A Squared are a polyvocal spoken word duo based in Birmingham, consisting of Aliyah Denton and Aliyah Holder. Two stylistically different poets whose artistic vision is often in sync, their work focuses on themes of empowerment, identity and social commentary. A Squared's first public performance was for BBC 1xtra's Scratchbeat in 2014 in support of Suli Breaks and George the Poet. They have since worked on Apple and Snakes Level UP season 3, featured in Rifco Arts production Mummy Ji, performed at HLF/Beatfreeks Routes to Roots expo and become part of the Ten Letters cast - a poetic theatre piece on the stories of Birmingham that is currently in development to be toured next year. A Squared are also currently working on a project of their own to be released later this summer.
The Beatbox Quartet is a collection of Birmingham-based beatboxers and vocal artists. Ed Geater, Mickel Morris, Rory McGhie & Charlie Geater began their collaboration in early 2015 as a platform to meet and share techniques. With skills spanning many genres and instruments, the Beatbox Quartet blend humour and musicality to produce explosive high energy compositions. Rory is no stranger to TEDxBrum, hosting our DIY event back in 2014. Mickel is director of Beatfreeks, and Charlie is an independent photographer. With ‘Barriers EP’ the start of an exciting journey as a signed artist, 2016 has already been a year of real growth for Ed Geater. They are coming together at TEDxBrum 2016 for their debut performance, and will be sharing original content created especially for #PowerOfUs.
Twitter: @EdGeater | @Mickel_70 | @RoryMcGhie | @C_M_G_PHOTO
Jon skilfully brings percussion from across the globe together with 21st century music technology to create a unique blend of rhythmic soundscapes, bouncy world rhythms & high energy drumming. Tabla, darbuka, frame drums, cajon, vocal percussion and vocal sculpture are all played, sampled, mixed & crafted together live on stage in a synthesis of traditional musicianship and live electronics.
His solo live sampling project, Drumscapes, has had audiences on their feet at events across the UK, including at WOMAD, Larmer Tree and Beautiful Days festivals, at Cardiff, Glasgow & Belfast Melas and at many other cultural events across the UK.
Fresh from releasing her latest single Back Up Plan, Midlands teen Mahalia is one of 2016’s most exciting new artists. As a child growing up in Leicester - where she lived until moving to Birmingham two years ago - Mahalia’s mum would drive her to and from school to the sounds of Etta James, Floetry, Aaliyah and Tweet. In 2014, she supported Ed Sheeran and Emeli Sandé on their respective UK tours, and performed with Labrinth and Rizzle Kicks at the Royal Albert Hall for the Teenage Cancer Trust. Earlier this year Mahalia also went into the studio with Rudimental, resulting in the title track from their #1 album, We The Generation. With a debut album of her own set for later this year, she is most definitely one to watch.
Nafeesa Hamid is a poet, spoken word artist, playwright and creative producer. Born in Pakistan, Nafeesa grew up in Birmingham, studied in Derby and joined the Mouthy Poets collective in Nottingham. She has been writing and performing for about 4 years, focusing on issues such as mental health, domestic violence, gender, identity and culture. Nafeesa has worked with Apples and Snakes, BMAG, mac birmingham, Derby Theatre and Beatfreeks. She has featured at Level Up, Hit The Ode, Poetry Is Dead Good and Outspoken. Her work has been selected for publication in the Saqi Anthology Muslim Women in the UK: An Anthology of Voices 2016. She is also the founder and co-manager of Twisted Tongues and TT Scribble Sessions.
Website: Nafeesa Hamid on Hiive
The People's Orchestra
The People’s Orchestra is an independent charity and one of the UK’s leading community orchestras, encompassing a committed and talented blend of amateur and professional musicians. With a varied repertoire of classical and popular pieces from film, TV, etc, their performances attract a high percentage of new audiences who have never seen an orchestra play live before. Through a successful ‘Steps to Work’ programme, The People's Orchestra has also been able to help 120 local people into paid employment in a range of areas such as administration, finance, design, marketing, and event management, and were a Charity of the Year finalist 2015 in the Black Country Chamber of Commerce Awards.
Vidya Patel is a Kathak Dancer from Birmingham learning under the tutelage of Sujata Banerjee. After graduating from the Centre of Advanced Training at DanceXchange, Vidya recently represented the South Asian Category in the Grand Finals of BBC Young Dancer. She has performed at the Sadler’s Wells Gala at the Renaissance Hotel, UK Welcomes Modi at Wembley Station and the prestigious BBC Dance Proms. As part of the Sujata Banerjee Dance Company, Vidya also toured three cities in India, starting with the Vasant Utsav festival at the Kamani Auditorium Delhi. Most recently Vidya was invited to join Richard Alston Dance Company for Alston's latest piece set to Scarlatti's sonatas, An Italian in Madrid, which premiered at Sadler's Wells in March.