Gig Seeker Pro


London, England, United Kingdom | SELF

London, England, United Kingdom | SELF
Band Hip Hop Soul


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Cynikal at Ronnie Scott's"

On a bustling side street in London’s Soho a steep staircase takes you into the depths of one of the oldest and most exclusive jazz clubs in the world. The low ceilinged venue is intimate and cosy, bustling with a crowd of well-dressed and middle-aged (in the politest sense of the word) individuals, all milling around, sipping wine and cocktails, and edging slowly, ever closer to the stage. Welcome to Ronnie Scott's.
Prior to his performance I'd been confused and surprised about many things. Why was a hip hop artist performing at a jazz club? Why did the jazz club want a hip hop artist performing there (for the second time)? And where are the usual bunch of hip hop supporters? Bar his street team, there are none to be seen. All of this confusion is cleared up within minutes of Cynikal taking to the stage.
For starters, you’d be hard put to define him as simply a ‘hip hop artist’ regardless of the fact that yes, he is essentially a rapper. His band, The Street Orchestra, are undeniably talented and with such beautiful backing, it would be hard to go wrong. But that’s not to say he isn’t amazing as well. “You shouldn’t let people tell you what to do unless they’ve earned the credit,” he says before launching into a track with some of the most refreshing lyrics I’ve ever heard. “I don’t really give a damn about those who don’t give a damn about me,” he spits, making an indescribably refreshing difference from the majority of arrogant, chauvinistic lines that come from your typical rapper.
But, like I said… Cynikal can’t be described as your typical rapper. Remixing well-known songs – like Drake and Rihanna’s ‘What’s My Name’ – he captures the crowds’ attention, and keeps it. “This has never been done by a rapper,” he says before Musiq Souldchild’s neo soul melodies take over the room. Swathed in a blanket of beautiful sound, Cynikal’s story-telling fits perfectly with the band and the brilliantly belted out chorus. Taking time to introduce each player individually he steps to the side of the stage, giving them each their moment in the limelight – a smile so big stretched across his face he may as well be holding it up with his fingers.
As the symphonies for Drake’s ‘Over’ come into play I look at the stage, panicked. I'm very protective of this song, and all my fingers and toes are crossed in the hope that it won't be slandered. But Cynikal pulls it off, and very well. Regardless of the fact the backing singer isn’t too sure of the chorus, Cynikal’s charisma and the banter between the two is enough to smooth it all over. It's a risky move to make, but worthwhile.
Leaving the venue feeling elated I only wish that the crowd had been more understanding of the talent that they've just witnessed. Ushering in a new era of hip hop, Cynikal and the Street Orchestra provides truth and sincerity coupled with refreshingly magnetic lyrics, and real music. - Spoonfed


Radio play: BBC 1Xtra, BBC Asian Network, Kiss FM, Choice FM, Reprezent FM, Westside Radio, Dejavu FM.

Friday 29 (2007)
688 Sessions (2009)
Breakfast (April 2012)



With 2012 well under way, the British music scene is flourishing with an unrivalled production line of high-calibre talent - cue the latest man versus machine hybrid; Cynikal. Born in London, raised in Essex and a graduate of the famed Leeds College of Music academy, this is not your ordinary private-school-educated, first-class-degree-obtaining, West-Ham-United-loving, British Asian audio wizard.

The past twelve months have also been eventful, most notably with full-band appearances at Lovebox, Underage Festival and Turning Point Festival, alongside names such as Snoop Dogg, De La Soul, Professor Green, Katy B and Ed Sheeran to name a few. The world famous Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London also played host to Cynikal, whereby he and The Street Orchestra became one of a rare few Hip Hop acts to perform in the venue’s 50-year history (thrice). Towards the latter part of 2010, graduation season witnessed Cynikal and the acoustic half of his band perform at his ceremony, suited-booted, robed and gowned in Leeds Town Hall, something unheard of for a Hip Hop act. The scene was set for the hard-working, multi-talented East-Ender to collect the certificate for his 1:1 in BA Music Production. Previous notable achievements include a support slot on US rapper The Game’s UK tour, airplay on BBC 1Xtra, BBC Asian Network (as well as an interview with Nihal), Kiss FM and Choice FM, as well as appearances on MTV Base and Channel 4 as part of Dubplate Drama’s and Childline’s ‘Spit It Out’ campaign.

With work on his forthcoming mixtape Breakfast firmly underway, we should expect to both see and hear exactly what this artist is capable of very, very soon.