Forgive my title; this is not to compare both acts (you can remove your troll-ready fingers from the keyboard, D’banj STANS) but to put it to us the consumers of music that we need to raise our standards of what we expect of entertainment. In which case, Darey is at the very summit. His performances took me back to his days as a contestant on Project Fame Africa – the first (and best) season where he (rather unjustly) came third. Accompanied by dancers on stage he started with non-Nigerian ballads, his singing faltering. However, once he started singing his own songs, his confidence ballooned, his body language changed, his voice peaked and he started hitting that glorious baritone. His delivery of ‘Inside of You’ from his recent ‘Naked’ album took it straight to church and in my mind’s eye, what was sprinkling was not holy water. That his music doesn’t get the due it deserves is an only-in-Nigeria kind of wonder. He is criminally un-DAREY-ted.
If we all never heard another ‘Hello’ by Adele cover till the Last Trumpet, it won’t be soon enough.
I found it surprising that for such a well put together show, with experts imported, sound coaches employed, no one had the bright idea to say, ‘No. This has been overdone, let us leave it alone.’
And even if they were going to perform this song,
same song which the original has been seen A BILLION TIMES on YouTube, no one had the bright idea to say, oh let us do this in a new way, with a different sound.
Finally, if they were performing this song, in a different way, with a new sound, give it to someone who can actually SING IT.
Ruby Gyang, darling… NO!
Olamide & Yemi Alade Winning at the Lip Synching Contest
If the Headies wanted to be petty and introduce a Lip-synching award, Olamide won’t have to worry about anyone else winning or have to ask anyone to #LeaveTrashforLAWMA. At #LLAM3, he delivered a masterful performance brilliantly moving his lips over his own song playing in the background – all the while ensuring not a whisper of his own voice found its way from his vocal cords to the microphone. Such a baddo!
A close second was Yemi Alade. Only that she fell short by actually singing some parts of her song – though it was hardly on the beat. With better practice, she should get better at not doing any singing at all. I will be paying close attention at her next gig.
Technology was one of the Best (Unannounced) Performers
One of the major reasons why LLAM is an experience and other concerts, sing-alongs, is technology. The use of visual effects and lighting design was simple, uncluttered, and well thought-out. They enhanced each performance and at least three of the five senses were well teased, titillated and satisfied.
P.S. This really shouldn’t be big deal as its par for the course in other countries; but seeing as Darey is the only one taking the initiative in Nigeria…
Senior Statesman, Sound Sultan CAN NOT Sing
It is with great regret that I have to include this. I grew up listening to Sound Sultan. His hit track of old, Jagbanjantis remains evergreen in my memory. Its lyrics is still so relevant today – a testament to the foresight of this artiste who cleverly leveraged critical social commentary into a mass appeal song. But now that I look back on it, Mr. Sultan didn’t really sing on that track, and all of these years I haven’t really paid attention to or questioned whether he could or otherwise. I got my answer yesterday night and boy, was it an earful (read as earache) Covering UB40’s ‘(Can’t Help) Falling in Love With You’ Mr Sultan’s voice and the song’s / band’s notes were not in the same room, never mind the same key. I’m not sure at whose door to lay blame – whether the producers for burdening Sultan with a song that very clearly overpowered his sonic ability or for Sound Sultan for not rehearsing enough (if this could have helped) to tame the song.
Simi is a Mega Pop Star in Waiting
Where a veteran croaked and street favourites lip synched their way across their set list, this newbie SHONE! Not only did she sing (and very well) she danced. Then, she dramatized her song’s narrative with stage props, all the while not out of breath or missing a beat. It was with great pleasure I wondered what she would have delivered if she was allotted more performance time. With great care and management, she could be a pop version of Asa.
Sorry Ciara, (VVIP) Nigerians Who Seat By the Stage Don’t Get Up to Dance
Ciara did her very best. She tried a call and response. She leapt off the stage. She even went into the crowd and danced with a few guests but after paying 200K and above for a table, God forbid a VVIP Nigerian, get up and dance like they have no home training. Actually, how dare Ciara ask them to have a good time? To her credit though, she delivered a great performance nonetheless, disregarding the floor / stage-side audience’s refusal to connect with her like a true pro. Meanwhile, immediately after she performed Body Party which features her baby daddy Future, she followed with I Bet…”I bet you start loving me, soon as I start loving someone else, somebody better than you…”
Do we need to call her into The Shade Room?