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HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED WHEN WIZKID TOOK OVER LONDON’S O2 ARENA

Since the birth of Wizkid’s fourth album, Made In Lagos, in October 2020 fans have long yearned to see and hear the greatness of Wizkid’s works of both present and past. Having previously done sold-out shows through Afrorepublik (2018) and the annual Starboy Fest event (2019), Made In Lagos served as the catalyst of demand for more live performances of Wizkid.

August 2021 saw the release of tickets for the Made In Lagos live concert, in which many expressed their disappointment in not getting a ticket as the show sold out in 12 minutes (a record joint with Beyonce). Nevertheless, fans went to extreme lengths to ensure they could show their support for the Starboy.

And so after 3 months of spare ticket searching and outfit deciding, 28th November 2021 had finally arrived – and it was the start of greatness.

Entering the O2, you could already see masses of people forming queues to get into the arena. Despite some delay in getting inside the venue (coupled with unfortunate displays of breaking into the venue), the volume of the music grew louder and louder with each step taken towards the front.

As DJ SkylaTylaa and Juls finished their respective sets and brewed the crowd for more enjoyment, it was time for Wizkid’s own DJ, DJ Tunez, to get the party started. Although obvious, he made it paramount to stress on both the influence and importance of Africa’s influence on music today as he reloaded the bangers of old and new. The statement “it’s all about African music tonight” resounded throughout the night, suggesting a feeling of proudness on the heights African music has reached globally.

As the lights began to dim and the room darkened, an array of candles ascended from the ground. Coupled with phone lights, the man of the moment illuminated in glory and became visible to all. In an all-black fit, he took a moment to pause and gaze at the crowd and the show was underway with “Joro” – a recreation of the word ‘Joromi’ which means ‘enjoyment’ in Yoruba. He then began to show us his moves in a seductive manner to “Mighty Wine”.

Wizkid didn’t waste time in bringing out treats for his fans in the form surprise guests. First up was UK’s own R&B superstar Ella Mai. Performing their duet “Piece of Me”, Ella Mai added her tantalising vocals to give the song a soothing feel. Legendary Skepta lit up the stage as Wizkid and himself performed “Longtime” and ‘Energy’. Rising star Buju put the fans in a big mood as he performed “Mood”, a song that serves a groovy bassline and subtle percussion.

Tems’ presence was arguably the most captivating. Combining beautiful looks with an extraordinary soulful voice, the crowd was gifted with a live performance of “Essence” a song dubbed as ‘song of the summer’.

Both DJ Tunez and Wizkid did not forget their day one fans. “We’re not talking about “Essence” warriors” DJ Tunez teased. Immediately they went through the evergreen throwbacks of “Pakurumo”, “Tease Me”, ‘Final” (Baba Nla) and “Don’t Dull” to name a few. Songs such as these are reminiscent of the breakthrough of afrobeats music to the world, as well as growing up as a Black British African in the diaspora.

The show paused for a minute’s silence to honour the life of Virgil Abloh, a creative visionary who changed the face of fashion for established fashion houses and provided inspiration for brands up and coming. He continued the show with “Smile” and “Blessed”, which aided as tributes to Mr Abloh as these songs provide a sense of gratitude and thankfulness.

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