The Irish music industry has long been made up of a succession of sub-cultures, many of which cross over at some point. Of late, it has been the ever growing hip-hop scene that has garnered attention – especially given the success of Rusangano Family and Hare Squead. Yet these acts are just the tip of the iceberg, with musicians across the country making beats, writing rhymes and creating their own visions.
From this has come the Word Up Collective, a collection of like minded souls working – not only in hip-hop – but in a number of related styles: the soulful RnB styled AikJ, the fiery disco and funk influenced pop of Katie Laffan, Belfast’s Craft Work and his mix of spoken word with classical and world music samples, trip-hop vocalist Soulé, and the alternative rap of Anti-One and MC Axiom. They are joined by some of the most exciting young hip-hop artists working in the county today – the art and comic book influenced Young Phantom, seventeen year old MC Sam Ojo, performer and producer Damola, the RnB and rap duo Stay Gold, the devilishly dark Dyramid and video director and music maker Steven Beatsmith. Discover more about the Word Up roster here.
And that’s just the start. With behind the scenes support from Annette and Phil Udell (State.ie, BIMM, WholeWorldBand), the project is set to search out new talent across Ireland – offering young musicians a helping hand, the opportunity to perform at their regular live nights both in Dublin and around the country access to workshops and a route to the Irish music industry and beyond.
With a number of stand alone gigs already under their belts, the entire complement will come together for the first time at Word Up Collective #1, a live launch at the Bello Bar that will also feature special guest Roll Blunt, the UK producer who has found a home at Detroit’s Black Day In July alongside Wu-Tang Clan affiliate Bronze Nazareth, Salute Da Kidd, June Megalodon and more.