by Collins Eboru
The African Movie Academy Awards (AMAAs) have come and gone but it still leaves a tang of excitement and hope for the future in the Nigerian music scene, strange as that might seem. It gave us a chance to step into the new age and see how real super stars perform. While the awards were for silver screen prowess, the musical side of showbiz was showcased as two of our world class acts Tuface and Asa turned up on stage to give outstanding performances.
Nigerian music has come a long way from the days of Victor Olaiya, Rex Lawson, Fela Anikulakpo-Kuti, Haruna Ishola, Bongo Igwe, Sir Victor Uwaifo, Dan Maraya Jos through the likes of King Sunny Ade, Ebenezer Obey. The second wave included performers like Sir Shina Peters, Onyeka Onwenu, Funmi Adams and so many more. We have seen a total shift, from the traditional home-grown sound to a gradual mix and match of both Western- and African-infused rhythms. That said, nothing beats the feel of the performing with a live band just like the good old days of Nigeria music or ‘golden era’ as my dad puts it.
A few Nigerian acts such as ‘Mr Capable’, Banky W and his EME crew, Wizkid and Skales have tried to experiment. The Mo’hits Crew seem to have found the key to electrifying performances as Don Jazzy himself conducts the orchestra and other instrumentalists during their Koko concerts rather than the usual “DJ, track 1” moment.
Tuface Idibia who performed at the AMAAs always knows how to connect with the audience—he kicks it ‘freestyle’, and even flirts outrageously with ladies in the audience, all with a live band. His electrifying performances never fail to be winners, and he was no different at the AMAAs—he had us all up and dancing. Though he didn’t have back up dancers, it was one performance I would not have missed for anything in the world.
Asa is another electrifying performer, and her mere presence had the audience alight with excitement. Not the Davido or Koko Master kind of feeling, rather a ‘welcoming our daughter’ kind of excitement. ‘The hawk’ didn’t fail to land as she thrilled the audience to proverbial stories told in our mother tongue taking us back to our roots.
Grooving with a live band seemed just so easy for Asa to do and I said to myself, “little wonder she is in demand in all six continents of the world. Asa’s performance stole the show—she even had to take off her shoes as she let the jailer lose while the crowd rocked on with her.
It was a night well spent with the film stars and the mega music stars as Asa’s performance and Tuface’s were the highlight of the AMAAs. We can only hope for a better treat next time.