Apart from Burna Boy, there is hardly any Nigerian artist that can claim to have ruled 2019 like Naira Marley.
It is no longer news that Nigerian music has arrived. That reality is backed by an almost unbelievable number of classic records the country can now boast of after years of relying heavily on foreign music to fill its airwaves. That reality was also backed by a night of top class performances by some of Nigeria’s finest musicians at the Born in Africa Festival (BAFEST).
The festival had its second edition at the Eko Atlantic City arena on Sunday with thousands of fun seekers in attendance. After a day of interesting activities including movies, high art fashion and captivating display of enchanting art pieces, attendees thronged the Regular, VIP and VVIP spaces expertly set-up by Livespot to experience an amazing night of music.
First to get the crowd warmed up for the long, interesting night was hypeman Shoddy, who prepared them for what was to come. By the time the host for the night, Dare Art-Alade appeared on stage, the show was on.
Coincidentally, it was Niniola’s birthday and she was really in the mood to put on a show for all in attendance. At some point, she tossed her shoes to a side to deliver some of the best dance performances you’ll ever see. Nini closed her set with her hit, ‘Maradona’ after getting the crowd to sing a birthday song along with her.
The ragga/dancehall artist’s set was one of the most engaging. His expertise in delivering his patois made all in attendance feel like they were on a boat cruise on a beach in Jamaica. As he performed his hits, ‘Alubarika’, ‘No Kissing’, ‘Daniella Whine’ and others, Patoranking moved across the stage with his signature dance moves in a very confident and convincing manner.
Teni the Entertainer
When Teni is in a hole, she provides light. This attribute that has made her a fan favourite was immediately on show as she was introduced to the stage. Amid cheeky proclamations and jokes, Teni got the crowd rocking with her performance of ‘Case’, ‘Uyo Meyo’ and ‘Billionaire’. Oh, and she debuted a new song with Darey Art-Alade titled ‘Far Away’.
This man knows his onions and has a reputation in delivering the most professional performances devoid of unoriginal creativity. And boy did he do justice to his set with a live performance so engaging that even the worst dancers in the arena were forced to do their best impressions of the Igbo traditional dance. In between his performance, Flavour threw in some lewd gimmicks here and there and the crowd loved him for it!
Some of the criticisms (mostly by hip-hop heads) directed at Ice Prince have bordered on his ‘watered down’ lyrics to pander to pop appeal but he has a good case to argue based on the bevy of hit records in his catalog. One would be tempted to think he’d struggle to excite the crowd but he went ahead to deliver one of the night’s finest performances. And the crowd really rocked with him. From ‘Oleku’ to ‘Superstar’, Ice Prince had more than enough songs to fire up the crowd. He even gifted a lucky fan his white jacket.
Apart from Burna Boy, there is hardly any Nigerian artist that can claim to have ruled 2019 like Naira Marley. Having declared himself a leader of the ‘no manners’ camp following his travails with the EFCC, the rapper has built a cult-like fanbase that’ll make his peers envious. The Marlians, as the fans call themselves, as well as those who aren’t too sure about where they stand in accepting the enigmatic rapper as a music powerhouse, anticipated his arrival like an alcoholic would his wine.
And he delivered. The sleek leg moves, the aura and even the very lewd proclamations – Naira Marley is indeed a star.
Other acts that performed at the festival include Burna Boy, Seyi Shay, Mr Real, Becca, Joeboy, DJ Spinall and DJ BigN.
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