The Royal Festival Hall’s Level 2 foyer spaces are currently being refurbished, as we work to bring you a brand new cafe, bar, shop and Ticket Office. Find out more

Where We Come From: Rap, Home & Hope in Modern Britain

PAST EVENT
Fri 26 Jan, 7.45pm
Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall
Literature & poetry
From £15
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Aniefiok Ekpoudom wearing a beige and black checked jumper, sitting on a stool
Blaow

Aniefiok Ekpoudom discusses his new book, Where We Come From: Rap, Home & Hope in Modern Britain, a landmark social history of British rap and grime.

He is joined by guest Candice Carty-Williams and chair Yomi Ṣode.

Ekpoudom, one of our foremost cultural chroniclers, travelled the country to speak to the artists and communities who created and were shaped by the music, and listeners who found a sense of identity and home within it.

‘The story of UK rap, grime and associated genres reflect an untold story of contemporary Britain,’ he says.

These sounds have become vessels for the marginalised, carrying Black and working-class stories into the light. Vividly depicted and compassionately told, Where We Come From weaves together intimate stories of resilience, courage and loss, as well as a shared music culture that gave refuge and purpose to those in search of belonging.

Aniefiok ‘Neef’ Ekpoudom is a writer from south London who documents and explores culture in Britain. In his work, Ekpoudom tells stories about the people, voices and communities shaping the country as it exists today.

He writes, and has written for, The Guardian, British GQ, Vogue and more. Elsewhere he works, and has worked on documentaries for YouTube Originals and Netflix, as well as creative projects with Google, Nike, adidas and more. He was the recipient of the Barbara Blake Hannah Award at the 2021 British Journalism Awards, and the Culture Writer of the Year award at the inaugural Freelance Writers Awards. In 2022 he was named on the Forbes ‘30 Under 30’ list in media & marketing, and was also made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts for contribution to social change via journalism.

His first book Where We Come From: Rap, Home & Hope in Modern Britain is a social history of British rap, published by Faber & Faber in January 2024. He has also contributed essays to the books Safe: 20 Ways to be a Black Man in Britain Today (Orion), as well as #Merky Books/Penguin titles Keisha The Sket (2021) and A New Formation: How Black Players Shaped The Modern Game (2022).

Yomi Ṣode is a Nigerian British writer, recipient of the 2019 Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship. His writing credits include one-man show COAT; libretto Remnants, written in collaboration with composer James B Wilson and performed with Chineke! Orchestra; and play and breathe…. Ṣode is the founder of BoxedIn, First Five, The Daddy Diaries and mentorship programme 12 in 12. Ṣode’s debut collection, Manorism, is published by Penguin Press.

Candice Carty-Williams is a showrunner, culture writer, and author of bestselling novels Queenie and People Person, as well as the young adult novella Empress & Aniya.

Need to know

Age recommendation

For ages 16+

Dates & times

Fri 26 Jan, 7.45pm
Approximate run time: 1 hour 30 mins.
Run times may vary by up to 20 minutes as they can be affected by last-minute programme changes, intervals and encores.

Price

  • Standard entryFrom £15*
  • Concessions25%**


* Excludes £3.50 booking fee.

Book as early as you can to ensure the best choice of tickets. Ticket prices may be adjusted without notice to reflect demand.

** Limited availability. Read about concessions.

Tickets can only be sold through the Southbank Centre and our authorised agents, and can't be resold. You can return your tickets to the Southbank Centre for a credit voucher up to 48 hours before the event. Tickets resold on any third-party platforms will become invalid.

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Venue

Purcell Room

Our number one priority is the health and wellbeing of our visitors and staff. 

Check here for our current guidance

Open 90 minutes before an event until the end of the event. Closed at all other times.

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Our address is: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX. The nearest tube and train stations within 5-7 minutes walk are Waterloo (Northern, Bakerloo, Jubilee and Waterloo & City lines) and Embankment (District & Circle lines). There are also lots of bus routes with stops 2-5 minutes from our venues. For more information on getting here by road, rail or river.

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Pre-booking online is recommended. Check our website on the day for returns. There’s no need to print your e-ticket – just show your phone to our Visitor Assistants on entry.

Some free events don't require a ticket. Found an event labelled FREE on our website with no way to book? Simply turn up on the day.

If you don't receive your e-ticket

Your e-ticket will be sent to you seven days before the event date from [email protected]. If you don't receive your e-ticket, and it's not in your junk or spam folder, please get in touch. 

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More information

Find out all you need to know about tickets, including concessions, group bookings, returns, credit vouchers and more, via the link below.

Frequently asked questions

Get an overview of the seating layout of the Purcell Room by downloading our seating plan.

Download seating plan

Toilets

An accessible toilet is located in the foyer.

A Changing Places toilet is located on Level 1 Royal Festival Hall next to the JCB Glass Lift, for the exclusive use of disabled people who need personal assistance to use the toilet.

The facility includes a height-adjustable bench, tracking hoist system, a centrally-placed toilet, a height-adjustable basin and a shower. The phone outside the Changing Places toilet will connect you with a member of staff, who can provide you with the key. The facility is open daily 10am – 11pm.

Cloakroom

The Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room cloakroom is closed. You won’t be able to bring any bags over 40 x 25 x 25cm into the venues, so please leave large bags at home.

We're cash-free

Please note that we're unable to accept cash payments across our site. 

Purcell Room is located in Queen Elizabeth Hall. For step-free access please use Royal Festival Hall JCB glass lift to Level 2 and enter via Riverside Terrace.

Talk to a member of staff at the auditorium entrance if you have a disability that means you can’t queue, or you need extra time to take your seat. They can arrange priority entry for you as soon as the doors open.

Please bear with us while we update our access map to reflect the refurbishment of the Royal Festival Hall’s Level 2 foyer spaces. The step-free routes remain the same.

Download step-free access map

More about Access & facilities