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  HKB FiNN QUiNTET Live November 29th...❁

What is this project?

‘HKB FiNN QUiNTET is the new project from spoken word artist HKB FiNN. Mixing Jazz, Soulful Spoken Word & Visuals, the project aims to create an immersive audio /visual experience for concert goers.  Using two feature films shot & directed by HKB FiNN, the band will transport you through to an immersive experience unlike any other.


Who are the other Artists?

HKB FiNN QUiNTET are Cheryl Alleyne on Drums, Rio Kai on Double Bass, Edison Herbert on Electric Guitar, Irene Forrester on vocals and HKB FiNN on visuals, percussion & Spoken Word. The newly formed collective features musicians who have been hand picked by FiNN for their generous creativity & verve. The aim of HKB FiNN QUiNTET is to create unique live experiences and show the flexibility & vibrancy of Poetry, Visuals & Jazz. 


Who is HKB FiNN?

Renowned for his genre defying music and emotive Poetry, HKB FiNN’s work explores issues around history, gender & the politics of representation.  HKB FiNN blurs the boundaries between visual, sonic and literary arts and with this new project, he aims to create incredibly moving experiences for concert goers. 


What other projects has he done?

Recent exhibitions & performances include Sounderground: Rio De Janeiro, Tate Modern: Indoor Carnival, Nice Jazz Festival, Jazz Mo'Thology: Summer Festival Residency (Solo Photographic show & concert series), Sallinger Project (Orator role) Gansad Jazz Festival: Peymeinade, MYSOGiNY iS SUiCiDE (solo photo exhibition), Hastings Museum & Gallery, AMPLiFiER (Spoken Word Opera) a Poetry, Improvised Music & Feature silent film project (performed at various venues across the UK).


When is the next show?

HKB FiNN QUiNTET will appear on November 29th 2015 at the Vortex Jazz Club, 11 Gillett Place, London N16 8AZ from 7pm - 11pm with DJ Mastakut as host & DJ.






All Rights Reserved ©2015

  MiSOGYNY iS SUiCiDE (Solo Exhibition)

What is this project?

MiSOGYNY iS SUiCiDE’ is the new Photography & Poetry exhibition by HKB FiNN. In the last 10 years FiNN has journeyed to the Far East, Europe, Africa, the Americas & beyond. During these musical sojourns to over 42 countries, he took time out to catalogue his inner & outer explorations by creating poetry, prose & by taking photographs with a wide range of cameras. In 2014, he was commissioned by the Afrikaba Festival & the Hastings Museum & Art Gallery to create his first full solo show. 


Who is the Artist?

HKB FiNN is a London based artist whose work is rooted in visual, auditory & performance based experiments. Renowned for his genre defying music and emotive Poetry, his work explores issues around history, gender & the politics of representation.  HKB FiNN blurs the boundaries between visual, sonic and literary arts to create incredibly moving experiences. 


What is this project about?

With ‘MiSOGYNY iS SUiCiDE’ HKB FiNN uses images & text as a way to examine the politics of global music cultures, femininity & street arts to great effect. In trying to contextualise the idea ‘change in the 21st century’, HKB FiNN’s work becomes a stark reminder that beauty is always with us, no matter where we are & no matter how we feel.


What other projects has he done?

Recent exhibitions & performances include Sounderground: Rio De Janeiro, Tate Modern: Indoor Carnival, Nice Jazz Festival, Jazz Mo'Thology: Summer Festival Residency (Solo Photographic show & concert series), Sallinger Project (Orator role) Gansad Jazz Festival: Peymeinade.



When is the next show?

MiSOGYNY iS SUiCiDE is on from September 20th 2014 at the Hastings Museum & Art Gallery, Johns Place, Bohemia Road, Hastings TN38 1ET until October 30th 2014.


Please note: due to popular demand, the exhibition has been extended until November 30th 2014




All Rights Reserved ©2014

  Prelude Urban Roots (2013)

Urban Roots is an ongoing music & poetry project exploring the folk roots of modern music. Its taken me 3 years of development to turn these ideas into songs and the first instalment entitled (PRELUDE) is out on December 2nd. Parts of the project were recorded in my home town of London (UK) but also whilst on tour and travelling in Valence (France), Chennai (India), São Paulo (Brazil), Forte-de-France (Martinique), Antananarivo (Madagascar), Ijebu (Nigeria), Kathmandu (Nepal), Saint-Denis (Reunion Island) & Port Louis (Mauritius).


