Dropout UK @ Jessie J Showcase, Hoxton Bar & Grill
This Girl Is A Star!
It was a talent-infested evening at the Hoxton Bar and Grill, East London, as the night provided an hour and a half of pure homegrown superstardom. Talay Riley and Jessie J were on the bill and while many of you may question the apparent sincerity in referring to these acts as celebrities when the possible and seemingly justifiable question ‘em who are they?’ possibly lingers, I assure you that no other category best befits the young and thoroughly gifted acts that conquered Hoxton.
Opening act Talay Riley was first to engage us with some super-duper music in the intimate, almost living room-type enclosure. Talay may have first sprung to sight via the poptastic top 10 hit Look For Me featuring Chipmunk earlier this year. However, we kid you not; this 20 year old, aesthetically pleasing young man earned his rights to fame barring any involvement with a rapper named after an animal, but rather through committing himself to a who’s who of songwriting credits that range from the likes of Jamie Foxx and JLS to Justin Bieber.
He impressed us with around 4 songs, of which Sargeant Smash’s heavy-hitting bass juxtaposed against his cool, seductive voice nabbed our attention and captivated us for the full four minutes. Other tracks included the science inspired current single Humanoid, followed by fan’s favourite Make You Mine. Attractively dressed in a futuristic-looking, large collared jacket and black army boots, Talay Riley was both a sight to see and a sound to hear, thus we were rather disappointed when he insisted on stepping off of the stage!
After a 20 minute hot, sweaty (and honestly speaking at times rather smelly) wait, a young, slender lady with a large collection of curls located in the middle of her head jumped on stage with the energy and charisma that served to replace our irritation with anticipation. Big White Room was first on her list; a down-tempo, moving track delivered with heightened authenticity and emotion, yet embodied effortlessly by both her vocals and body.
Stand Up’s reggae enthused presence saw the singer even more energised, while Casualty of Love was sung with the fervour of a heartbreak that was possibly received the same day. 22 year old Jessie J, again like the performer before her, is far from the pretty new kid on the block. Having written the U.S quadruple platinum smash hit Party in the USA for teenage pop songstress Miley Cyrus and penning songs for Chris Brown, Christina Aguilera and many others, it’s no surprise that Jessie J worked through her 7 song setlist exuding both the confidence and outstanding vocals reminiscent of international music princess, Beyonce. Although admittedly, Jessie sets a trend in her own right, utilising her fearless, yet comfortable stage presence to involve the audience in Jessie J’s world.
Both new single Do it Like A Dude and Price Tag ended Jessie’s short reign, with the latter song strongly proving her amazing songwriting stature. Demanding that we chant ‘we don’t want your money, money, money’ and that we see our self-worth, we could only eagerly await the album version featuring B.O.B released later this year.
This is what you call talent, thus I will aptly insert the saying here: if you don’t know, now you know....
Have a look at a snippet of the performance below (video and images by Sophie Eggleton)