A week from today - next Friday, 29th of October - Portsmouth and Southsea’s elite open mic event is coming to Southampton. Word Of Mouth’s esteemed Grab Da Mic series of events showcases local talent, as well as offering the opportunity for members of the crowd to Grab Da Mic and show off their emceeing skills. SOuthside is supporting the event, so we spoke to Blessed from the Word Of Mouth team to get the low-down on their expansion efforts across the South Coast that start with The Angel Inn in Southampton next Friday.
Four Southampton acts have been announced to perform at the Grab Da Mic on the 29th - hot rhymes Triggz Legacy, hard flows Malakai Manic, new kid Madd Macc, and street legend Muru. Triggz brings a grimey energy, regularly collaborating with names such as Forbes. We’ve not seen much of Malakai Manic up to this point, but listening through his mixtapes Malakai brings some mean flow and a few of his tracks will no doubt pop off in the live show. Madd Macc is fresh on the scene and an unknown quantity, hoping to exhibit his grime flows at the cypher. Lastly, Muru has been on a hot streak since the lockdown: dropping hits from Good Vibes, to New One, to the incredible Jump Up Flows featuring Forbes.
Word Of Mouth’s events have made a strong return since the easing of covid restrictions, packing out Southsea venues with guest attendance hitting the three figures. Next Friday, 29th of October, Word Of Mouth are bringing their Grab Da Mic emcee cyphers to The Angel Inn in Southampton and are hoping to carry over that success to a new city. Word Of Mouth have been organising events for 3 years, and are ready to commence expansion efforts.
Blessed from Word Of Mouth explains “It began when I noticed that the rappers in the city were constantly being overlooked by local promoters, so we wanted to provide that stage for them. The pieces all came together once myself and Sinsink moved into what was later called the ‘WOM House’. We built a studio and office space, held meetings and began planning our first string of events. We built a great relationship with The Wedgewood Rooms, which have now become the home for our monthly Grab Da Mic events.
“The initial goal was to help elevate the scene and provide a platform. We invested any money made into the next event. Give independent artists an insight into the professional performance industry, plus developing the ever-growing scene we have. When lockdown hit, events stopped but our passion grew. Myself and the WOM team ended up getting in the studio and created a bunch of tracks which we are putting together for an album.
We also had time to set new goals and plan the routes to meet them. Our main ethos remains the same, our ambition is what is growing. There’s no reason we can’t go bigger, support more artists and break into new locations. We’re also working on something special we hope to launch next year that will set the bar for artist support services. So keep an eye out for that!”
The Southampton expansion plans started when two of the WoM team started university in the city. Word Of Mouth got on the ball right away, developing a working relationship with Dan from The Angel Inn and booking a date for next Friday, the 29th. “This first event is just dipping our toes in the water”, explained Blessed. “We hope to eventually have a similar schedule in Southampton compared to our Portsmouth events, which is monthly Grab Da Mics and bi-monthly Battlegrounds - our freestyle rap battle tournament.
“It’s a new task to find artists we’ve never heard of before and book them. Plus, promoting something in a city where we have no presence as of yet. However, the artists and the venue have been so proactive with pushing the event, I am excited to see what sort of turn out we get.”
“Hopefully we can make a difference in the scene”
When asked what the vision is for Word Of Mouth, Blessed replied: “I think we just want to be known for putting on well-run events that support local, upcoming artists. A place where you can enjoy some live music, meet with friends and hop on stage during the cypher. We’ve got plenty of ideas we are working on, and the possibilities are truly endless. Hopefully we can make a difference in the scene as a whole, and provide that platform for your local artist to reach that next stage.”
Word Of Mouth’s inaugural Southampton event will be held at The Angel Inn on Palmerston road, next Friday, the 29th of October. With doors opening at 7pm, and at just £4 a ticket before 8pm - or £6 after then - this event is geared up to be a good one. We’ll see you down there!