In order to develop the idea of exploring my own folk roots, I took time out whilst on tour and armed with my recording equipment, I was able to do field recordings of many local traditional sounds, talk to lots of people about their opinions of their traditional music and modern electronic music.  This was my starting point.


I also recorded members of my band playing in hotel rooms, train stations and even at the airport (I've finally found a way to enjoy long lay-overs). I also did a few recording sessions with local musicians in small local studios, adding them to my existing sounds because I feel it's important for artists to communicate no matter our status.


With this project I wanted to make a record that was different to my previous album NATURAL ELOQUENCE. It had an overtly jazzier sound and I wanted to take some of that but add a little more of the folk, Hip Hop & electronica sounds. I basically wanted make an album that was less about capturing a band playing all together and much more about creating a layered and grittier sound.  I started my writing process by researching a variety of folk traditions (I love the rhythms & sounds of Mento, Hi-Life, Cascara, Rumba, Baião etc) and then created Poems and songs with a distinctly ‘Urban’ perspective.  This basic idea was not as easy as I had hoped it would’ve been and quite a few songs didn’t have that ‘magic’ quality, so they were dropped. 


Eventually, I found that when I looked deeper into African derived music traditions, the connections to us in our time were still very clear and strong.  Finally, I was able to create something wonderfully engaging and worthy of people’s time.


Doing this project has taught me that as a working musician, touring is much more enjoyable when we connect with local people rather than just sight seeing or treating a town like a Tour stop (a place to sleep and recharge). It’s also taught me that we all have a connected root and that Root makes us all one people. I did not expect that. 


I am very grateful for the blessings life has bestowed upon me and I hope you will find these recordings interesting. The first instalment to the ‘Urban Roots Project’ is a mini album entitled: (PRELUDE) URBAN ROOTS and it’s out now on CD & for download from our Music Shop page.



All Rights Reserved ©2013

  AMPLiFiER (Spoken Word Opera)

What is AMPLiFiER?

AMPLiFiER is a new experimental music theatre work which uses multimedia, live performance & live poetry to tell an epic story about the search for salvation. 5 Characters (Fear, Desire, Doubt, Hope & Love) struggle to make sense of their world & embark on a journey to find happiness. 


How did a Poet get into Opera?

A few years ago, HKB FiNN took part in the Royal Opera House ‘Opera Genesis’ project. One of the aims of the project was to encourage emerging talents to develop opera productions skills. During the process, HKB FiNN wrote librettos for two full Opera’s and eventually caught the theatre bug. He went on to co-produce, co-write and co-create a number of theatre and opera productions. In April 2014 HKB FiNN became the resident artist at 'Guest Projects Africa' (an artist development programme run by Yinka Shonibare MBE). He went in with an idea to create something new and emerged later that month with a bold new project: AMPLiFiER. 


What is different about this production?

What makes AMPLiFiER so different is how many roles have been revamped in interesting ways. For instance: the role of the opera vocalists has been replaced by two Poets. The roles of the orchestra or classical ensemble has been replaced with a Jazz guitarist and Bassist. The on stage production and sets have also been replaced with a silent film featuring non traditional actors. Is it still an Opera? Well, the emotive storyline, the potential for tragedy and the theatrical telling of this story remains but with no classical singers, the project uses poetry & melody in truly innovative ways. So yes, it's an Opera but one with a difference. 



HKB FiNN and his collective have created an engaging new idea and one we're sure will catch on. AMPLiFiER is a Spoken Word Opera that uses Film with live performance poetry & live music to tell its tale. When you witness how five people struggle to find solace in the city, only to find life has other plans, you will begin to experience the true beauty and majesty of AMPLiFiER. 


When is the next show?

The next performance of AMPLiFiER will be at 12pm on Saturday June 27th at the Vortex Jazz Club, 11 Gillett Place, London N16 8AZ from noon - 1pm…



Alter Native Studios ©2015

  They're Watching You

So you're riding a bus one day and a melody comes to you. You sing into the recorder of your iphone and a song begins to emerge.

You go home and write out the melody, put a beat to it, come up with some lyrics and now a song is born.

