Before I arrived in London to visit this past spring, I knew I wanted to check performing somewhere in the city off my bucket list. While studying in London over a decade ago, I only had the opportunity to perform in front of my music major classmates for a crumby grade, never really getting the full experience or appreciation of my own style while studying music and art in such a diverse cultural capital. Aside from late-night songwriting sessions with my Caribbean American friend whom I met in the hallway of the International Students House where our dorms were located, I didn’t have much exposure to music venues that weren’t solely dedicated to the western art genre.

Before my most recent visit, I made sure to put in some time doing research to figure out which open mic night was the most buttoned up and well attended. I stumbled upon a website by creative genius Richard Gregory, an accomplished artist and humanist whom I don’t know personally, but have great respect for alone based on his life’s work, creative pursuits, and research of the London Open Mic Music Scene.

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After perusing Mr. Gregory’s website and reading about The Spice of Life, I decided to give the venue a try, especially as the dates of my visit and the night of the open mic coincided perfectly.

I arrived to the venue at 6pm sharp, and the queue was already out the door of the space, into the hallway, and up the stairs. And though I wound up being the second-to-last performer of the night, I was pleased to have been able to see so many serious, talented acts, and proud to have shared the stage with them. Here’s a video of my performance of two original songs at The Spice of Life in March 2015.

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