The Rise of Hip Hop Karaoke in London: Unleashing Your Inner MC at Amazing Graceby 2023-04-18
Immersive experiences have never been bigger in London – a place where you can pretend you’re in Tomb Raider, have food cooked by a ‘tiny chef’ on a screen, jump into your favourite film scene, and now, live vicariously through your favourite rapper live on stage. Karaoke has always been massive in the capital, but people are getting bored of the classic ‘Lucky Voice’ experience, and want something unique and more engulfing.
Between January 2017 and January 2022, Google searches in the UK for the term ‘immersive London’ increased by 83 percent. Secret Cinema were one of the first immersive pioneers, transforming disused buildings into film sets and blending a variety of performance styles to create a unique theatrical event. Secret Cinema had 20,000 people attending each show ten years ago, and in 2019, that had increased to more than 100,000.
Film, music, food – you name it – new immersive concepts are being introduced across the capital. Rob Pursey is behind hugely successful Hip Hop Karaoke, which offers a fresh and exciting twist to traditional karaoke, allowing participants to take on the role of their favourite hip hop artist and perform their tracks on stage with a live DJ and an enthusiastic crowd.
Speaking about why he started the Hip Hop Karaoke movement, he said: “I founded Hip Hop Karaoke as the first event of its kind in the UK, fifteen years ago and as a lifelong hip hop fan, I wanted to create a fun event that anyone could attend whether you were deep in the genre or you simply loved a few rap songs.
“I knew from rapping along all these years that I wouldn’t be alone and it never ceases to amaze me the range of people who come through to perform and hype the other performers – some fresh from the office with their best Dre and Eminem impression!
Our main concern is spreading the love for the music and making sure that everyone who comes to our events or festivals/private parties feels like a star when they grab that mic and hit the stage.”
Fast forward to 2023 and Hip Hop Karaoke has enjoyed phenomenal success, popping up at venues across London, including Amazing Grace, plus setting up shop at a variety of UK festivals. And the reason for its success? According to Rob, it all comes down to confidence and an eagerness to participate.
“I think the last few years have seen a rise in entertainment becoming more interactive in general and consumers participating more, and this is a natural extension of that,” he explained.
“People are much more confident in a time of social media, in terms of public performance and expressing themselves. It’s also very communal and a great ice-breaker on dates!”
What sets Hip Hop Karaoke apart is the vibrant energy and creativity it brings to the stage; from classic hits to modern bangers, you can channel your inner MC and deliver your best rap flow. One of the prime destinations for Hip Hop Karaoke is Amazing Grace, a unique venue located in St Thomas Church, a historic 17th century church, in London Bridge. Amazing Grace provides an unparalleled atmosphere that adds to the thrill of the experience.
The venue’s stunning setting, with its high ceilings, stained glass windows, and stylish decor, creates a one-of-a-kind ambience that’s perfect for embracing your inner Jay Z or Ice Spice.
Talking about the future of the capital’s karaoke scene, Rob added: “I think anything is possible, particularly in London where even niche music scenes have their own large following, and whilst people are happy to be in the limelight I can only see more and more karaoke events appearing.”
Whether you’re a rap god in waiting, or just wanting to see people attempt a Busta Rhymes verse in the flesh, Hip Hop Karaoke is undoubtedly one of the most fun and inviting nights out in the capital.