After the vibey and soulful acts of Zak Abel and Espa, Croydon rapper Bonkaz jumped on stage to performed some tracks off his new EP Forgive Me When I’m Famous. To my suprise, Bonkaz was completely in control of his adrenaline levels, and unlike most new rappers, was able to channel that adrenaline to a place of great performance. Known for his heavy hitting, hard spitting tune ‘We Run the Block’ Bonkaz’s cool and collected stage presence was definitely something I wasnt expecting, but appreciated that night.
It was nice to watch a relatively new artist have control over their stage with such finesse. As he got comfortable on stage, Bonkaz began to really vibe off the crowd, and every so often he would grin from ear to ear as the people skank’d frantically to his tunes. I thought it was amazing how genuinely happy his crowd seemed to make him. As the show went on, the energy levels increased and I could tell the audience were enjoying the performance.
For me, seeing Bonkaz up on that stage, at such an intimate venue, with an audience ranging from different ages and backgrounds, showed me that he is a true artist. Although, through previous projects, we know Bonkaz’s music to take main influence from grime and hip hop, I definitely saw a softer side of him that night, as he wooed the audience with his song ‘Young Hearts’ which features Etta Bond, who he briefly brought up on stage with him.
During his performance I felt completely taken in by how engrossed he was in his tracks as he performed them. I was suprised by the fact that Bonkaz didn't shy away from his vulnerable side, but instead was able to completely get into his feelings and thus give great emotional performances. The contrast between his bass heavy grime tracks and his slow jams is what makes Bonkaz so successful in my opinion. In the space of 45 minutes, Bonkaz had people moshing in the front and swaying in the back. With the knowledge that his entire EP was made in only 2 weeks and had been released less than a month ago, made each performance even more applaudable as the audience sang along word for word. This show really brought his EP to life.
Bonkaz showed his fans tonnes of apreciation throughout the show yelling "You lot are dope" countless times, but what I respected the most was how he ended his show. As many artists, he had run over his set time into someone else’s, and although the crowd wanted more, he called it quits saying:
"Word is that I'm cutting into someone's set time, I would never want to do that. Thanks guys. You lot are dope."
Bonkaz proved to be a humble and respectful guy with heaps of potential. At such an early stage of his career, Bonkaz shows undoubtable talent and charisma, and I believe he is set to do amazing things in the very near future. I wish him all the best. Be sure to check out his EP and latest single ‘Pretty Brown Eyes’.
CREDITS: Photography by Pacheanne Anderson