They’ve just written a load of new tunes with electronic drums which sound amazing.

 

Describe ‘RnBeeston’ for me?

Our early songs took a lot of cues from R&B, but we were always influenced by conventional guitar music too, which made our sound quite difficult to define. We said this tongue-in-cheek phrase ‘RnBeeston’ once and it stuck. It’s hard to explain, but there’s definitely a certain character to our music that captures the essence of Beeston…

 Anything else to say to the lovely readers of Beestonian?

Be sure to check out our latest single, ‘Exit at the Group Stage’. It’s a World Cup anthem (of sorts) about late nights and early kick offs; staying too long and leaving to soon. The official music video, shot at the Victory Club and various other Beeston locations, is now available to watch on YouTube.

I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to the band for allowing themselves to  become victims in my line of questioning and having seen them perform over at rough trade in Nottingham after the interview I can say the lads are well worth a watch live, right which unfortunate souls are on the hit list next??

LD

 

The Beestonian is: Lulu Davenport – Music Editor

The lesser spotted Lulu Bird, seen here in her natural habitat. The Lulu Bird has a diet consisting of chocolate hobnobs, bananas, cookies and an occasional naughty tipple of cider/ beer and quite possibly alcoholic shots.

Her natural surroundings are usually among loud repetitive beats and more commonly sighted at gigs and festivals. Quite commonly heard using the call ‘whoz awwt this wkend then?’

Although she may frequent local festivals from time to time Beeston has become her home and stomping grounds include Pottle of Blues and Totally Tapped. Caution is required, as the Lulu Bird may attack if provoked with silence or a peanut butter kit Kat chunky.

(Please tell me you read that through with David Attenborough narrating, if so you are awesome!!)

LD

Gossip from the Hivemind: Beeston Hit Parade

A special this issue as we write the definitive Beeston Hit Parade, as suggested by those pun-tastic contributors over on Beeston updated. We received over 450 entries to this which suggests a) You are fantastic fans of puns and music b) You really should get out more. Muggins here has had to plough through them all and select the Top 40.

It was painful. It was tough. And apologies to anyone who didn’t make it. You should be proud of yourself. We have spared the blushes of those who made it into the list by not printing their names.

Set your groan levels to 11. HERE WE GO POP-PICKERS:

40: Happy Daze Are Here Again

39: Fake Plastic Bees

38: I Wanna Greggs You Up

37: Hallams Lies Down On Broadgate

36: Beeman Rhapsody

35: Total Eclipse of the Art Shop

34: Shadab Balti Ya Face

33: Exile on Middle Street

32: Ava Marina

31: Beestonian Like You

30: Stuck in the Middle Street Resource Centre With You

29: Beeston Fields Forever

28: These Boots Were Made for Walking

27: Ain’t No Magic Mountain High Enough

26: Ticket To Rye

25: Last Post to Clarksville

24: Q M C A

23: West End girls

22: Poppa Pizza Don’t Preach

21: Wake Me Up Before You Bendigo

20: Trams Europe Express

19: Iguazu zu zu zu, (push pineapple shake the tree)

18: Like a Rylands Cowboy

17: Whilst My Guitar Spot Gently Weeps

16: Monkey Gone to HairVen

15: That’s Amores

14: Livin’ L’Oliva Loca

13: The White Lion Sleeps tonight

12: (Gonna Rock Down To) Devonshire Avenue

11: Gills Are Alive With The Sound Of Music

10: Going ‘umberroad

09: Chimera River

08: Applebee The Day

07: Charlie Fogg on the Tyne

06: My Heart Wilko On.

05: Message in a Pottle

04: Rylands in the Stream

03: Nothing Compares to Meat 4U

02: 24 Hours From Toton

01: 99 Problems (and a shoe shop ain’t one)


A special mention to Tim Furnish, who we rewrote the whole the Dandy Warhols ‘Bohemian Like You’ into ‘Beestonian Like You’ with full lyrics. He should be very proud/ashamed of himself.

Oxjam is Go!

This year’s Oxjam Beeston Music Festival is going ahead as planned. Members of the organising team were unanimous that they would carry on, in the belief that the Beeston community would support our aims.

