Punch Records hit the road in May for the first edition of the Welcome To My City tour.
Known for their groundbreaking work with emerging artists and their ability to spot the next big thing, Punch have selected 5 emerging artists making waves in their local music scene and will visit each of their cities on tour over 5 days, each event being headlined by the artists from that respective city.
Selected to represent Birmingham on the tour is R’n’B singer/songwriter Gambimi. Ever since he moved to Birmingham at the age of 6 from Brazzaville, Congo, Gambimi has lived and breathed music. Fast forward to the present day Gambimi’s music is enjoying a wealth of endorsement from national radio and he has built a strong fan base in Birmingham. We caught up with him to discuss his next move, the Welcome To My City Tour.
Gambimi, you’re about to take part in a UK tour with Punch Records, but this isn’t your first time working with Punch is it?
I have worked with Punch before in 2015 as part of Music Potential, which was an artist development program. I really enjoyed that experience so i’m looking forward to working with the team again.
Do you think artist development programs like those offered by Punch are a much needed resource for local artists?
Yes definitely! The music industry is very competitive and hard to crack into, so music development programs are essential. They give emerging artists a much needed insight into the industry that they are trying to break into, and they really help us hone our skills. On a personal note there are vocal and writing techniques that i learnt when taking part that i have benefited from, and that i still apply to my music today.
Clearly the skills you’ve gained have paid off as you will be representing Birmingham in the Welcome To My City tour. What are you most looking forward to about this experience?
There’s so many different things, I am looking forward to being part of a national tour that has been put together by a respected company with a long history of touring artists. Being on the road with others and performing in different cities will be incredible as it is something i hope to be doing for many years to come. I have never performed in either Cardiff or liverpool before so having brand new audiences react to my music will be really special. And finally it will be great to learn from each artist on the tour and work together to create some really high quality performances in each city.
For many of the other artists on the tour 9th May will be their first time performing in Birmingham. What will the artists enjoy about performing for a Brummie audience?
I think the main thing the other musicians will get from performing in Birmingham will be the passion for music that Brummies have. I think Birmingham audiences expect a high standard from their artists and when their expectations are met they show real love to performers. Youth culture in birmingham is thriving, so they can expect to see a young and really energetic crowd. The birmingham show is going to be amazing trust me.
Which city on the tour are you most looking forward to performing in?
Honestly im equally excited about performing in all of them, but i have never been to Wales so performing in Cardiff will be something that is completely new to me. This event is going to be a real first for me and that is very exciting. It’s going to be great to explore the city before the show too, learn a little bit more about Welsh culture and the music scene there.
As the tour is called ‘Welcome To My City,’ if you were to inviting someone to Birmingham, what would you tell them were the best things about the city?
I would tell them that we have a great night life here, its a really good place to party. The transport here is great too, you can get all over the city so easily and it doesn’t cost a lot, so you have great access to different places and events – it sounds like a small thing but when there’s so much going on in a city it really helps being able to get around.
As well as my love for music I’m also a massive sports fan so it’s great living in a city that has so much access to sports activities, ranging from little local events to huge football matches.
Finally, what are your plans after the tour?
I have LOT of things planned for this year, im currently working on some material for myself as well as a few major collaborations with other artists that are coming soon. I’m spending a lot of time in the studio with some new producers and myself and my team are working really hard at the moment to make sure that i keep evolving as an artist and the quality of my music is always improving!
Monday 8th May – Liverpool, EBGB’s
Tuesday 9th May – Birmingham, Sunflower Lounge
Wednesday 10th May – Manchester, Jimmy’s
Thursday 11th May – London, Notting Hill Arts Club
Friday 12th May – Cardiff, Underworld @ 10 feet tall