16 Gigs in 16 Days in 16 Ways!!! Status: COMPLETE

As you may or may not know this year I took part in my very own Olympic Challenge. I pledged to perform 16 gigs in 16 days in 16 ways to mark my home town London hosting the 2012 16 day Olympic Games. I also recorded an Olympic inspired song entitled Meet Me @ The Top as part of my forthcoming album– which I am giving as a gift to my mailing list subscribers. In addition to this I committed to creating 16 episodes of The OneNess Sankara Olympic Sessions -sharing exclusive footage, interviews and more from some of London’s finest performers and entrepreneurs (Click here to view).

Why? Why would I do this? I hear you ask!

Well for a number of reasons really, but mainly I am inspired by the Olympic & Paralympic athletes who show great dedication and commitment to their craft by pushing themselves beyond mental physical and even spiritual limits in order to achieve greatness. For me this is a prime example of human excellence. It got me thinking about my life journey, my creative craft and my own commitment towards excellence and so I embarked on this somewhat beautiful yet bonkers journey…..

Gig 1 – Earl of Portobello, London, W10

Gig 2 – Uzima Natural Holistic Expo, London, WC1R

Gig 3 Private Olympic party, Tottenham

Gig 4 – Ryan’s Bar, London, N16

Gig 5 GFM Radio – On the ‘Another World is Possible’ show…

Gig 6 – The Island, London, NW10

The first 6 gigs were awesome and I must say very diverse from the swanky pubs of West London to the conscious vibrations of the 1st radio gig of the challenge ‘Another World is Possible‘. I absolutely loved the title of the show and as one who has always considered my pen and pad to be influential towards positive change and possibilities, it was great to perform my music on such an uplifting and thought provoking show…

Gig 6 really made me feel like an Olympian being part of what felt like a 400m relay team made up of myself and the 3 members of the resident band. In a team effort, we played in harmony to win the hearts of the audience, the greatest prize of all’…

Gig 7 – Private Olympic Party, Tottenham

Gig 8 – Private Party in celebration of Jamaican Independence Day, Brixton

Gig 9 – The King William, London, SW1V

Gig 10 – Bar Vinyl, London, NW1

The next set of gigs kicked off with a beautiful party vibe really embodying the Olympic spirit that was present in London. Gig 8, had me switching styles like a triathlon athlete from a spoken word performance and then engaged my audience with a rendition of Bob Marley’s ‘No Woman No Cry’, plus a track from my forthcoming album. Yep you heard right, my forthcoming album… Watch this space… 

Gig 10 pushed me to challenge myself further- not only did I perform my own tracks, but I also pole vaulted to new heights when I teamed up with Vandell Andrew, a great jazz saxophonist from Dallas, TX to do an improvised piece as per request of the lively yet attentive audience!

The lesson I got from that experience was to always be one step ahead and prepared for any arising opportunities…. Practice, practice, practice…

Gig 11 – The Enterprise, London, NW3

Gig 12 Nubia House Media – On ‘The Kayz’ radio show

Gig 13 – The Island, London, NW10

Gig 14 Guess Radio – ‘The Kat Francois Show’

Gig 15 – Earl of Portobello, London, W10

Gig 16 – Private Olympic Party, Stratford

Now over half way through the race with only 5 more gigs to completeI hit the air waves for gig 12 with host ‘The Kayz’ with some of my greatest inspirations including Mutabaruka, Bob Marley and his Excellency Marcus Garvey, cheering from the side-line. Ok they were posters on the wall but felt honoured to be in their presence, same way…

123! Gold Silver & Bronze I chose to follow Jamaica’s success in the Olympics for Gig 14 and be part of Grenada’s winning Olympic quartet made up of Karani James (in spirit), myself, Hip-Hopologist ‘Jonzi .D’ and the one and only Kat Francois

The final lap… Gig 16!!! It seemed fitting that I accept an invitation to play at a private party in Stratford, (the heart of the Olympics). Now this was not simply for the possibility of ‘running’ into (get it running lol!) my Grenadian compadre Karani James – but I also wanted to catch a glimps of the superman aka Usain Bolt… maybe exchange Olympic tips over a Guinness punch or two…..

And thus the challenge was completed. Thank you to all that supported me over the 16days and all of the artist featured in the OneNess Sankara Olympic Sessions incl Floetic Lara, Lyrical Healer, Sukina (Poetic Pilgrimage) Jonzi D, Kat Francois, David 9 Lunas, AmeN Noir, Nia Foye, Ebele, Sifundo, Marita Connelly, Uzima Expo, Wade Bayliss, Helen McDonald, Afrik, Vandell Andrews, Kareen Blair, Comfort (Onit), Marcell


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