13 Young Creatives From London To Look Out For In 2016

Here are some talented Londoners set to be making waves with their work in 2016.

1. Ray Blk

Courtesy of Imran Malik.

Who: Hailing from Catford, singer/songwriter Ray Blk released her EP, Haversham, last year. Drawing on 90s R&B with playful straight talking lyrics, her sound is infinitely relatable. Plus, this video will make any self-respecting person daydream about being part of her girl squad.

Look out for: Fresh music and shows popping up over the next few months in anticipation of a follow up EP.

2. Shola Amoo

Jack Taylor

Who: After the success of ‘Touch,’ an afrofuturistic romance short film which earned Amoo recognition at the British Film Institute (BFI) Sci-Fi Season, the filmmaker set out to crowdfund for his first feature film ‘A Moving Image.’

Look out for: Amoo will be touring the film festival circuit this year with ‘A Moving Image’, which deals with gentrification in Brixton. Amoo describes the film as a combination of fiction, documentary, performance art, photography and animation.

3. Kieran Yates.

Vicky Grout

Who: Journalist Kieran Yates can be found serving up necessary home truths on all things music, politics, and pop culture. She produced the documentary Muslim Drag Queens last year and is the brains behind ‘British Values,’ a zine challenges the current immigration rhetoric by celebrating a collection of immigrant stories.

Look Out For: The next issue of British Values!

4. BORN n BREAD

Courtesy of Alex Zalewska.

Who: A collective of 5 creative women joining forces to put South East London, as they know it, on the map through their BORN n BREAD zine which celebrates Black British identity and their nostalgia. The girls are taking their stories beyond the page and adding a soundtrack to their aesthetic with a monthly radio show on independent radio station NTS.

Look out for: They recently collaborated with Pum Pum socks and Issue 3 of The Born N Bread will be zine arriving this year.

5. Belinda Zhawi.

Courtesy of Khotso Mathatho

Who: Belinda Zhawi is a writer, poet, and London Laureate. Having moved to London from Zimbabwe, her pieces serve as explorations into her identity and childhood.

Look out for: Belinda currently co-hosts BORN::FREE, a monthly poetry night she founded in London alongside another writer. Her poetry EP, Kumusha, will be out this summer.

6. D/C

Courtesy of D/C

Who: Singer-songwriter D/C has been making a name for himself over the past few years with his blend of soul, jazz, and electronic r&b. He supported UK duo Honne on tour last year and was recently signed to Atlantic Records UK.

Look out for: His first release ‘BadMan EP’ is set for release this year. You can hear the first track ‘Longing For You’ here.

7. Sanaa Hamid.

Courtesy of Sanaa Hamid.

Who: Sanaa Hamid is a photographer who explores themes of self-representation, South Asian diaspora and identity. She sparked an important conversation with her exploration of cultural appropriation vs appreciation and delved into the idea of ‘self-ethnography’ through social media as a method of creating visibility for women of colour.

Look out for:
Sanaa’s work with Variant Space, a muslim female collective, will be having another exhibition in 2016. She is also developing her vlog along with her twin sister. She is currently working on ideas around the the motherland and performance of nostalgia.

8. Mim Shaikh.

Courtesy of Mim Shaikh.

Who: Part radio presenter, part comedian, Mim Shaikh has been making a name for himself as a YouTube personality with his series of public pranks and this cheeky Nandos anthem.

Look out for: 2016 looks set to be the year of bigger and better as Mim hits the airwaves with two radio shows on the BBC Asian Network and BBC Radio 1Xtra.

9. Loyle Carner.

Who: With boombap production and lyrics that stay close to home, Loyle Carner is breathing new life into UK rap with a refreshing, and sometimes painful, honesty.

Look out for: His UK tour but good luck trying to get a ticket.

10. Evan Ifekoya.

Courtesy of Evan Ifekoya.

Who: Interdisciplinary artist, Evan Ifekoya, explores culture and society through new media and live performance. Check out Evan’s 2014 project, ‘The Gender Song,’ a music video which speaks on gender binaries.

Look out for: Evan has been commissioned to make new film work as part of the ‘Queering Love, Queering Hormones’ collaboration between No.w.here, BFI, and Welcome Trust.

11. Vinay Patel.

Vinay Patel

Who: Vinay established himself as one to watch back in 2014 with his debut play ‘True Brits’ which offered a refreshing and necessary perspective on ‘what it was like to be a brown teen in this country but in London specifically after 7/7.’

Look out for: Vinay was commissioned to write the follow up to the BAFTA-winning drama ‘Murdered By My Boyfriend’ that will investigate the act of honour-killing. It arrives to BBC 3 in early 2016.

12. Conrad Kira

Courtesy of Bennie Julian Gay

Who: Inspired by a little bit of …everything, South London rapper and producer, Conrad Kira, is carving his own sound in the UK HipHop scene and shouting out Morley’s while he does it.

Look out for: Two new EPs are on their way along with some shows around Europe and a fresh new single ‘Lyrical G’ in collaboration with Up In The Ear.

13. Cecile Emeke

Dazed Digital.Sarah Piantadosi.

Who: Chances are you’ve caught wind of Cecile already thanks to her hugely successful short film and web series ‘Ackee & Saltfish’ which looks at gentrification in London through the personal stories of two young black women.


Look out for:
More episodes of Strolling, Emeke’s international film series which features interviews that tackle important social and political issues affecting the black diaspora.

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