Following 2022’s Beyond the Bricks of Brum, Next Track sees Casey Bailey working alongside Musical Director, Ashley Allen, and a range of regional music, poetry, and spoken word artists bringing Birmingham Festival 2023 to a close.
Celebrating the city as it is now, where it came from and where it might be in future, this performance will take audiences on a journey looking at acceptance, arrival, and appreciation.
Casey Bailey is the Birmingham Poet Laureate 2020-2022. He is a writer, performer and educator born and raised in Nechells, Birmingham. Casey’s second full collection of poetry ‘Please Do Not Touch’ (2021) was published by Burning Eye Books. Casey has performed nationally and internationally, spent some time on a residency with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and taught, facilitated and led up and down the country.
Ashley Allen is a keyboardist, composer, producer and songwriter who currently resides in Birmingham UK. His most notable performances include the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Opening for the Sky Sports World Badminton Tournament, BBC Maida Vale Live Lounge, BBC Radio 1 Introducing Artists programme, Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Mostly Jazz Festival, Headline shows at Symphony Hall and The Hare and Hounds, Camden Assembly and Cadogan Hall.
AGAAMA is an artist, composer, vocalist and producer. Fusing experimental pop, with dark ravey beats and Jazz-influenced vocals, AGAAMA draws you in with sonic energy that moves fluidly between haunting melodies and electronic instrumentalism. Her childhood listening to metal music plays a central role in the production and energy of new EP, ‘Wandering Worlds’.
John Bernard is a poet and rapper from Coventry whose work has earned him a reputation as the city’s voice for the young. His work stands out for its authenticity, rawness, and potency, exploring themes of social justice, youth empowerment, faith, and purpose.
With his distinctive delivery and commanding voice, John has become a standout performer in the world of poetry and rap. He has taken to the stage at some of the UK’s most prestigious events and venues, including Shambala festival, Godiva festival, BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend, the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022, and even the renowned Symphony Hall with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
TrueMendous: “One to watch out for” quotes Akil The Mc from hip hop’s legendary crew, Jurassic 5.
Arguably one of the best upcoming artists in the UK: TrueMendous delivered the opening track for the Women’s FA Cup final at Wembley stadium which aired on BBC 1 during peak daytime tv
Credo Kampeta: Drawing inspiration from an eclectic array of genres, Credo fuses elements of soul, r’n’b, pop and electronic music, creating a sonic experience that transcends boundaries.
Credo delivers an emotional performance filled with soul-stirring melodies, colourful chords and infectious rhythms. Their songs, a powerful reflection of life, love, and the human experience, resonate deeply with listeners, forging a connection between artist and audience.
Janel Antoneshia is a Jamaican born singer and songwriter currently living in the West Midlands, UK.
Inspired by gospel, rhythm and blues to soul and reggae—her versatile and distinctive sound continues to develop since her first EP release “Eleutheromania” on music platform Soundcloud. The project saw her focus on different aspects of freedom: from love to politics. Since then, Janel has gained a respectable and organic fan base, which has seen her progressed across the board. Her popular release “12’s Company”, is already considered to be a contemporary classic.
Janel Antoneshia credits the streets of Birmingham in helping her to develop her sound and performance ability
PleasePrettyLea : Midland’s based alt-pop artist PleasePrettyLea is a weird and enchanting multi-sensory experience whether you’re watching her live on stage, checking out a music video on youtube, or listening to her through your headphones at home.
When PleasePrettyLea’s vocal influences from FKA twigs and Solange combine with heavy 808 near industrial production, her sultry, dynamic tones clash against the harshness of her musical environment, reflecting the complexity of PleasePrettyLea’s rageful effeminate persona.