I’ve Got My Money On The Underdogs
When I signed up to support The Underdogs Stage, I had no idea what I was getting myself into, however, historically the underdog is a kind of negative looking to be a positive and we often find ourselves rooting for the underdog as it gives us a sense that we too have a shot at winning. Not willing to change a winning formula, we looked forward to our first partnership with the two sisters; Lauren and Precious, co-founders of The Underdogs Stage.
The Underdogs Stage is motivated by a desire to support local talent, most of whom are urban acts.
ClusterView has artists like Ben Hunter representing that genre on our site, but it has been a while since we’d had any real involvement with urban music. The last time was our interview with A&R manager Thad Baron, and then when we went to support Deno Driz at Thorpe Park for BoohooMan, this was all pre covid. Since then, we have prided ourselves on supporting artists that play live instruments and have a message in their music that isn’t X-rated.
Urban music, as it’s widely categorised, has its pluses and negatives, and sometimes we see more of the negatives associated with certain genres of rap and what is deemed to be black culture. We took one look at the line-up and thought this was going to be a rap event and so my first thought was to arrange to get some artists on the bill that played live instruments to make the night more diverse. The truth is that the more I looked at the artists on the line-up, the more I realised just how diverse the show was going to be. There were was already different genres of music and the supporters on the night were thoroughly entertained by acts gracing us with sublime vocals and others with backing dancers and musicians, yet society considers diversity more a gender or “colour of the persons skin” thing. Music is – since the term “pop culture” – often associated with colour codes. Rock music is deemed a white brothers music and drill or rap music for black brothers. This is, of course, a huge generalisation and mistake when looking at white rappers like Eminem, The Beastie Boys, and House Of Pain, who are all very successful. Then, on the flip side, you have Hendrix, Benji Webbe, Prince, Terence Trent Darby, and Lenny Kravitz, all black rock artists that would challenge anyone’s views that Rock is not for black people.
ClusterView is all about different perspectives, free speech, and primarily seeing the real truth through objective analysis. The truth is that I went into this with an open mind, judging every interaction with a view that young people are full of youthful energy and promise. I refused on this occasion to be bogged down by some of the stereotypical views associated with Drill music, which I put my hands up and say, I am just as guilty of.
This approach opened me up to a world of appreciation as every moment with Lauren and Precious gave me a better understanding of why they started The Underdogs Stage.
Lauren and Precious are two young mums who set up their company to give young local talent an opportunity to perform on the Glamorous Grand in Clapham. The venue is plush with grand chandeliers and private boxes for VIP guests. It was a beautiful setting for any event, and although I have seen hundreds of artists perform over the years, this night will stay with me forever.
This was a community event with a line-up of mix styles: RNB, Soul, Dance Hall, Grime, Drill, and variations of all five. I actually felt privileged to be there as they were all so talented and brimming with confidence. There were, of course, moments when the energy levels rose, quite literally because the music got them off their seats, this was no different to excited fans at a premier league football match.
The thing is, I’ve harped on about the lyrics and the music and the message but often forget they are just kids experiencing life in their own way. We have to remember that every generation had their own way of expressing themselves, and when you look at the music and lyrics objectively, you only see incredible talent.
Do I want to change some of the lyrics in their music? Of course, but you have to ask yourself, is the decline of social norms down to the youth or our inability to create a more equitable society?
I felt privileged being able to observe and support their first big event at the Grand in Clapham. Artists like OD had me shaking my cameras to the rhythm, and the youthful confidence of Kookah the Producer was infectious. Each and every artist gave their all as if performing to thousands of fans with Abigail Asante shaking her stuff and driving the fans wild. I was quite surprised to see Precious performing with so much responsibility for the event, but she somehow found the strength to do both and smashed it. All this from a single parent mum.
Considering the state of our country and the world at large, it’s a miracle that kids are still motivated to perform live. We live in unprecedented times, and anything we can do to motivate and support our youth is the best remedy for any positive change.
A big thanks to Hoodrich, who stepped up to gift each and every artist with outfits that they were thoroughly happy to receive. A big thanks to the Clapham Grand for helping to create this opportunity that none of those in attendance will forget.
I’m going to leave it here because if you want to know more, you can find everything on @cluster.view @theunderdogsstage or Clusterview.com
Just know that these young talents need to be observed with an open mind and a kind heart. They remind me of myself growing up, so i’m putting my money on the underdogs.
Well done 👏💕😊
thanks! fantastic event! goto @cluster.view for more.
Absolutely brilliant and great points 👍 👏 😀
Gr8 article and event 👏👏😊