News 13 March 2023
Author: Ore Bolarin

Here’s a rundown of the FUZE UK x Bristol Hip-Hop Society event ‘CONNECTD’

13 March 2023

I had the pleasure of attending the CONNECTD event on the 25th of February in Bristol, hosted by FUZE UK and The Bristol Hip-Hop Society.

CONNECTD was an industry networking day party, bringing creatives under one roof and providing the means to create professional opportunities and collaboration. The addition of live entertainment, performers and a marketplace with vendors made CONNECTD feel like a truly unique event.

Since starting nearly two decades ago, FUZE has grown from a student society and charity fashion show in Bristol to a nationwide, youth-led charitable organisation with over 150 committee members and events across the UK. They are a creative organisation that gives performance and professional opportunities to young people by hosting a range of events ranging from experiential nightclub events to networking and workshops events while raising money for charity. 

Meanwhile, Bristol Hip-Hop Society is an ex-university society turned events company that has been making waves in Bristol over the last two years. Since their first event in 2021 “King of Hearts”, a tribute to their late friend Olisa Odukwe, which included artists like Louis Culture, Jords and AntsLive, they have gone from strength to strength. Seeing the gap in the market for hip-hop events they’ve been putting on live shows, club nights, open mic nights and more.

The day saw live performances from up and coming artists both from and outside of Bristol. Also supporting the event were DJs Naim Junior, Jakobin and Out The Closet. The event was held at StrangeBrew, a venue in Bristol’s city centre and also hosted a marketplace where vendors were able to show off and sell their garms and products.

The first live performance of the day was Solo Jane who delivered some soulful RnB and set the tone for what was a stellar day. Next up was B3nji, a Voice UK semi-finalist whose seasoned MC skills were on full display. Implicit took the stage next, bringing out Tiana to assist on the vocals delivering a vibey mix of chill UK rap to the stage. 26Dexter turned up the energy levels in the room with his confident performance and infectious stage presence.

26Dexter performing

Xyzelle who’s previously performed at Glastonbury, brought back the R&B vibes. Supported by Mira Cozy and Fuze’s own dancers, they had the crowd captivated. Local artist Damzys brought out AP for the performance of their hit song “SURFER”, delivered a mixture of garage and lo-fi vibes to the day.

Saiming closed out the live performances with his lively set being one to remember, particularly as he brought out other acts Zuko and KD to shell his set with him. The day ended with dance performers, keeping the energy going right up until the end of the event.

Xyzelle performing

With the two collaborators in FUZE UK and The Bristol Hip-Hop Society being both Bristol-based organisations and bringing together artists, performers and other industry creatives from the city together, it all added to the feel that the event was a major deal for the city’s scene. All profits from CONNECTD are in aid of the charities OTR, Black Southwest Network and AKT. All these charities highlight FUZE and BHHS’s core values of diversity and inclusivity.

FUZE’s upcoming events including fashion shows and more live nights as they continue to be a hub for creatives both in Bristol and across the UK. Similarly, The Bristol Hip-Hop Society are aiming to up the levels as they plan to rebrand and target bigger nights in different cities all over the UK. Both are names you should keep an eye out for.

You can check them out on Instagram @fuze_uk and @bristolhiphopsociety. Photography by @dakotastrangevisuals, @elysianbasement and @unfictionalbeings.