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 watch her perform her new project live. A few days earlier, Deena Ade had released her new EP “May Love Find You” and on Wednesday, May 29, she was hosting an open listening session for the nascent project. This would be the first time any of the songs would be performed live.
Opening the night, Oyve delivered a captivating and memorable 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 “Good evening everyone” to the mic as she thanked us for showing up, and promised a night of amazing music. Backed by the five-piece Gingerbread band, Deena Ade opens her set with ‘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. 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. She was of course, 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.
Speaking about ‘Midnight Drive’,the third track off the tape, Deena says, “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“.
Right after, Deena engages in a Q&A session about the project, her artistic journey and her influences. When asked what she would be doing if not music, she replied, “I’d be a revolutionary”. During the session, Deena Ade also 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 as 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
You Might also like
By Victor Aderibigbe — 2 months ago
Immediately Blaqbonez crowned himself the best rapper in Africa, all hell broke loose on Nigerian hip-hop. The 100 Crowns rapper first made this audacious claim in the maiden edition of the AKtivated Sessions titled ‘Best Rapper In Africa‘ and the reaction was volcanic. The hip-hop community quickly spiralled into long polarising debates over the validity of Blaq’s claims. While some admired his confidence and assertiveness, others dismissed him as a nuisance and an attention seeker who had nothing to back such daring claim.
If attention was the goal, Blaqbonez definitely got it.
The debates further diffused into claims and counterclaims, diss tracks flying around with not-so-subliminal shots, directed at the rapper and his associates. After a couple of weeks, the pink-haired rapper reaffirmed his claim in his latest release ‘Best Rapper In Africa’ where he took aim at rappers like TenTik, Holyfield and also called out some of his colleagues for being craven. This, in turn, generated swift responses from Payper Corleone, Vader, David Meli and many others. Even the OGs aren’t left out of the frenzy as a video surfaced of AQ, Loose Kaynon and SDC’s Ghost in a heated debate on who was a better rapper.
And all this just mean one thing to the fans, excitement.
The last time Nigerian hip-hop got its fans this elated was in February when the scorching LAMB-Martell Cypher dropped. The culture has always thrived on competition and with projector missiles flying all around, fans are ravishing in euphoria right now. It’s a common saying that when two elephants fight it is the grass that suffers. But in hip hop, when rappers square against each other, the only true winners are the fans. But sadly, the euphoria is going to wear off soon. People are bound to move on. And when they do, what is left?
Nigerian hip-hop has been in a sorry state for years now and despite the several efforts being made for its rejuvenation, the future isn’t looking too bright yet. And this is not for a lack of talent – after all, we can boast of some of the best rappers on the continent – or creativity. Regardless, it seems Nigerians have just moved on to drown their pain and realities in afrobeats. Enough has been said on what hip-hop needs to get itself on its feet again. Multiple articles have been written, plans drafted, discussions had and more.
If not optimized, this excitement and attention Nigerian rap and rappers are getting at the moment will fizzle out back to where we started. But some things can be done to sustain some of the eyes and ears that have been captured in this whole episode for the good of the culture.
To start with, Nigerian rappers simply need to put out good music. That’s where it all starts from, the music. The problem is that many are still stuck in the ‘golden days’ and as such have refused to evolve with the times. Each age has its demands. Some are stuck on 90s-type boom-bap beats all in the name of keeping it real, and then turn around to guilt-trip the fans and media for lack of support when the record simply doesn’t pop. This was what Blaq had in mind when he rapped “If the music ain’t good it ain’t moving/ Your aesthetics will not replace the music.”
Snap out of your obsession with the past. Listen, research and understand the sonic demands of the times and let that influence how you make music. The music world today is big on bending and fusing/melding genres. The lines between genres are so blurry today that they might as well be nonexistent. Experiment with other sounds that appeals to new audiences. Approach other genres from a rap perspective.
Show Dem Camp did this with Palm Wine Music to positive results. The move has been commercially rewarding as they have registered new fans who might have not even heard of their Clone Wars series. They’ve also held two Palmwine music festivals -which recorded impressive numbers – and are even about to take the festival to the UK. Other rappers like Blaqbonez, Ladipoe, as well as the Lost And Found on their last tape have been fusing rap with other genres and it has been rewarding. Falz’s seminal album, “Moral Instruction” was heavily inspired sonically and thematically by Fela Anikulapo Kuti.
This is also one of the major reasons why the so-called indigenous or local rappers are more commercially successful. These guys can make music in a way that resonates with a wide scope of audience. They rap in their local dialects laced with street lingo thereby making their lyrics more relatable and easy to understand, as well as meddling rap with dance music and even introducing dance steps to go along with it. Zlatan is the poster boy for the wide-ranging Zanku dance and its accompanying sound and he is undeniably Naija’s hottest rapper at the moment.
Rappers also have to learn to step out of their shell and work with others. While friendly competition is healthy, there is so much more that can be gained from working together.
Nigerian rappers should be always ready to join forces with one another and synergize over records, projects and even concerts. Collaborations shouldn’t also be limited within the hip-hop circle. Rappers can reach out to acts from other genres like the alte community, soul singers and afrobeat and even Afropop. Step into their space and see their world. This would help to create much more dynamic sounds and also help to share the fanbase with their collaborators.
Over the years, there has been a downturn of collaborations between Nigerian rappers and their pop counterparts. In fact, these pop stars tend to feature foreign rappers on their tapes much more often these days. There should also be much more joint efforts between the English rappers and the indigenous ones.
