May 21 2013 Latest news:
by Alistair Kleebauer, Senior reporter
Thursday, December 13, 2012
»A Cameroon-born singer who started to make his name at a club night in Goodmayes, is performing at Ilford’s IF Bar on Saturday.
Essence B, whose real name is Emmanuel Bicharri, has begun to win fans with an Afrobeat sound including tune Ghost Money featuring club promoter Hboss and Nigerian artist Kanny.
The 29-year-old returns to the borough where he lived for four years for a headlining show at the Ilford Hill venue.
He said: “IF Bar in terms of reach is at a higher level, it’s where you need to be at.
“People should expect a good night with good music.”
At the start of this year, Essence held a monthly club night at Kukus Nest, an Indian restaurant and bar lounge, in Goodmayes Lane. Its initial sound was hip-hop and R&B-influenced and it wasn’t always easy to find venues for that music, he said.
He also had a burgeoning interest in Afrobeat, a style of music popularised in the 1970s by Nigerian artist Fela Kuti which is a percussive blend of funk and traditional Yoruba music.
Alongside listening to Kuti, Essence was inspired by contemporary artists such as Wizkid, who blend the original style with western rap influences.
Essence said: “For the majority of the time, I was brought up in a British culture. But now I’ve started to learn a bit more about my background and about Afrobeat.
“And I’ve had a better response than doing urban music.”
He has made music and performed live “as a hobby” for five years, but this year took the decision to “get out there”.
He said: “If I make it and no one hears it, it doesn’t make sense.”
With Ghost Money now getting “a lot of love” in east London, according to the singer, he should be guaranteed a welcoming audience.
Tickets are £10 (£5 for women before 11.30pm) and the night runs 10pm-3am.
The dress code is smart/casual and ID is requested.