Hollywood star Idris Elba proved his prowess away from the screen to host an electric live show tagged Africa Day Benefit Concert @ Home in celebration of Africa Day, on 25th May 2020. The concert was break from the normal, thanks to changing times occasioned by the global Covid-19 pandemic.
The exclusively African show was awash with a stellar cast of regional celebrities to make the online concert a digital musical talent footprint. In normal times, this cast would have graced the red carpet in the characteristic VIP treatment vibe, but well, times change.
Idris Elba had a terrific time hosting stars Bebe Cool, Yemi Alade, Sauti Sol, Burna Bwoy amongst others. Also making an appearance was South African stand-up comedian and TV host, Trevor Noah.
Closer home, Kenyan stars have had to re-package their brands to remain relevant in the dynamic industry. In the earlier times physical shows and concerts would give an artist instant feedback from their fans, but would be a handicap of sorts – their fan base would be restricted. Only the artists familiar with their work would be available.
A live, online show has a greater reach. An artist easily interests and captures followers beyond their normal fan base. This is great, especially post-pandemic with promise of sold out shows inclusive of the new following achieved in live YouTube and IG shows.
In Kenya, it’s hard to credit the most memorable live show. The list is impressive. They have had to learn on the job – there’s no handbook to learn from!
Music fans have been treated to the One Day Concert, by the eclectic performing artist Juliani. This show had a striking ‘Fight Inequality – Fight Covid-19’ theme. Another regular concert that took refuge online is the iconic Koroga Festival on Sunday 24th, which featured artists Zzero Sufuri and the Boondock’s Gang, live.
The perennial star Nyashinski has made a mark with his IG show. The Decimal Chronicles concert tagged the ‘Curfew Edition’ was lit, notably songstress Bridget Blue kicking it off with her single, Cheza.
Naiboi has teamed up with Avril, and H_Art the Band live on diverse dates and kept their followers on their toes. With such talent and vigor seen with Naiboi, the energy seeps right through the digital barriers.
Besides the music stars, celebrated mix-master DJ Bash became the first Kenyan entertainer to do a 24-hr live IG show. That’s previously unseen on these shores – uninterrupted, sizzling performance.
In this industry, things and trends change in an instant. Regardless of how things get after the global pandemic is brought under control, the live shows by our artists will be to stay. They’ve timely uncovered a hitherto-ignored digital gold mine, and its infinite possibilities.