As nights out are back in full swing after the slow burn of the pandemic, it's worth noting how the music and event industry has suffered immensely. As I scrolled through Instagram and watched my friends suddenly find a newfound love for baking, growing avocado trees on their window sills or crocheting, my hobby turned out to be DJing. I bought a second-hand pair of DJ decks and practised every second I could.
The good thing about this was that I was finally learning a new skill that I had been putting off for ages, but it also made me yearn for being in a sweaty club and feeling the bass turn my knees to jelly. But it wasn't all bad - we knew the pandemic wouldn't last forever and sure enough, the club doors swung open once again, and we were able to spend exuberant amounts of money on overpriced drinks, lose our friends on the dance floor, get a kebab from across the road and ride the night bus all the way home, just like we used to.
Budding rapper Isaiah Shoticaury approached me when I played a set at an event and as we exchanged the old 'Have you had Covid yet? Which vaccination did you get?' small talk, he mentioned that he would be putting on a listening party very soon to debut his new album and asked if I would kindly play at his show, to which I agreed.
A few months later at The Hackney Social, a short walk from Hackney Central station, I decided to document Isaiah throughout the duration of his listening party because I understood that it was a big deal to him. As a music journalist, I know how hard it can be for any musician to get their name out there, but I felt hope for Isaiah because, to be frank, his music is very good.
Introducing a new series I've decided to call "A Night With...[INSERT NAME HERE]", I get up close and personal with some up-and-coming talents and will show everyone else what they're missing out on and (hopefully) turn them into a fan. Showing off his night and telling us some more about himself, Isaiah delves into the nitty-gritty of his new album, as well as how his first-ever event went.