Khadijatou Doyneh, aka K2, is a Guyanese raised and London based singer-songwriter, author, spoken word poet, musician, and dancer. Her extensive travel across Europe, USA, Canada and Africa at an early age gave birth to Khadijatou’s ‘lifetime travel-bug’ and wish to contribute to creative culture. She started her performing arts career in dance theatre after graduating with a BA (Hons) Dance and Spanish. She discovered her aptitude for writing, blending words and rhythms, and became a recognized artist on the underground poetry scenes in the UK since 1994.
Khadijatou travels and spreads her music, message, drum and spoken-word poetry artistry backed by her 7 piece support band ‘Slo’burn’ (bv, trumpet, keys, guitar, bass, percussion, kit drums/MD) and VJ. She plays the djembe and percussion as she energetically sings and dances to the music.
Khadijatou’s international work actually began with a Martial Arts performance tour to the Caribbean islands of Barbados, St. Kitts and Trinidad & Tobago. After graduating, she lived in Spain for a year, then be began to travel again. This time, she undertook training in West Africa Dance, Culture, Song and Music with the Kara Chow Dance Troupe in Gambia. Her voice as a jazz trained singer developed its own expression. Meanwhile Khadijatou decided to focus on dance theatre. She started a Dance Company (‘Isigi’) and toured as a choreographer and dancer. She continued developing her voice, writing, drumming and was soon armed with a catalogue of songs. Khadijatou wrote poetry but decided to test her writing strength by giving it to established and respected ‘poet’, Storme Webber, to read whilst in London to gauge the public response. That worked. Khadijatou trained in African Drum and later formed a ‘Women’s Drumming Circle’, as well as being drum accompaniment to poets and singers in their gigs. Realizing her own voice again, combined and honed her skills. She emerged appearing on Poetry, Music and Dance scenes, doing live collaborations with musicians.
There was a need for more performance platforms on the underground scenes at good venues, so Khadijatou became an event producer, inviting talented poets, musicians, singers etc to guest and feature in her own hosted promotions with full live bands across London. These collaborations with musicians and artists also helped her development. Khadijatou was invited on several occasions to tour her music and spoken-word abroad at the Afro Vibes Festival (Melkveg) and on radio in The Netherlands and at the ISS in The Hague etc.Releases: She put out a limited edition of her first record entitled ‘AA Batteries’ on 12” vinyl and 4 track EP ‘Ama Woman’ under K2word play independent label, secured worldwide distribution & it sold online globally. Khadijatou went on to perform in other parts of Europe as well as South Africa and the UK. She was also invited to New York in 2006 to meet key folks from the music industry over there, which confirmed that there is a definite market and demand for her type of music. Selected by the Arts Council of England to present tour-ready ‘Sex, Lies & History’ in their ‘Decibel Performing Arts Showcase’ at the Contact Centre in Manchester in 2009, to an audience of venue and festival programmers. She released her four track EP, and was invited to tour UK regions.A trailblazer in South Africa since 1995.
After being introduced to South Africa by Eugene Skeef’s invitation to Tour with ‘The Ngoma Project’ in 1995, Khadijatou was invited to return to work in partnership in South Africa every year for over 10years creating, building, co-Directing a Cultural Exchange between South Africa, UK and USA. She became Co-Partner of ‘Step Afrika! International Cultural Festival’, a unique tri-continental cultural exchange, hosted by Soweto Dance Theatre (SDT) in Soweto Township, Johannesburg and across the many Provinces of South Africa. She also developed herself in the budding poetry/music scenes in Jo’burg.
From Johannesburg to Wiltshire to Birmingham, audience responses have been amazing! Her live band is tight, the visuals are stunning and relevant, and the sound is receiving standing ovation and seeing audience fully engage on her tracks, flying up onto their feet to dance to the funkier tracks.. As recent as 2010 Khadijatou’s been invited for interviews and to perform several times on radio, including BBC Radio (Leicester). She has also been interviewed on SABC fm (South African Broadcasting Corporation), Radio 2000, Alex FM, Yfm etc., and interviewed with live performance with her Drum on Soweto Television, DSTV (digital satellite TV) broadcasted on repeat across Africa.
Back in 2005 Khadijatou wrote ‘Second Chance’ / K2’s Prayer – a spoken-word song for ‘The Heliocentrics’ debut album ‘Out There’ which was later signed to ‘Stones Throw Records’, USA. Released at the end of 2007, Khadijatou performed voice and percussion with The Heliocentrics UK tour dates and across Europe in 2008 and performed and recorded new material. Khadijatou also works with other collaborators and Producers. Her own Album called ‘Sex, Lies & History’ was released in early 2011.
For information on Khadijatou, check out her website – www.khadijatoudoyneh.com, Facebook – www.facebook.com/KhadijatouDoyneh and Twitter@k2London. This sistah definitely ROCKS!!!!