‘Raise Your Voice’, an event held by the Tamil Student Initiative (tsi) to showcase and empower emerging creative talent, proved to be an apt reminder of the growing creative versatility within the Tamil student community.
Run as an open mic competition by the London School of Economics (LSE) Tamil Society, last week, the event saw singers, rappers, spoken word artists, poets and musicians take to stage to win the hearts and minds of the audience.
Though there was one overall winner, the crowds were astounded by the vast array of creative performances. Students were treated to powerful ballads from singers, rappers who brought the whole crowd to their feet, and even spoken word poets who delivered thought provoking performances.
The night kicked off with a collection of powerful ballads sung by ‘Hari Prabu’ who flew the crowd to the moon with his own rendition of the classic Sinatra hit.
Taking the crowd on a trip through war ravaged paddy fields in the North-East of Sri Lanka, Kaviyan Kulasabanathan recited a poem written by Sinthujan Varatharajah, ‘Paddy Fields’.
The rappers ‘Syne’ and 'Reflection' had the crowd roaring with a captivating performance that energised the room for the rest of the night.
Nisha Asokan pulled on the heart strings of the audience with a passionate recital of emotive songs, accompanied by pianist and beatboxer Suriya.
‘Piri Music’ took to stage and impressed the audience by singing a fusion of Tamil, English and Hindi songs whilst playing the piano.
The crowd where then taken on a trip through the mind of spoken word artist, Janakan, who made the room reflect on his thought provoking performance.
'Kitty' then raised the energy levels with passionate recitals that ended with a hi-tempo crowd pleaser.
Solo rap artist, 'Hynotiq', added to the excitement with an encapsulating rap performance, ending with his most recent single, 'Life's Sentence.'
The stage was then given to Ben Human, who wowed the audience with an exhilarating rendition of Tamil songs and Michael Jackson classics, with the dance moves to match.
'Inno Genga', taking the stage last, had the audience swaying and singing along to his composition of Tamil and RnB songs.
After being treated to an array of enjoyable performances the audience cast their vote, crowning Inno Genga as the champion, with Hynpotiq and Kitty receiving the 2nd and 3rd highest number of votes.
Outlining the importance of hosting events like ‘Raise Your Voice’ one of the event organisers told Tamil Guardian,
“British Tamil students are not only excelling in academia but have a number of other facets to their repertoire. Nights such as these are too few in number and it is truly a crime that these artists aren’t getting the recognition that they deserve. Over the past few years there has been a huge increase in the number of artists, be they singers, poets, rappers etc. who have honed their skills but are simply not receiving enough appreciation. Hence, Raise Your Voice looked to solve this issue from within the university scene.”
Tamil Guardian managed to catch up with the artists to find out about their thoughts and feelings after performing. See our summary video of the artists reflecting on their night backstage below.
You can catch up with all the performances on the night below.