Rap star KANO appears at Hackney Empire - part of the CREATE11 festival

Part of the CREATE11 Festival - Friday 24 June to Monday 25 July
A BARBICAN co-commission
In association with Theatre Royal Stratford East

Featuring Headliner KANO
Thursday 7 July, Hackney Empire

On Thursday 7 July, as part of the CREATE11 festival, Hackney Empire will host the third Re:Definition showcase headlined by east London rap star KANO, who recently finished touring with Damon Albarn’s GORILLAZ.

Re:Definition, a co-commision by CREATE and the Barbican, is presented by the Stratford based organisation Urban Development. It unites world-class acts with emerging talent from east London, blurring the boundaries between music hall, theatre and revolutionary underground sounds. Alongside Kano this year’s edition will feature grime legend Ghetts, MOBO-nominated Donaeo, soul boy Mike Hough, grime MC and rising star RoxXxan (Mike Skinner’s Band of the Day for the Guardian), and more to be announced. Visuals come from music video director Jak Frsh, who has worked with Maxsta, Tinie Tempah and Wiley. Directed by Matthew “Excalibah” Xia, the night will weave together live performance and adventure on a journey that encompasses love, conflict, tradition and aspirations in east London by using lyrical content from some of Urban Development’s loyal supporters.

Urban Development Video link:

Over the past ten years; Urban Development has supported many of east London’s young artists, producers, and songwriter and has long been championed by artists like Kano.

"Events like this don t come around often, especially in your home town” says Kano, “so it s great to be able to celebrate east end music and culture which is where it all began for me. Anyone who s been to an Urban Development club night will know Re:Definition is gonna be one not to miss."

“I ve known about Urban Development for 12 years now”, says Matthew "Excalibah” Xia, Director of Re:Definition, “and I love the support they give to the industry and up and coming artists as well as established. Re:Definition is a platform for sharing stories in a musical form which I worked on last year and I m happy I m doing again this year. It’s a staged concept album where each song is a story created by artist experience. Last year’s feedback was amazing so this year it s all about stepping it up…”

“CREATE is committed to supporting new talent across all art forms,” says Hadrian Garrard, Festival Director, “and over the past three years the festival, with the Arts Council s support, has not only presented a series of stand-out, live music events (working with partners such as Urban Development and featuring artists like Devlin, Scorcher, Ms Dynamite, Bashy, Ed Sheeran), but has supported invaluable behind-the-scenes music industry training for hundreds of aspiring young music creatives, who have received mentoring from some of the biggest names in the UK music industry. Cutting edge, internationally acclaimed artists hailing from east London like Labyrinth (Hackney), Tinchy Stryder (Bow) and Plan B (Newham) are turning the UK music scene on its head, dominating mainstream charts, and are now one of east London s most important cultural exports.”


Thursday 7 July, 8pm
Hackney Empire
291 Mare Street, E8 1EJ

Tickets from:

For more information and to book tickets for Re:Definition and other CREATE events please see

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