The rumours are true: Global Citizen is coming to London!
We’ve already brought Rihanna to Central Park in NYC, Jay-Z to India, and Coldplay to Germany. We’ve thrown shows to fight AIDS in Canada and polio in Australia. But Brixton is next — and our guestlist is SHOOK.
Did we mention you can get in for free if you take action with us?
Global Citizen Live will be taking over O2 Academy Brixton on April 17 with some very special friends. Every single one is a leading voice in the spaces they work in. We’re talking pop stars, poets, comedians — and one Professor — all with a single unifying intention in mind: to bring an end to extreme poverty before 2030.
Entries for #GlobalCitizenLive⭕️ are now *closed* — if you've taken action to earn tickets, THANK YOU! 👏 We're so looking forward to seeing you next Tuesday!! 😍 #BeTheGeneration@O2AcademyBrix@EmeliSande@ProfessorGreen@NaughtyBoyMusic@MayaJamahttps://t.co/Kt45mfpBAw— Global Citizen UK (@GlblCtznUK) April 12, 2018
It’s an ambitious goal. But it’s not impossible — especially when we’ve got our team of celebrity superheroes ready to don a cape (or not) to put on the most important show of the year, hosted by Maya Jama, Adwoa Aboah, Ade Adepitan, and Neev Spencer.
But, without further ado, let’s meet the team!
Emeli Sande MBE
Emeli Sande’s first name is actually Adele — and both artists share a few things in common.
Both won the BRITs “Critics’ Choice” Award, essentially the music industry precursor for ridiculous levels of success. Both went on to win Best Female and British Album of the Year at the BRITs too — and both earned a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) from the royal family for their services to music.
But there’s a few differences. Sande both opened and closed the London 2012 Olympics. She studied medicine in case the music thing never worked out — and has a tattoo of polio survivor and artist Frida Kahlo on her forearm.
Read all about it: Sande is headlining Global Citizen Live, helping us end polio forever, and we are so not worthy.
Naughty Boy — real name Shahid Khan — produced the first two records that launched Emeli Sande into the UK top 10, and co-wrote her debut album. The DJ has released hits with Beyonce and Sam Smith — and built his first ever music studio in his parent’s garden using money won on “Deal or No Deal”. Seriously.
He once said he wanted to "move pop culture forward” with his music, and as he reunites with old friends on the Global Citizen Live stage, he’s sure to mix in progress on equality, too.
Rapper turned documentarian Pro Green has spent the last few years investigating some vital domestic issues around the UK.
His television documentaries have explored homelessness, suicide, and poverty — and his most recent series looked at the identity crises of working class white men. Some viewers even called him the next Louis Theroux.
Now, Pro Green is going international at Global Citizen Live — a night with a specific focus on gender equality, education, and preventable diseases around the world.
"I just want him to love me better."— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) January 16, 2018
Jake's dad Gav has been in and out of prison for the last five years. Rapper @professorgreen spoke to them about how prison has affected their relationship - #WorkingClassWhiteMen 10pm tonight @Channel4. pic.twitter.com/yeqFAYiN8J
When Ireland became the first country in the world to legalise same sex marriage by popular vote, it was due to the unstoppable momentum of the positive “Yes” campaign — and while the debate raged around the country, Gabrielle Aplin was in Dublin, busking to support it.
And now she’s writing music inspired by global political events — all while offering a helping hand to fans thinking of going vegan.
“It’s great seeing people standing up and speaking out for what they believe in,” Aplin told the Evening Standard. “There is so much to write about — loads of injustice and conflict.”
Right now Aplin is touring North America — but as soon as she’s enchanted a sold out show in Hollywood, she’s stopping by Brixton to light up Global Citizen Live. Taylor Swift is a fan (she added Aplin’s latest music to her personal Spotify playlist) — and we are, too. Excuse us while we change our Twitter handle to @GlblCtznGabAplinSuperFans2030.
Is anyone planning on doing #Veganuary2018? I am so here to help 🤓🐓🐄🦃🦐🐠🐽— Gabrielle Aplin 🌻 (@GabrielleAplin) December 29, 2017
Don’t know Kojo Funds yet? You will.
Kojo was raised in east London, and has mixed Ghanaian and Dominican heritage. It’s a background that you can hear immediately through what he describes as an “afro-swing” sound. He’s shared a studio with Kendrick Lamar, joined Young Thug on stage at Wireless, and has already sold out one Brixton show — so we’re giving him another.
Clash Magazine noted that everything he releases “seems to go viral” — and you don’t need quick maths to run the numbers.
- Last year’s “Finders Keepers” feature with Mabel: top 10 hit, 30 million YouTube views.
- Collaborations with Wretch 32, Abra Cadabra, and Yxng Bane: 34 million views total.
- And new single “Check”, released with RAYE a month ago: 6.5 million views and charting.
Everyone who’s anyone knows that Little Simz is one of the best rappers in the game.
Right now she’s on tour with Damon Albarn’s Gorillaz — after already supporting living legend Lauryn Hill. Jay Z featured her mixtape on his Life + Times website when she was just 19, and a quote from a certain Kendrick Lamar has been doing the rounds ever since.
“There’s a young lady out here that’s pretty dope by the name of Little Simz,” Lamar told Mistajam on BBC Radio 1. “She might be the illest doing it right now.”
It’s high praise for the Islington-born artist — and deserved. Despite never signing for a major record label, her debut record won best independent album at the AIM Awards, and heads back out on tour this May. But whatever you do, don’t call her a “female rapper”.
“I like to be my own person — I’m a musician, I’m a creative, I’m an artist,” she said to Cathy Newman on Channel 4 News. “For me, that doesn’t fall under the term female MC, female rapper, or female anything.”
“Who is really the weaker sex?” Omielan once told the Evening Standard. “My body is capable of making life but you can’t even make a sandwich.
The comedian was described as “feminism’s pop culture princess” by the Times — and brought the house down in Australia with a skit on body positivity simply by pulling down her trousers along with it. Omielan runs her own charity foundation, Helena's Hospice Foundation, in memory of her Mum, too, offering home comforts to hospices around the UK.
Her debut stand up show was called “What Would Beyonce Do?” — which was to perform on a Global Citizen stage too, actually.
Everybody on this list has travelled the world — but only one is literally on his way to space.
East London poet Hussain Manawer won a commercial space flight for his poem about mental health — and will take his out-of-this-world campaigning, well, even further. You get what I’m trying to say here.
Manawer broke the Guinness World Record for the largest mental health lesson ever last year — and will be teaching us all a thing or two when he brings his craft to Brixton on April 17.
I want to change and help heal the world. I don’t know how I’m going to do it but if I’m blessed and gifted with another day of life tomorrow I’m starting.— Hussain Manawer (@HussainsHouse) February 25, 2018
On April 17, Global Citizen Live will bring musicians, poets, comedians, and world leaders together at O2 Academy Brixton. Tickets are free and can be earned by taking action online with Global Citizen to help end extreme poverty by 2030. Take action now to earn free tickets