These are quite simple: to mount a programme of varied musical events, provide a platform for local musicians, put on a great community event and raise money for Oxfam. Regarding the issues that the charity has had in the last couple of months, the local Oxjam Team is publishing a statement on its website.

Plans for this year’s Festival are in the early stages. Already we are looking at the following events:

  • a pub quiz (date and venue to be confirmed)
  • an ‘unplugged’ event (date and venue to be confirmed)
  • Takeover Day – Saturday 13th October, midday to the early hours, in various venues around the town, many familiar, some new
  • Classical Oxjam – Saturday 17th November, Beeston Parish Church
  • Oxjam Ceilidh – Saturday 1st December, Royal British Legion Social Club

We have already had enquiries, some asking us to confirm we are going ahead – which we are happy to do. We’ve also had messages from those who would like to perform and those who would like to volunteer.

Would-be performers should look out for ‘Registration’ when it opens in late May or early June. This will be available on-line. NB Artists for Unplugged and Classical are by invitation but we would be happy to hear from anyone who would like to perform at either.

Volunteer registration will open in late August.

Our website is currently undergoing a refurb but do check it at www.oxjambeeston.org or visit our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/oxjambeestontakeover/) – again, bear with us if the content is a bit behind the times!

We can be contacted via a message to our Facebook page.

CT

Beeston Beats: Kingdom Rapper

There is Snow Business like Show Business! Of Beats and Beans, An Impromptu Coffee With Kingdom Rapper.

Saturday the 17th March. Just as we were fooled into thinking winter was over, the “Beast From The East” returned, and once again delayed our passage into Spring, as it had a couple of weeks prior.

Wrapped up and very much windswept I trundled over to Beeston Square. The plan was to observe and report on the making of a music video about Beeston by Benjamin J Howard, otherwise known as, Kingdom Rapper. By the time I had arrived gusts of snow were flurrying around the square, and the wind was picking up. The tarpaulin of nearby market traders flapped violently, and all signs pointed towards inclement weather. It was a far cry from the artic tundra, but it was still legitimately uncomfortable to be outside.

I noticed the crew bunched into small groups around the square. A drone had just been retrieved from flight on one side of the square, and on the other side of the square it was clear to me that considerations were starting to manifest regarding the shoot that was due to take place that day.

I introduced myself to the crew, things hit off instantly. They seemed just as interested in asking me questions as I was of them. Just after the point of no return; ridiculously high winds and out of control hair, a realisation hit me. I realised I had been very pleasantly, yet subtly coerced into a video interview for them, about Beeston. As well as filming the music video, Kindgom Rapper and his crew were also planning on making a short documentary film about Beeston and the making of his music video. Despite the weather, a faction of the crew were busying themselves, continuing to collect video content from passers by.

It wasn’t long before a decision was taken for the crew to discuss the options going forwards over a warm cup of coffee. The vote was cast, and the unanimous decision was to cancel the shoot for the day. No date for the re-shoot was set in stone at the time, but it was suggested that a couple of weeks should be allowed to pass to allow the weather to improve. Benjamin (AKA Kingdom) enthusiastically volunteered to film a short message to his followers on Facebook to explain how the weather had temporarily put a stop to the days plans.

In the meantime Kingdom had kindly agreed to speak to both myself and Christopher Frost about; his life and music, and the ‘I Am Beeston’ project, respectively.

I was keen to find out a bit more about Kingdom’s drive for making music, and, how he came to be in Beeston. So, as the “Beast from the East” raged on outdoors, we started chatting, and so it goes;

