Local college bands and artists battled it out in early 2019 to be part of Africa Express and Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture’s five hour headline show Africa Express: The Circus on 29 March.
Emerging bands from local colleges across Waltham Forest battled it out to be whittled down to one of the selected few to get through to this live competition. The contenders performed in front of an expert judging panel made up of Africa Express artists and youth engagement leaders, held at St John's Music Hall.
The winner of Battle of the Bands was Luke November, a young artist from East London who felt called to make music that people learn from and enjoy. As winner of Battle of the Bands, Luke performed at Africa Express: The Circus with artists including Onipa. Luke also performed on the main stage at Chingfest in summer 2019.
Africa Express, a collective of African and Western artists, came together again for a sold out celebration of unity in the borough where founding member Damon Albarn grew up. Up to 100 artists from across Africa, Europe and Britain – including, of course, Waltham Forest – joined forces to collaborate on new music and reworking of old songs.
The result was a spectacular and joyful five-hour headline show taking place in this diverse borough to demonstrate loud and clear how collaboration can break down boundaries.