In a few words, what are Congregate events all about?
Congregate is all about community and merging everyone from different backgrounds together in the heart of Brixton.
How long has Congregate Brixton been going and how did it first come into existence?
Congregate has been running for just over a couple years now and came about via our other events we have going throughout Brixton. A friendly trader allowed the connection to the square to be made via us offering to do the PA section of the festivities until now. Whereas now, we’re able to run it independently.
Local traders are still a big part of congregate alongside the music, what can Congregators find for sale this time round?
Ooooh we’ve got everything from free yoga to start off the day to workshops, talks and street art. The food traders are En Root, Burr Eat Ohh, Maame T’s Kitchen, Adriano’s Ice Cream, Rendang and Stomping Grounds Coffee. And the bar will be run by The And What? Ldn family sponsored by Canopy Beer Company.
Hosting and freestyling from yourself and Amp Medley is kind of the cornerstone of And What? events. When did you guys start rhyming together?
We’ve been rapping together around 3 years now, initially starting from a random busking meeting to moving into venues such as the Chip Shop & Grow Hackney and getting that energy going for everyone else to shell down and bully the cypher.
Hosting your Rise of The MC nights, the two of you have a rep for bossing hip hop freestyles. Do the more diverse musical influences at Congregate prove challenging to flow over?
Well I’d be lying to say there’s never been moment where there’s been a slight hiccup in flow and delivery but that’s what makes freestyling, them stutters and stammers add to the performance, so yes but the mind over time starts to enjoy patterning the eclectic vibes. I don’t think there’s anything we haven’t had to flow over at this point but if so we ready!
What’s the most out-there musical backing you’ve jumped on?
For myself, as I’m originally a US rapper I’d have to say EOW. Dj Snuff’s mad Jungle riddims when they’re doing the challenge, I have to get creative.
What’s your most memorable Congregate highlight?
I’d have to say a couple years back when it was bussing down with rain but we still managed to have a whole crowd under the gazebos having a proper rave up to Shumba Youth’s Dub Sound. Intense.
What’s different this year?
One big development this year is da hootananny after party… hooty hoo… Mr MYSDIGGI Headlining!
One of the main things this year is our independence, there’s no middle man, giving us further freedom with artistic choices and traders.
Line-up for Saturday is looking sick and has an eclectic range of lyricism focused performances for people to get excited about. What are your must see recommendations for hip hop heads?
Idris Miles and Mega Mikes are heavy hitters and been doing quite a large circuit as well as the cypher kicking off at 6pm with Carpet Face which will have all the MC’s on a madness!
Any shout outs you want to give?
I wanna big up the Brixton soundsystem operators Stack Up Sound for rocking with us and providing The system to shell on! And not to forget the Mighty Murk FM… our house band who’ve been rockin with us 3 years now, makes its long awaited return to Brixton. .. neo soul vibage… lead vocals by us truly.
Come join us with the And What? family FOR FREE tomorrow in Windrush Square from midday. For more info, full line-up and links to tickets for the after party at Hootananny Brixton check out the event page here!