"this concept really allowed me to push myself to stylistic extremes, light years outside of my comfort zone." Soweto Kinch "It may have sounded li


"this concept really allowed me to push myself to stylistic extremes, light years outside of my comfort zone."

Soweto Kinch


"It may have sounded like rap but not as Radio One knows it. Penned by an Oxford modern-history graduate with a playwright and actress as parents, its intellectual content was in a different league to the bog-standard bitch-slappin’, cop-hatin’ imprecations of lesser transatlantic spielers." London Evening Standard Four-stars

"It's a trip long and richly textured enough to make up a double album - a record which is Kinch's best work to date." Time Out - Album of the Week


click for Jazzwise feature

"Those who have followed Kinch's career would not be taken aback by his decision to embark on a project of this nature, for the stage as a place for scenario as well as song has long been a backbone in his artistic body....a bold and bracing work for the sharpness of its execution and wide idiomatic range."- Jazzwise

"...A high energy soundtrack for a hip hop musical whose cast of musicians, actors, designers, dancers and choreographers wouuld fill this space twice over." The Guardian - Five-stars

"The album is an amazing display of verbal and musical virtuosity from 34-year-old Kinch, who combines the streetwise argot of a lad raised in inner-city Birmingham with the learned references of a bookish man." Telegraph

"What is new on this album is his use of musical styles from 400 years ago in the shape of Bach fuges, and language in the dream sequences that has the florid quaintness of Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones and the themes explored in the album are, of course, big ones." Birmingham Post


click on image to see London Jazz interview

The Legend of Mike Smith represents Soweto Kinch's most ambitious touring project to date. Exploring the subject of 'The Seven Deadly Sins' with a trio consisting of Moses Boyd on Drums and Nick Jurd on Double and Electric Basses, the show combines everything from jazz and hip-hop to Bach-like chorales to evoke an alternative world of vice and temptation. Touring this new ensemble has also allowed Kinch, to expand his sonic pallette, integrating live looping and more tenor saxophone. The group is also a lively counterfoil for a wide range of lyrical approaches ranging from the lethargic delivery of Sloth and Gluttony, to the frenetic, high-octane pace of Envy and Wrath. With its themes, and signature use of freestyles, each performance is bespoke to the audience and venue, and tackles grand themes in humorous and surprising ways.


Click on image to view video

The show is based on a double album epic from Soweto Kinch that tells the story of an aspiring rapper possessed by each of the seven deadly vices. Fusing jazz, hip-hop and spoken word narrative the album explores corporate sin, the temptations of capitalism and the travails of a young artist attempting to get signed.


Featuring Kinch on saxophones, rap/spoken vocals and beat production it's his most expansive recording project to date. Drawing on influences as divergent as Dante, J.S. Bach, Ornette Coleman and Madlib, the album creates an alternative sonic universe to comment on this one and is a thrilling, cryptic and comedic listen from start to finish. As Soweto describes, "this concept really allowed me to push myself to stylistic extremes, light years outside of my comfort zone."


This project represents the first time I've fully been able to integrate my loves of jazz, hip hop and theatre. Many of my albums have had narrative qualities yet working with Jonzi, dancers and musicians in this way has allowed me to really expand these ideas and pushed me in a new and exciting directions. I'm excited about having the new album and staged project so closely related, and have grand ambitions for the piece in future. I often get audiences for my straight ahead jazz who see unaware of my hip hop audience and vice versa and find telling a story in this way a compelling way of bringing people together.


click on image to see video


Feb 25th and 26th Ronnie Scotts - Album launch - read London Jazz review

Feb 21st-24th - Bern Jazz Festival, Switzerland

March 1st Nantes - Festival

March 16th The Beat Festival - Birmingham

March 21st Leeds College of Music

March 23rd The Anvil, Basingstoke

March 29th Tilburg


April 4th St Pancreas Festival, London

April 5th The Sage Gateshead

April 11th Lyon

April 12th Montpellier

April 13th Aix-En-Provence

April 19th Sheffield Jazz

21st April-23rd Banlieus Bleues, Paris

April 27th Riverfront Cafe, Newport

May 31st Kings Place, London


25th-26th May Kaya Festival, Wales

6th June Jazz Refreshed, London

14th-16th June Breakin Convention, NYC,

21st June - 5th July US/Canada tour. venues tbc.

7th July Love Supreme Festival

September 12th - THE LEGEND OF MIKE SMITH (theatrical piece)- The Birmingham Rep
3 week run


The Trials of Mike Smith will also offer a series of performance workshops to run alongside the shows.
We envisage working with local schools and further education bodies as well as venues to deliver a program of workshops which explore:
- jazz and hip hop improvisation skills
- hip hop choreography
- writing lyrics
- synchronising dance with music
- vocal techniques
- the role of 'sin' in modern culture and the significance of Dante in contemporary society.


Contact Info

Soweto Kinch Productions


Tel +44 (0)7944 621159


Mensah Kinch mensah@soweto-kinch.com

All photos by Benjamin Amure

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