futuretense: introducing our new weekly series

Thursday, August 29, 2019 - 12:40

Introducing our new weekly gig series futuretense, which arrives on 6 September to replace longtime favourite post-work series Friday Tonic. Don’t worry though Friday Tonic fans, futuretense will also be here, on a Friday, at the same time and, importantly, free. So how will futuretense differ, you might ask?

Well, the new series is a must for any musos amongst you and those who are always looking out for the next big thing. With a focus on up and coming acts it will be delivered in collaboration with BBC Music Introducing – supporting under-the-radar UK talent – who will select one act a month from a nationwide roster, and with long-time creative learning partners, Tomorrow’s Warriors, who will select one artist every other month to perform as part of the series.

As well as being a hot spot for audiences to discover their next favourite band, futuretense will be an opportunity for new and emerging artists to showcase their work. Southbank Centre will support these acts at the early stages of their career; we’ll offer advice, mentoring and a platform to perform in front of agents, promoters and record labels who are looking for the next big star.


I’m excited to put our name behind some of the incredible new artists coming out of this country and abroad, and to play a part in their success and the future of the industry.
Bengi Ünsal, Head of Contemporary Music

Take a look at some of the artists featured in the first couple of months, below.


Nikita Bassi, musician
6 September | Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer

Ajit Gill & Nikita Bassi

futuretense launches with a special double bill. First up is drummer and producer Ajit Gill who weaves a progressive, jazz-inspired set and performs songs from his main project Vertaal who have been selling out of London’s biggest jazz venues. He is followed by Nikita Bassi who brings her distinctively delicate yet dusky vocal with a hint to her Punjabi-Indian heritage.

Afronaut Zu on stage
13 September | Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer

Afronaut Zu

As part of Africa Utopia, live vocalist for Rudimental and member of London hip-hop collective Orphgang, Afronaut Zu, performs a blend of hip hop, afrobeat and soul-bearing melodies.



Kai Whiston, musical artist
27 September | Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer

Kai Whiston

Music producer Kai Whiston has been making a name for himself, garnering support from the likes of Iglooghost, Skrillex, Danny Brown and Mary Anne Hobbs. Expect electro-acoustic improvisations, deconstructed ambient mixes and exclusive previews from his upcoming album.

Sumie, musician
4 October | Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer


Swedish born Sandra Sumie Nagano, aka Sumie, uses her voice and acoustic guitar to give the most hypnotic and disarmingly simple spell. Her self-titled critically-acclaimed debut album SUMIE was released through the prominent indie label Bella Union.

Future Tense: Alro Day
11 October | Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer

Arlo Day

South-east London songwriter and guitarist Arlo Day has a unique ear for melody, haunting vocals and rumbling guitar tones that feels timeless. Having just signed to Domino Records, she’s one to watch.

Lex Amor, musician
18 October | Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer

Lex Amor

London-based rapper, DJ and producer Lex Amor joins us for the first of two London Literature Festival/futuretense gigs. She brings her characterful slant on descriptive hip-hop and performs music from her upcoming mixtape Government Tropicana.

Sinead O’Brien, musical artist
25 October | Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer

Sinead O Brien

Also part of London Literature Festival, poet and performer Sinead O Brien showcases her fusion of spoken lyrics and art rock. O Brien has piqued the attention of luminaries of both genres, having performed with John Cooper Clarke and The Brian Jonestown Massacre.

futuretense is a free, weekly Friday series launching on 6 September.

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