Visuals also have to be taken seriously too. Yes, hip-hop is a word-oriented genre but videos are very much especially in the visually-driven world we live in today. And maybe as a result of a shortage in funding or whatever reason, hip-hop acts don’t seem to place much emphasis on their releasing music videos. You don’t believe me? Take some of the best hip-hop projects in the past year as examples. “Crown”, “Yung Denzl”, “Bad Boy Blaq”, “These Buhari Times” and the Lost and Found’s “Alternate Ending” have only about two videos released at the moment. Projects with over 50 songs and only three videos out.
Now the spotlight is on Nigerian hip-hop and no one knows how long the excitement is going to last. Mere buzz or an abundance of talent isn’t enough to sustain the genre. The best that can be done is to ensure that this rare opportunity should be optimized as much as it can. The community has to come together to create and promote premium quality content that can restore hip-hop and rap to the mainstream.
For all the dust rappers have raised in the past few weeks, it would be beautiful to see it all transcend to something bigger and not just fade out to another false start.Post Views: 693
By The PGM Club — 4 years ago
So it’s Super Sunday. Liverpool had just lost their only opportunity of silverware in the 2016 Capital One Cup final, Arsenal experienced a shocking defeat and a dent in their title challenge at the hands of a junior Manchester United team, and one of the most anticipated events of the year; Darey’s Love Like a Movie #LIAM was just about to begin. But here I was, on my way to Surulere for a private album listening session. I had gotten information that some MCs were about to release a Hip-hop album. You know I am a huge fan of good music, irrespective of its genre and where it’s coming from. So, I made some calls, got my crew ready and we found our way to Surulere; the land of aspiring Olujumoke’s and good food according to a buddy of mine.
As we ascended the stairs of this very modest apartment where the studio was located, I had no idea what to expect. You see Hip-hop or Rap is still in its infancy stages in Nigeria. With all its influences, popularity, and successes, recorded in the Americas, most Nigerians still regard Hip-hop/Rap genre as not being a very profitable genre of music. Although, we do need to acknowledge and give credit to the likes of M.I, Olamide & Phyno, Illbliss and others, who have successfully made a career in rap.
I obviously can’t speak for you, but to me, hip-hop is not just a sub-cultural movement formed during the early 1970s composed of four distinct elements; Rap music, Turntabilism (Disc jockey), B-boying (Physical dance moves e.g. breakdancing) and Graffiti art (Visual). Hip-hop is a medium of self-expression, an articulation of words in rhythm and poetry. “Hip-hop is a way of life.”
Now enough of the academic banter, lets get back to the main story.
After all the pleasantries were exchanged, we immediately got down to business. Boogey led us into the studio, which was actually a bedroom that had been converted into a recording studio. We were immediately greeted by the mask; Charlie X. This almost skinny looking dude looks nothing like the musical genius we were about to find out he is. He completely embodied the saying, ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’.
Charlie X took us through the behind the scenes of every single track, explaining the twists and turns in the album. According to Charlie X, “Face Off is a concept album between two insane MCs – Paybac and Boogey – exploring different aspects of storytelling in music.”
To get a clearer picture of the kind of creative minds that worked this album, I have broken down their characters below.
Charlie X is an alter ego; he is a white faceless mask who introduces himself as JR or some other name when he is not in work mode. He could be right next to you and you would have no idea. He is a Veteran producer who started production some fifteen years ago, back in High School. Growing up in the city of Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria, he got his name from a long time buddy of his; Jesse Jags A.K.A Emperor Jags. He refuses to be boxed in as a hip-hop producer, and works across different genres. When asked to describe his production he says,
I am not one of those producers who needs inspiration to produce, I produce with ideas.
A quick google search will do no justice to the incredible talent that is Paybac. Born and raised in Jos, Paybac is a prolific rapper and storyteller who graced the Hennessy Cypher 2015. On the album, his storytelling skills are clearly evident in the song ‘Lucid’ where he created imaginary worlds with lakes and talking dolphins. On another track ‘Ready to blow’ he does a word play on the title ‘Ready to blow’ and tells the story of an artist on stage ready to become known or to blow up to bits.
If you have followed hip-hop music in Nigeria in the last decade or so, the rapper Boogey needs no introduction. He grew up in Lagos, Nigeria before moving to Morocco, where he obtained a degree in Biology. This wordsmith also speaks French. Read his full profile on his website: https://boogeythat.wordpress.com/profile/. On this album he delivers more of his fast paced, free flowing lines that have drawn comparisons to US rapper and Aftermath prodigy Kendrick Lamar.
Face Off – The Album
The story telling on Face Off is pretty impressive, I can say with some level of confidence that it’s been a while that so much detail and depth has been paid to a body of work. Face Off is like a long 90s movie, complete with the bad guy element, the party scenes, a little bit of love, fantasies and climatic sounds that show the intensity of a producer who works across genres. On ‘BBQ and Shayo’, they call on the vocal prowess of Rexx, (an artist and radio presenter with Metro FM Lagos) who delivers a soothing performance that sets the stage for Paybac and Boogey to drop some playful, but hard hitting lines. On another track; ’Tales by Moonlight’ they decided to go outside the box and recruited the services of Plumbline; a Yoruba spoken word artist. On ‘Grateful’, my personal favorite off the album, they took the music to another level. After having locally sought for a female vocalist to sing the hook, to no avail, I must add, they finally got an unknown lady from the Philippines to drop the heartwarming chorus. Now when I say; I tried to get more information about her, I really did, but they refused to tell us whom she was. Charlie X explained that the lady in question didn’t want any credit. All I got from him was that she was based in the Philippines.
The Face Off project took about three months to complete. It may not be mainstream or the typical Jollof music Nigerians are accustomed to, but I have no doubt that the strong lyrical content and refreshing production sounds in Face Off, will find a spot in the hearts of true Hip hop/Rap fans and good music lovers. I am so grateful to have had the making of the album explained to me by the curators.
And just for you we got all their Social Media:
Charlie XPost Views: 241