Kingdom Rapper moved to Beeston 3 years ago after living in various city centre locations around Nottingham. The pre-tense for leaving almost every city centre location named as a prior residence, from Basford to the Meadows was the same; getting involved up with the wrong people and ending up on a negative cascade. Kingdom originally comes from West Bridgford. He described a somewhat turbulent upbringing where his family were well meaning but had their own adversity to manage. To ride out the chaos at home Kingdom explained that he sought solace in music. One of the stories Kingdom recounted to me was a pivotal turning point in his life when he realised he had a connection with rap music. Kingdom said he was 14 at the time, his mother had brought home an Eminem album. After having taken a listen, Kingdom felt a connection with the aesthetic of the music and the messages conveyed within the lyrics. Soon after, he acquired a microphone and some software, and began to make his own music. Kingdom whilst recounting his earlier life also described how he had entered what he considered to be a negative spiral, he was on the way to developing a ‘smoking’ habit, of which he would later quit, but at the time this came about as not only as a coping mechanism but also as an aid to his creativity. Kingdom kept this within the privacy of his own space, but he did also say that on a wider scale some of his prior associations had connections to gangs and anti-social behaviour.  Kingdom wanted to break out of the negativity and grow as a person as well as an artist. To do this, he knew he needed to become a more positive person in himself and engage with more positive people. People that would allow him to follow his passion and be supportive of his endeavours.

It was by chance that Kingdom ended up in Beeston. An opportunity for a house share arose with a group of friends, and that sealed the deal. Since moving to Beeston Kingdom has found that he has integrated into the community and found his support group. Kingdom describes himself as a community orientated person, and through his music aspires to be an inspiration to other young people who may also have to stand in the face of adversity. Kingdom also explained that since his move to Beeston, he gained momentum with his music and with his community outreach activities. The mantra “turn negatives into positives” was a running theme throughout our discussion. It was apparent that Kingdom really wanted his success to be a conduit for others around him to be successful. He described his ethic for supporting and promoting local businesses, and how they had helped him by lending his team media equipment or allowing a venue to be used as a platform for the promotion of his music. The majority, if not all (I didn’t get to meet them all) of Kingdoms team either lived or worked locally.  Kingdom also said that if he ‘made it big’ then he would like to stay in Beeston and not allow himself to fall into the money orientated world that is associated with musical success. What was really refreshing to see was Kingdom’s down to earth attitude. Having had a minor dabble and walked upon various tourist routes through the music industry myself, I have had the privilege of meeting a fair few music artists. Sadly, a big driving force for many to make it, is indeed fame and the promise of a more affluent life. Kingdom seemed different, his vision was to make music to help people, and that fame overall was of no interest. He wanted to be a “catalyst for change” and change the world bit by bit. He believes he was given the skills as an artist, and that is what is enabling him to do what he does. He also sees his troubled past in a positive light through the ability to empathise with the struggles of other people within the community, as well as show them that with the right attitude, they can find their own way out of adversity and take a more fulfilling path through life.

As I asked about his progression into the music industry, Kingdom also explained how he did previously have a manager, but has since decided to take control of his own musical destiny and now manages himself. Kingdom described some of the more negative aspects of the music industry that had started to manifest, and he felt like he didn’t need to get caught up in contracts and allow himself the chance to become established in himself and be free to follow his own creativity. Being locked into a restrictive 2-year contract and pushed to give up the rights to his name so early on in his career was a big eye opener. His creative freedom was dampened, and he felt that his hands may as well have been tied. Almost everything he did was contract limited. This experience gave him the strength to go in his own musical direction, and I think that this will bring a breath of fresh air to the rap scene.

To draw the conversation to a close I asked Kingdom about his upcoming activities and events. As well as re-setting a date for the ‘Beeston’ music video he also said (and this sounds AMAZING) that there was a plan to film another music video in the Play zone in Lincoln. Various meet and greets, aka ‘chat and raps’, have been arranged with local schools around Nottingham. In terms of events, you can catch him at the Berliner bar for the Sw@g Testament Mixtape Party on April 30th and again at the Bodega on May 31st. As a man of faith Kingdom will also be presenting the Gospel Facto on July 7th. Various ‘in the pipeline’ bits and pieces about the BBC were also mentioned.

The best way to keep up with Kingdom Rapper and his movements is to keep an eye on his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/kingdomrapperuk/

If you want to check out Kingdom Rapper’s music videos and supporting documentaries take a gander at his YouTube channel. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCk0c6CzCZ6od_AzvM-OuN4w

DB

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