Rising East London artist dialE gives us a lesson in charm and cadence in his first headline show at Hoxton’s Courtyard Theatre.

dialE bounds onto the stage with force and warmth. Hood up, sunglasses on, he’s looking slick, but his joyous smile can’t be concealed and he beams as he opens his first ever headline show, ‘dear dialE’, at Hoxton’s Courtyard Theatre.


The sumptuous energy Stacy N.K.R brought to the stage just before has got us primed for further finesse. The south London rapper immediately bewitches the room with her lush lyricism and immaculate flow. She glides between dynamic bars and honeyed vocals like it’s easy, expertly demonstrated on ‘Feel A Way’. The crowd is hot for it as she elegantly flexes, “Cadence coming in suave, 007 with the flow on the bars. I’m Van Gogh when I write my art, tell my truth and leave my mark”. She wraps her set with a little late Valentine’s indulgence, performing ‘Make you mine’, her feature on Novelist’s latest release. Her mark is unmistakably left, with hearts locked into her rhythm.


There’s no messing about as dialE draws us straight into his world with ‘Like E’, the punchy track that also begins his debut EP, released in September 2023. The levels are all the way up, and he makes it clear he’s got his own thing going.


Throughout the performance he treats us to his effortless charm and cheeky wit, deepening affection not just for his music, but his character too. “I’m on annual leave right now,” he confesses with a laugh halfway through the show, “but tonight, we enjoy”.


He’s playful with the audience and possesses a magnetism you can’t help yourself around. The hazy electronic opening of ‘screen turns blue’ plays beneath him, and with a saucy smile encourages, “If you know the lyrics, don’t be shy you know”. This is a track that audibly holds particular power, the crowd giving it their all and then some as he flashes a smile and instructs “more, more” to fiery applause. And it doesn’t stop, dialE teasing “You lot know this one yeah?” as hands fly up to the pounding yet sultry pulse of ‘nine thirty (the glow)’.


Welcoming producer Alfie Rudman to the stage, introduced as his “special brother”, dialE gets a cappella on us for a minute, Alfie accompanying him on guitar. Giddy hearts are momentarily tempered as he performs ‘Dreams’, his first single, released in 2021. Holding all the confidence of a seasoned showman, he invites the crowd to get involved with the hook. The response is impassioned, with fierce and intentional “dreams” sung back to him.


Embedded throughout dialE’s music is his east London identity. More precisely, his hometown glory for Newham, equal in his eyes (and lyrics) to New York and Nigeria. The former declared in an unreleased track he indulges us with early in the show, and the latter in ‘Scrape The Sky’, the final song on the EP, and the one he tells us is his favourite of the project. Behind me, a girl can’t help herself but shout “This is my jam!” as the beat begins pulsing without hesitation. Performing ‘Made In The East’ he proclaims, “Round here we don’t know about love, all we know is deceit”, but the glow on his face and the heat of the crowd says something different.


dialE is the master of an allure and cadence you connect with right away, his charm leaving as much of an impact as his music.


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