Words: Georgina Daniels
Photos: Ashley Evans
There is infinite power and anticipation within the four walls of a venue, no less when hosting an artist’s first ever headline gig. Colours Hoxton spoke that truth into reality as J P Rose took to the stage laden with infinite rhythms, rhymes, beats and feel-good times.
Hailing from North London, his musical avenues flip-flop between RnB, Hip Hop, Soul and Lo-fi sounds, and he has built up a reputation with his highly skilled production and songwriting for other artists such as Feux and RUBII.
To warm up a very cold and brittle crowd recovering from the sudden temperature change, was Nikhil Beats, a producer morphing-into-performer, who showcased charismatic tunes via voice, guitar and similarly well-polished beats. He was an excellent choice of support for the main event.
To kick off, J P launched into his latest track Through The City, a breezy, self reflective and sensual tune which called for classic piano, staccato drums and a lingering tinny trumpet weaving in-between nonchalant vocal delivery. He set the mood for the uninitiated listeners and reminded the seasoned fans what he is all about as an artist.
The revolving door of features, people getting up on stage, people getting off stage, the sheer variance of the performance, demonstrated J P’s tenacity and sheer grip on the ability to bring a rousing piece of performance art, which is no surprise considering how he has made On The Rhythm, a showcase, jam night and Independent Record Label, that has platformed such a diverse pool of talent and sharing of stories.
As the band, poetically likened to a bouquet of Lavender, Sage, Iris and Black Lily, disappeared, a feature-heavy segment began, with standout track Riot bringing singer songwriter RUBII to the stage with a soothing, laid-back tune that washed over the crowd like a healing balm, and reinvigorated the energy within. Following on, long-time collaborators Feux and Loraxx injected a similar vitality and spirit with Emocean, preceded by a more dancy energetic tune called Feel. I took the time to appreciate that whilst this part of the performance relied on the tracks being blared over the PA, it made the experience no less natural, and the undeniable quality of these produced tracks softened the absence of The Garden (the band), who later returned to close out the set.
The common thread of these artist’s common musical musings were about positivity, uplifting others and acceptance of the world around us. Yet, as the night drove on, the mood transitioned to introspection and inner reflecting, triggered by the song Let’s Get Lost with Feux, which took on heavy themes about addiction, existential questions, and the patterns that flow within when struggling with one’s mental health. This redirection in lyrical themes culminated in what was a pinnacle moment, when J P personally invited his audience to really listen in to the lyrics of the particular Hermann Jampel. It was an evocative and emotionally blinding story of his grandfather who survived The Holocaust. From this, it is clear that J P Rose wears his family heritage and ancestry on his sleeve as a Jewish rapper, which he proudly states in his songs. To witness the audience stand-still in those 5 minutes was an overpowering and emotional experience, especially as it was clear what was on a lot of people’s minds. Closing out with an unrehearsed riffing of the crowd’s urgent chants for one more song felt like an apt way for Rose to bring this sensational night to an end.
Whatever comes next, J P Rose is certainly a rising star. His ability to take musical visions from ideas to concrete sounds is undeniable, his passion in platforming others as well as himself, especially at a gig under his name, is refreshing. He has such a wealth of musical material to get stuck into, get acquainted with and feature heavily in your new music rotation.