Meet Lewis Daniel and Adam Gray, the creative duo behind London’s Soul platform, Get Lifted.
Lewis Daniel. Photography: Joseph Madden
As students, Get Lifted started out by hosting regular nights in the now-closed Zenith Bar, Angel as well as a very popular event at the Guildhall School’s charming SU basement bar. They offered performance opportunities to their fellow upcoming musicians and humbly showcased every artist involved. Things grew rapidly when the team went on to win the Deutsche Bank Award for Creative Enterprise in 2013 with their simple, yet special idea.
The company now proudly exist to provide a platform for unsigned, independent and very talented artists with a soulful edge. They have established a network that revolves around their popular YouTube TV channel, which covers all things Soul – a genre that claims to be frequently left behind by the media.
By definition, Soul music combines elements of gospel music, rhythm and blues and jazz. It was initially made popular by artists including the brilliant James Brown, Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin, just to name a few! It now dominates the charts and the R & B genre, remaining an influence for British artists including Adele, David Bowie and of course, the late Amy Winehouse.
Get Lifted are set on promoting and presenting innovative artists who have an element of soul about them. They have already curated a stage at the London Unsigned festival and were the exclusive YouTube partnership for the Love Supreme festival 2013 as well as making appearances at both StreetFest and Breaking Convention. The team continue to produce a stream of interviews, music videos and debates for Get Lifted TV – just a quick visit to their channel throws up interviews with huge artists including Snarky Puppy, Day26 of P Diddy’s Making the Band and the father of British neo Soul music, Omar.
Earlier this year, the company launched Get Lifted Studios, adding another arm to their established support network for artists. The studio not only backs Get Lifted’s own output, but also offers career-boosting services to clients by providing access to photography and video services and ever-important publicity support. It is so reassuring to see artists backing artists in this way.
Smart music videos appear to be at the heart of this company, and we love them for it. Every work seems to feature a beautiful pocket of London; a favourite being Ebonie G’s ‘Keep on Going’, set in Arnold Circus at the heart of Shoreditch’s oldest Council Estate, the Boundary Estate.
September saw the exciting launch of Get Lifted’s Live Lounge, a monthly event at the newly refurbished Bar TWO ONE TWO, Brick Lane. Simon Kusnierek, the bar’s Manager, initiated the series after featuring in one of Get Lifted’s acoustic sessions. He saw that the company had a bank of quality artists and knew this partnership would be a sure way to inject new life into Brick Lane’s live music scene.
We are always keen to experience artists live we so popped along to October’s Live Lounge. The bill featured music from the young Mary Grace, Essex’s Lewis Burr and the fantastically honest Dionne Reid. A combination itself that showed off the mighty variety Get Lifted have under their wing.
Bar TWO ONE TWO’s glassy front boasts the perfect backdrop of one of Brick Lane’s genuine bagel offerings. The atmosphere inside was welcoming and the furnishing ever so cosy. To our delight, the bar even had a selection of Get Lifted cocktails on offer; we couldn’t bring ourselves to dive in with a B-Lifted shot, but the Disaronno your Soul certainly added to our comfort.
The evening’s trio of artists had all previously featured on Get Lifted’s YouTube channel, making it a bit of a ‘best of’ event. Between set trips to the bar were accompanied by the fantastic DJ AJ Brinkman The night was slickly presented by Nathan Devonte, a regular host of Get Lifted’s debate show.
Many of us will have been to bars with live music and many of those nights will have ended up with musicians trying to compete with surrounding noise. Not this time! Everyone in the venue respected each set and it was excellent be a part of – we all loved being there.
For the tiny entry donation of £2, you really couldn’t ask for better value for money. The artists were all incredible, and the surroundings of equal quality. The atmosphere was perfectly relaxed; intimate, but not in a way that would disturb any introverted tendencies.
Get Lifted are focussed on bringing London’s Soul scene together. They have a Christmas special planned for 6th December and countless new additions lined up for their TV channel. Team Get Lifted continues to grow its stellar line up of presenters, photographers and a great supporting team and they are all about offering a platform for some very talented artists.
Bar TWO ONE TWO’s Live Lounge residency is now a permanent and established monthly event – you can join them next time on Tuesday 15th November.
We are spoilt for choice when it comes to London events, so much so that it can be tricky to make a decision. Discovering Get Lifted, their work and particularly this smoothly put together Live Lounge really does feel like we’ve found the real deal. The whole project oozes positivity and it feels good to support such a humble pursuit.
If you like the idea of a cosy evening with some honest talent, then Live Lounge is for you – we just recommend getting there early to secure the comfiest seats in the house! Before then, see what you think of their channel, we promise it will… Lift you.