Poetry N Motion – 7th Anniversary
On Sunday 27th March 2011 Progressive Entertainment celebrated seven successful years of the Poetry N Motion movement. If there was any doubt (frankly there shouldn’t be) as to why this event is such a sell out every month this show blew those doubts out the ballpark!!!
One after the other PnM veterans like Nii Parkes, Floetic Lara, Comfort and Tshaka Campbell and newbies like Angela Ricci and Vee Scott blessed the audience with striking performances in song and/or spoken word. Everyone was on point that night, from the rocking band to the soulful host Marlon Conton. You couldn’t pick a stand out performance because they were all outstanding. One that I will mention on it’s own though is that of Keisha Nurse simply for it’s uniqueness. This petite diva (and I mean diva in the true sense of the word…as in opera) blew everyone away with her extraordinary operatic voice. I could honestly go on about this show forever but the videos we’ve featured will do it more justice. All that’s left is for us to find out from Irvin himself what makes Progressive Entertainment one of the leaders in urban social events.
HM: So Irvin, tell us a little bit about the man behind Progressive Entertainment.
He’s humble that sums me up.
HM: How did PE get started?
My business partner and I were frustrated with there not being any vibrant style events for American expats in London and the few that other expats did attend were all guest list and membership clubs. So we started our first event in April 2003 at Manjaros and themed it off the US First Friday theme (gathering of the young and social every first Friday in most metropolitan cities in the US).
HM: Who else makes up the PE team?
Kamau Crawford but it is primarily operated by myself at present.
HM: Poetry in Motion and Spanish Harlem are staples in the urban London social calendar. What makes these events so successful?
The main thing is having a consistent vibrant event time and time again. It’s like we have been able to create a hit record every month made not for some patrons but for the majority. When people leave an event with a smile you have done your job.
HM: For those (if any) who have yet to experience one of these nights, what can they expect?
Eye opening entertainment at any event where they see the Progressive Entertainment logo.
HM: Let’s focus on Poetry N Motion, the concept is American how did you know it would work in the UK?
Well firstly it was already here but not in the same sense. We wanted to create another event and grow the business and were contemplating what was missing for liked minded people and we came up with Poetry N Motion show and party at Motion Bar.
HM: You continue to showcase hot talent like Floetic Lara, how do you discover these artists?
I have always produced the event with the mindset that a great format and audience will attract the best talent wanting exposure.
HM: Your 7th year anniversary celebration was immense bringing Tshaka Campbell and Nii Parkes back to the stage. How did it feel to have them come back and perform?
I was extremely pleased and felt blessed to have produced such a product that has lasted such a long time in the entertainment world. The talent that has touched the stage is truly immense.
HM: What would you say has been your best Poetry N Motion event to date?
I enjoy them all but one in particular was the third event all those years ago when we reached venue capacity at 10pm and the event was scheduled to run until 3am. Another would be when MTV Base filmed the show for the program ‘The Lick’. As well as the first Poetry N Motion we held at Tiger Tiger. With the large and separate rooms the venue offered we were able to format the event just like a US Club night.
HM: What does seven years of Poetry N Motion mean to you?
Entertainment and enlightenment to the over 18,000 people that have attended the event over the years. The engagements on stage and the wonderful partnerships I’ve seen blossom via patrons meeting at PnM. The endless amount of memorable birthday occasions we have provided to patrons and most of all great partnership with the venue.
HM: How do you see it growing in the future?
What I always say is there is always a new generation of people looking for more than just a party for entertainment. So if myself and the team can keep producing a good product the event will stand on it’s own.
HM: Tell us about the other events PE also promotes?
We host a Salsa & RnB event which has been operating for almost seven years under the brand “Spanish Harlem (salsa) & Harlem Night (Rnb).
We have also hosted RAW American Comedy Uncut, the last show was in December 2010. It’s a combination of three to four of American up and coming and established comedians along with a UK comedian added to the show as well. This event has been operating on a bi-yearly basis for 6 years.
We have hosted so many other events since our establishment began. Including Think Blu a Jazz & RnB event, Body & Soul a fusion & RnB event and Funny Business a comedy event. Aside from that are the numerous themed events over the years. Halloween parties, a President Obama inauguration party and Loved IT, which we will host again in January 2013.
HM: What else can we expect from PE in 2011?
If things go to plan more concerts and comedy shows, watch this space!
Heat up your social calendar with PE's events at;PE Online
Interview: Enam G
Photography: Ernest Simons