As the world gathered to watch Arsenal and Chelsea battle it out for the Europa League title, friends, family, fans, supporters and lovers of good music showed up at Bar Bar, Lekki to celebrate Deena Ade and support her new project. Just a few days earlier, Deena Ade had released her EP “May Love Find You” and on Wednesday, May 29, she was hosting an open listening session for the nascent project. This was to be the first time any of the songs would be performed live.
Creatives and industry colleagues like BarelyAnyHook, Aye, Tey, A-Q, Bigfoot and Tosan Mac came through to cheer Madam Suya for her impressive material.
Opening the night, rising act Oyve delivered a captivating performance that left an impression on many. Just right after his set, the star of the night, Deena Ade was introduced to thrilling entrance music from the band and deafening cheers from the excited audience.
After soaking up the moment for a while, she finally airs to the mic “Good evening everyone“, thanking us for showing up, and also promising a night of amazing music. Backed by the five-piece Gingerbread band, Deena Ade opens her set with the emotive ‘Shere’ — a standout off her 2018 EP “The Cries Of My Subconscious”, which she describes as a post-breakup analysis.
The night climaxed with a run of the 5-track EP, as she walked the audience through the creative process of each track right before performing them. Sadly, Dami Oniru wasn’t around to join her on ‘Ma Ti Lo’, a song Deena describes as a desperate call for attention from a potential lost-love.
Deena Ade is no stranger to live performances and it showed. All through the night, the singer was radiant, confident, fascinating to watch on stage.
With her amiable vocals, her warmth shines through as she breathes new life into the records. “May You Find Love” would never sound the same after this live and intimate experience. Throughout the night, Deena is dazzling, composed and overly thankful for the love and support she receives.
“The day I wrote this, I wanted to emphasise on travelling far to see someone…and I have a lover in Magodo, so I would leave my house several times at night when my mother would probably kill me. So that’s what this song is about,” she says of ‘Midnight Drive’, the third track on the tape.
She closes her set with a sultry live rendition of the Bella-assisted ‘Savage’, one of her most successful records and also her personal favourite.
Right after running us through the EP, Deena engages in a Q&A session about the project, her artistic journey and her influences. When asked what she would be doing if she wasn’t a singer, she replied, “I’d be a revolutionary”.Right there, Deena Ade reaffirmed her unflinching stand against violence against women and abuse of power.
The “May Love Find You” live listening session was indeed a night of good live music, food and drinks. It was also a reminder of Deena’s gifts not only as a singer and songwriter but also as a captivating performer.
Listen to the EP here.
Photo Credit: The Late Night Soirée