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TRACE Urban celebrate Africa Day with Toya & PSquare
This past Friday, 25 May 2012, Africans throughout the continent celebrated what is dubbed Africa Liberation Day (or simply Africa Day), a day set aside to glorify and highlight the continent’s hard-fought freedom from the colonists of the Western world. This is also a time when we share and celebrate our versatile and colourful cultures amongst ourselves. To mark this occasion, TRACE Urban hosted an event where two of the continents biggest outfits right now, Toya Delazy and P-Square, performed live at the renowned Hush club in Rosebank.
After seeing and hearing about Toya Delazy everywhere in the past few months, I was eager to see how she fares in the live performance spheres. I actually got a copy of her debut album, Due Drop, the very same week, but hadn’t gotten a chance to listen to it.
Hush filled up in a matter of minutes after we arrived at the swanky club. While waiting for the performances, we were treated to in-club dancers who entertained the whole house with their suggestive moves.
The performances were due to start at 00:30, but we waited until well after 01:00, before the DJ screamed into the microphone, asking us if we were ready for Toya Delazy. As if summoned by the responsive screams, Toya burst into the stage following her two dancers. She performed only a handful of songs, which included the hit Pump It On; The Soil-assisted intro to With You; as well as Love Is In The Air, also treating us to a remix of this jam.
Her stage presence and energy are amazing. The manner in which she engages with the crowd is magnetic. It was this vibrancy that left the revelers asking for more. South Africa has certainly found a new star in the daughter of IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi.
The following day, after experiencing Toya‘s awesomeness on stage at Hush, I had to tear open my copy of her album to experience fully, her artistry. To say I was bowled over is an understatement. What I enjoyed the most about her album was her ability to make each and every song unique, while retaining that world-class, musical appeal. After 3 spins of the album, I decided that Loves Takes Time is my most favourite song, followed by Memoriam and then Jai Lover.
Jai Lover made an impression on me for the fact that she throws in some Zulu in the song. And of course, the rhythm section of the complex, yet fluid piece of music. Another thing that stood out as I read the album sleeve was that Toya actually composed all the songs contained therein, and owns the publishing for all the material. She needs to be lauded for that smart move. Especially seeing that her music is enjoying a great deal of airplay in radio and TV stations throughout the country.
Back to the night at Hush. About ten minutes after Toya, the DJ repeated his question from earlier, this time the name everybody wanted to hear being P-Square. Now, I do not have a deep knowledge of P-Square‘s music, even though I have heard their songs on radio, as well as seen some of their music videos on TV channels like Channel O and MTV Base. I must make an effort to listen to more of their music.
The Nigerian twin brothers sizzled as they got everybody dancing. Their rhythmic beats, coupled with their unique vocals and dance moves served as a vehicle for the audience’s delight for close to 30 minutes. Scanning across the room as I heard people singing along, I realised that more than a third of the audience were Nigerian. P-Sqaure definitely proved why they are adored by the masses with their sterling performance.
Earlier in the night, I spotted Hlomla Dandala‘s wife and TV presenter Candy, with a friend. I also saw fashion designerDavid Tlale enjoying the music played by the DJ at the time. What baffled me was that he was wearing sunglasses. And the confusing revelation was that every time he wanted to take a closer look at someone across the room, he would push the stunnas up to get a glimpse with a naked eye. Which begged the question, what’s the point of wearing them at night, in a club?
Anyway, it was a fun night. A perfect way to end off my Africa Day celebrations after watching a local film, Otelo Burning, for the second time earlier. Thanks to Valentine Gaudin from TRACE for the invite.
Here are more photos of Toya Delazy and P-Square‘s performances.