Context Live @ The Enterprise, Camden [Review]

The last thing expected when entering the sweat-inducing jukebox known as the Enterprise is something cool and refreshing. That, however, is exactly what Context brought to the table (or the stage, in this case). Having caught up with the man himself prior to his performance, he underlined the fact that the crowd could expect something different with his live performance and that the live band would create a unique atmosphere. He wasn’t wrong…

The University of East Anglia economics student grinded together a spectrum of genres to create the unique experience which he delivered with pure fire and passion. It’s difficult to allocate Context’s music to a particular section in music, as he elaborated:

“My style of music is like ambient, honest, melodic, English, dubstep… it’s weird, it’s hard to put it in a box really. There’s bits of garage in it, even RnB – it’s honest garage-inspired music I suppose”

It was around 10pm. The Manchester derby being screened downstairs in the venue had come to an end. Upstairs, the live band was ready; drumsticks poised, keys waiting for the cue and picks prepped. The starlet took to the stage, with a ripple of applause and a humble, no-nonsense aura. That’s just the kind of down-to-earth man he is. In parallel with his name, he introduced himself succinctly setting out his situation, to a crowd of industry individuals, a hardcore contingent from Norwich and a handful of intrigued music enthusiasts. Without further ado, Context stormed into the set; and immediately impressed those who were completely new to his style, like myself. ‘My background’s a mining town, you will never see me give up or start lying down’ he beamed during the curious but creative Off With Their Heads. To anybody listening it was glaringly evident that this is someone who is as much a fan of music as a creator, the range of aural ingredients in his tracks astounded me and begged the question – who are his influences?

“Quite a lot of people influence me really. The Streets is quite a big one, a lot of people say my sound is like a modern version or a re-interpretation of The Streets. I like anyone who does music and they’re unashamedly themselves, it’s quite a dangerous thing to do but people like Mike Skinner and Giggs are great at it.”

Perhaps what SB.TV enjoyed most about Context is how comfortable he made the crowd feel with his lyrics, his flow and his subject matter. There seems to be an overwhelming amount of rappers with the same content which only a minor portion of the fan base can relate to. Context speaks about life’s quirks and quests which are applicable and empathetic to most ears. He also takes advantage of his education, not holding back on his linguistic flair; even causing myself to look up the definitions of some of his lyrics. His flow allowed him to put extra emphasis on his words, which enticed the audience to pay extra attention to what he was actually saying rather than taking it for granted. The most impressive component of his performance was his acapella, an extract from his SB.TV Warm Up Session which was recorded almost a year ago now

Context raised eyebrows with his rhymes and references, and demonstrated the depth and experience which even a veteran MC would be proud of. There is a buffet of opportunity ahead of this talent, which leaned me towards the question – what are his goals and where does he see himself in a year’s time?

“I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing but take it up a notch. I mean if somebody gives me a nice dotted line to write my name on, I’m not going to argue! I just want to continue in the direction I’m going in because I want this to be my job, do you know what I mean? I’ve basically made it all up as I go along really, I haven’t really had a goal or a specific aim to be in this position by this day or anything.”


Words by Riky Bains

Edited by Natalia