Mr Kutu Sa Let’s it off at his EP Launch in London
So this past bank holiday Monday I was afforded the chance to round of my Easter weekend in style by attending the launch of Mista Silva’s new EP, Let It Off!
The night started with much excitement. I got dressed into my finest attire purchased straight from Ghana and made my way up to Stoke Newington. Seeing as I’m from Peckham and I don’t have a north London visa I spent the first half hour on arrival circling the area trying to find out where on earth the venue was!
Within the first 5 minutes I notice the man of the hour himself, Mista Silva enter the lobby sporting the Me Firi Ghana varsity jacket. Whilst I was thrilled to see him support the movement it makes the task of writing this review ever more nerve wracking! At this stage I’m pondering going up to him and asking if he remembers meeting me at BellaRoma nightclub in Accra early last year; however at the risk of looking like a fanboy I “stay in my lane” and go about my business.
Stepping in the venue I saw so many familiar faces from my time living in Accra, I felt like I was in an Osu nightclub! The place was full to the rafters as the crowd danced away to the sounds of Shatta Wale, Sarkodie and Bisa Kdei, waiting for the show to start.
The first act to take to the stage was a rapper by the name of Eugy (@EugyOfficial). Coincidently I had come across him a few days earlier when I shared his #BalenciagaFreestyle on twitter. His style is truly unique. He smoothly integrates both Twi and English into his songs and makes something that both the man on the block and in the village can vibe to! Among the rising popularity of UK Afrobeats, pioneered by people such as Mista Silva, Eugy has managed to find his own sound that falls somewhere in between hip-hop/grime and Afrobeats. Expect big things from this brother!
Now I have to admit, the next artist to take to the stage was not familiar to me. However if you’re into your Afrobeats you’d have to have been living under a rock to not hear the song he performed! The artist was DJ Afro B (@DjAfroB) and the song was the masterpiece Baba God. The whole crowd erupted as we all in unison sang the chorus together! Whether singing in English or French this man tore it up! He quite expertly used a traditional African practice of using music to worship and has made it current and funky! You could vibe to this in both the Church and at carnival. His two amazing dancers on either side of him completed the spectacle. Well done sir!
As we approached the headline act we were treated to a Kutu Sa dance off. Anyone whos tried (and failed in my instance) to learn how to do this dance will recognise the two guys who took to the stage from youtube.Over three rounds of Kutu Sa’ing later, the crowd could still not decide who was their winner! I suppose this just serves as a testament to how much they have mastered it!
At this stage you could sense the anticipation of the crowd to hear the man for whom we had all come to hear. The Kuta Sa dance off alongside the sounds being performed by the live band served as the perfect warm up for Mista Silva to grace the stage. He came to the stage in almost Fela-esque fashion, as the band reached a crescendo. In a flurry of energy he jumped on the stage and immediately got into performance of the lead track from his EP “Goes Down”. There wasn’t a soul in the building that didn’t feel the music and let it take over them! Everyone vibed from the energy that Silva was radiating. The greatest respect you can give an artist is that just by watching them perform a crowd can’t help but get on their feet and dance. Silva seemed to be able to do this naturally! As he continued to perform each song from the EP the crowds energy never waned! His last performance was of the bonus track, Nyame ah y3. This for me was undoubtedly the highlight of the show. Performing almost exclusively in Twi or pidgin English, Silva perfectly represented himself and his musical identity in this track. In his own words he “stands representing the UK and Ghana Music scene, but I stand here as a black star”. I felt the track Nyame ah y3 perfectly encapsulated that message. A special mention must go out to the live band who made the event a spectacle of African/UK music. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who left the event thinking that Afrobeats with a live band is truly something special!
As we wound down, just to demonstrate the humility of the man, Silva ended by giving thanks to the people that helped him get to where he is and also by giving a prayer. This humility and dedication to his craft will surely see him go far and remain at the top of the UK Afrobeats scene! A truly pioneering artist Silva has played his part in the rise of pride among African communities in the UK of their culture. Keep repping GH, keep repping Africa and keep repping the UK! Most importantly keep doing you because you’re doing us all proud!
Malachi Mukete (@MallyMukete)