On the intimate Sackler Space stage at the Roundhouse, a great line-up of three genre-defying, creative artists took to the stage for an evening of introspective, soulful music…

First up was Manchester-based vocalist and producer, HMD with his innovative, edgy musical stylings. Born in Somalia, the artist was raised in Denmark and the UK. It’s clear that his roots, heritage and background play a big part in his creative sound – adding trap flair to soulful R n B melodies.  HMD blurs the line between rapping and singing.

Next up, pint-sized powerhouse Martha Da’ro took to the stage in the dark, atmospherical Sackler Space. The Belgian artist created an intimate atmosphere at the Roundhouse stage with her genre-blending sound of hazy, dreamy pop, soul and hip hop. The multi-talented artist writes in both English and French, and her music has a distinct global feel. Martha Da’ro’s captivating stage presence and natural talent made her one of my favourites of the Rising Fest 2019. Her versatile vocals were a highlight – she has a voice that sometimes sound childlike and naïve, and other times deep, strong and sexy. The innovative artist has an individuality and a unique sound to her music that truly sets her apart from many artists working today. Her ambient but short set gave off real late-night lounge vibes, and went by wayyyy too quickly.

Martha Da'ro
Martha Da’ro performs at the Roundhouse Rising Festival. Photo credit: Maria Vole

Headlining the event, singer-songwriter Anaïs brought her mojo and a strong group of musicians along to support her on the night. A talented bass player, a great harp player along with two backing singers helped her create dreamy and arresting sounds – smooth and hard-hitting. The French-born, London-based artist of Sengalese origins gives off real cross-cultural vibes in her music – she performs songs in both English and French. It’s obvious that her personal journey has given her a unique perspective.

‘I tell you what freedom means to me/No fear’ 

Anaïs at Roundhouse Rising 2019. Photo credit: Maria Vole

Fresh from supporting Daniel Caesar on his UK tour, Anaïs’ genre-bending soundscape has reached a fever pitch. Her music features beautiful, soulful vocals, emotive and personal lyrics. Think dreamy pop, soul and funk beats. Hazey beats and mellow vocals give an ethereal, otherworldly vibe to her music. Lyrically, her songs are strong – Anaïs’ songwriting is exquisite, and her words have a depth and individuality to them that is rare.

Her powerful vocals are her best asset -she has a great voice and knows how to use it to create different sonic landscapes with vocal harmonies. Anaïs’ stage performance was exceptional – her haunting vocals and emotional vulnerability onstage, as well as with her aesthetic vibe, wowed the crowd at the Roundhouse.

Sad you couldn’t make it to the gig? Check out these tracks and pretend you were there!

HMD – Deen

Martha Da’Ro – Summer Blues

Martha Da’Ro – Sugarman

Anaïs – Woman

Anaïs – Nina

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