Rap song recorded as Islington riots unfolded

Musicians recorded a powerful song about the riots in a studio while looting and violence took place outside.

Four rappers took refuge in a recording room in North Road, Islington, as trouble erupted across the borough last Monday (August 8) during a third night of rioting.

Akeema Jeffers and Clark Parker from rap group RetroSet, along with artists Azroe and Redd stayed up all night to record London Burning.

Akeema, 25, of Hungerford Road, Islington, who performs as Alyas Jak, said the atmosphere of terror inspired the music.

He continued: “We wanted to capture this moment in time for the younger generation and give a voice to them.

“Destroying homes and businesses shoud not be tolerated in any circumstances but we understand how things like this happen.”

Clark, 27, said young people are angry because they are not being listened to and getting unfairly labelled because of how they appear.

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He said: “It is a revolution that needed to be started but this is not the right way. There were things happening 50 metres away. It felt like we were helping the damaged hearts of Londoners.

“We were giving something back to the community by showing there are people trying to explain the situation in a creative way.”

RetroSet normally record in the Pleasance Theatre but Akeema and Clark were accidentally locked out of the building. They took shelter in the neighbouring studio of producer Jay Enticknap.

The three-minute record, which samples the London Bridge Is Falling Down nursery rhyme, is now on YouTube with a video featuring images from the rioting.

It ends with a quote from novelist Paulo Coelho: “It is said that the darkest hour of the night comes just before the dawn.”

For more information visit www.retroset.co.uk.