Misty: The Music Behind Arinzé Kene’s Play

Misty by writer and performer Arinzé Kene blends gig theatre, spoken word, live art and direct address.

We asked Arinzé about the music that inspired Misty, a play that confronts the assumptions underpinning the act of telling a story on stage. He delivers an epic, lyrical journey through inner city London.

“We do touch on both those things [Black stereotypes and gentrification] and my working-class background also comes into it. I grew up in Hackney and have seen it change before my eyes, for better and for worse.” Arinzé speaking to Observer New Review

The soundtrack to Arinzé’s creative process included a mixture of vintage Dizzee Rascal with Boy in Da Corner and more current MC Jme, Stormzy, Wiley and Giggs. Basically, it’s a grime list: the genre that exploded in the noughties in East London where Arinzé grew up. An eleven track concept album, Misty is the story of an underdog, a singer, a writer and an observer with his insecurities laid bare.

“There are two worlds in the play, one naturalistic and one in verse; when I first started writing 20 years ago, it was rhymes, raps that I made up to beats in my bedroom.” Arinzé speaking to Observer New Review

“Done by someone with a genuine love and respect for grime and its history, mixing grime and the stage could result in truly magical theatre for our times.” Ifeyinwa Frederick in Exeunt “Why it’s time for theatre to embrace grime”

We recorded the first track of the show for you. Here it is: “City Creature” by Arinzé Kene starring musicians Shiloh Coke (drums) and Adrian McLeod (keys).

Find out more and book now for Misty at the Bush Theatre 15.03.18-21.04.18.