Vijay Mistry is the main man behind Festival2Funky, the Midlands’ premier festival of urban music and arts which returns this month with its biggest line-up to date.
Taking place from 21 to 27 May at Leicester’s 2Funky Music Café, this year’s fifth birthday programme is jam-packed with performances and workshops from artists including DJ Pied Piper, Harleigh Blu, Yolanda Brown and Sharky Major.
Alongside the genre-spanning selection of music – from Afrobeat, grime and gospel, to jazz, soul and UK garage – visitors will be treated to masterclasses and workshops from industry heavyweights, graffiti workshops, comedy nights, spoken word performances and much more.
The festival is part of Vijay’s work with 2FunkyArts, where for the past 17 years, he and his team have been running workshops, youth and community projects and performances across venues in Leicester and beyond.
‘This year’s festival is all about giving people the opportunity to discover new genres and try something new. For just £10, the Festival2Funky wristband will give you access to some amazing artists from the forefront of black music,’ he says.
‘We want visitors to go from trying one of our graffiti workshops to witnessing some amazing live jazz performances before sampling a night of grime or drum and bass.’
To whet your appetite for the main event, tuck into his playlist below featuring some of the acts on the bill…
Yolanda Brown – Confusion (*not on Spotify, listen here)
Amazing UK jazz artist, I just love her style using reggae influences.
Mellow Baku & The Friday People – Living Soul (Free)
One of my favourite local jazz/soul artists who I have worked with on various projects for many years.
Harleighblu – Let Me Be
Been following her for years but never had the chance to see her live so will be an honour to bring her to Leicester.
Lady Sanity – Role Models
Previously did her internship with me and I have supported her ever since. She is making huge noise in the Midlands and definitely one to watch.
Jenna And The Gs – Performance at Bass Music Awards (*not on Spotify, listen here)
Live drum and bass! Do I need to say anything else?
DJ Pied Piper – Do You Really Like It
With the huge revival of the UK garage scene, it was only fitting to bring one of the pioneers.
The Prototypes – Pop It Off (feat. Mad Hed City)
Saturday night is always a big part of the festival and we have been bringing huge dnb DJs. Prototypes are one of our main headline acts for the festival.
Rodney P – The Nice Up
When it comes to UK hip-hop, these guys are at the top as far as I’m concerned. They have also influenced most of the current UK hip-hop artists.
Skinnyman – Council Estate of Mind
Again, when it comes to UK hip-hop this guy has to be mentioned. I don’t know the last time he came to Leicester, but being on the same lineup as Rodney P, this is going to be one of the highlights.
Sharky Major – We Shall See
One of the biggest genres at the moment is grime and although not one of the biggest artists, he is one of the pioneers of grime alongside the Grime Originals brand.
Festival2Funky takes place from 21 to 27 May. For tickets, visit www.2funkytickets.co.uk.