You sit back and listen to your demo and you think it's your best work ever. You play it to some musicians you respect and they go nuts.  So you plan to record it for your album / EP project.

You're sure people will dig it, so you add it to your set to see if it can rock a crowd. You try it out on audiences in Sao Paul, Nice, Kathmandu and Chennai and people go nuts when they hear it. It's weird because for such a new song people seem to treat it like an old hit.

So when you get back to the UK, you rehearse with your band a few more times, go into a studio in West London and you put it down.  A few months later you record some horns whilst on tour in India and add to it. A few months after that you record some Guitar whilst on tour in Brazil and add to it. The song is finally ready for someone to sing on the hook.

You ask a friend to sing on it. This friend is a singer who lives in the south of France and he flies into London and lays down his vocal. Awesome.  You're ecstatic.  You're doing a mix one day and somehow you manage to corrupt the singers vocal file.  It's all lost. So you call him: no answer. You email him: no answer. You start to think, maybe, just maybe you should not have abandoned Facebook because the singer loves that platform.

You try him again, no response.

You're stuck. A great track but the hook needs a great male voice.

A year later, you find the courage to ask a legend named Cleveland Watkiss to come sing on the track.  He says yes.  You're now quite nervous but you keep cool as he's recording the song you wrote on a bus after an Angel whispered the theme to you.

Now the song is finally blessed. Today I put to rest a little drama over a piece of music that gave me hell to complete.  But complete it we did.

I backed up the song and the vocal and I sit at my computer smiling like person who is feeling the sunlight after a very long time in complete Darkness.

Today is a great day and I finally finished the vocals for a track called: THEY'RE WATCHiNG YOU.

I hope you people will dig it when it drops.

Peace, Love & Poetry


Alter Native Studios ©2013

  I am The Culture

I live to represent and protect the culture far too many see as mere entertainment. I know better, so I do better. History has taught me that 'modernity nurtures itself and not us'. I know that we must nurture and protect our own traditions for in the stillness of time, Love & Tradition are all we really have.


I don't mind that others have abandoned certain artistic practises for newer modern toys. I don't mind that old sounds are reclaimed and rebranded. This is the nature of things. Change is an essential part of who we are. I do feel that within the Urban environment, new forms of Folk Music should be generated by those who can, if only to let the world know that some of us have not succumbed to the pressures of modern life.


I believe new Urban Folk sounds have the ability to remind us that even through stormy times, who we really are is still beautiful and still relevant and still needed.  


I understand that modernity is a beast. I know modern life consumes and discards, but I also know of our resilience (no matter what the situation) and it's from that place that I choose to write and sing my poetry. I use these sounds as my way of protecting our artforms and our culture from the ravages of modernity. As a Griot, I am happy to pursue the creation of More Art, More Music & More Love no matter the trends.


This is because I am the Culture I represent...❁



All Rights Reserved ©2013

  The Plan is just a Guide

Sometimes the most perfect and definitive plans unravel. No matter our intentions, we often find ourselves unable to fulfill a plan in the time we've given ourselves. It's often the case that we go into the world with the intention of obtaining what we want but we often come home with what we need.

Ambitions can be like a guide. They can be something to obsess over.  Something to believe in. Something to give our real purpose a framework to operate in. I have learned that how we achieve our daily ambitions are not the most important aspect of each day. What is important is our ability to enjoy each moment, remain calm about what we can do and try hard to do what we can towards our plan. That is all. 

I have learned that being flexible about an outcome leads me to incredible moments of joy and Every time I try to bully myself into being more 'passionate' about an agenda or ‘castigate’ myself for not fulfilling a deadline, it is only I who really suffers.  

Time has taught me there is nothing to be gained from obsessing over completing or not completing a task. I have learnt that ‘Peace leads to success and all else leads away from success’.  This is why I feel a plan is simply a guide.  It’s just a rough template from which anything can happen; good or great.  Either way, we still get to win.


All Rights Reserved ©2013



- Prelude Urban Roots (2013)
- Natural Eloquence (2010)
- Light In The Shade Of Darkness (2008)
- Spoken Herbs (2006)
- Acoustic Afro Hip Hop (2004)
- Vitalistics (2002)

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Text Blog on HKB FiNN © 16/06/2019