So, the much anticipated One Africa Music Fest has come and gone. Did it meet the hype and the standards set from the first version?
On Saturday August 19th 2017, Upfront and Personal brought several African (mostly Nigerian) performers to New York for a mega concert. The concert was slated to start at 7pm with doors to be opened at 6pm. When I got to the venue at 6:20pm there was a long line at the box office with people who bought tickets on Groupon and Eventbrite waiting to pick up their tickets. Those that purchased Eventbrite tickets were unable to get their tickets as they were not at the box office. After some frustration and some time the kink was fixed and they let these people in. Probably not the biggest deal, but a little annoyance all the same.
By the time I got into the venue, Banky W was just being introduced as the host of the show, I think some lesser known artists had possibly performed before he came on-stage. Banky W seemed to be fixated on his soon to be spouse as all of his comments had to do with his marital status.
Fortunately for us, all the performers listed on the flyers performed. The One Africa Music Fest Instagram account thanked Wande Coal, however he was definitely not a performer at the concert.
Tuface performed his classic hits and it was outstanding. He was the best performer of the night in my opinion. Tiwa Savage was a very close second best. Timaya’s performance got somewhat raunchy with a lot of the dancers twerking and he went on to carry one of the dancers and almost followed another off the stage when she was leaving after her set in the middle of his performance. Awkward. P-Square came with their dance moves and we already know they cannot perform without one or both of them taking off their shirt, but a lot of girls seemed to like it.
The big surprise of the night had to be when Wale came on stage. He came on stage and the crowd went berserk!!! He performed his hit, Pretty Young Thing, and the crowd sang along. Flavour also brought it with his body and waist whining, that man knows his strength that he does not even bother to wear a shirt. Cassper Nyovest’s performance was decent. ShattaWale’s energy was very much infectious. It was my first time seeing him perform and I must say I was impressed. DJ Maphorisa’s set kept me on my feet.
By time it got to Tekno, you could tell the schedule was tight. His performance was quite rushed as he switched up songs pretty quickly. All of the other performers did well; Falz, Victoria Kimani and DJ Spinall. Kaffy, despite not feeling well as well as her dancers did a great job. Davido was the last performer of the night, at this point the show had already gone over. Davido stated he had just flown in and came to the venue straight from the airport. His performance was decent, but not spectacular.
I am yet to understand why these artistes do not perform together, Falz performed Bahd Baddo Baddest alone even though Davido is also on the song and was present at the venue. That seemed like it wasn’t well thought out. Same went for the song that Flavour and P-Square have together, Sexy Rosey.
Kudos to the performers with a live band backing them who did not just lip-sync. Overall, I would give the show a generous 7/10. It could definitely do with some better organization, and time management but we know it can’t be easy getting these big stars together for one show. In addition, adding more variety to the line up (Artists from other African countries) will help.
Is it worth going to? We’d say Yes. It’s definitely worth checking out next time it’s close to your city, more especially if you don’t get a chance to see these artists perform often.
By: Ty & Timi