The Canadian-based producer and musician haven’t created another record that comes close to penetration. But what he has done has been to consolidate his fan base in Nigeria, with targeted releases, promotions and a dash of his naïve handsomeness.
That’s why the women were here in huge numbers. We were at the Hard Rock Café, waiting for the singer to start his show. This was his first concert in Lagos, and everyone was excited, although it was mixed with layers of scepticism. Nonso Amadi was, after all, an unproven live performer. He’s a producer who’s making the tough journey to extend his artistry to recording and performing.
But the numbers were good. With over a million streams of ‘Tonight’ on Spotify and an increasing fan base on social media, you would understand why he found the courage to execute this project. Nonso Amadi isn’t the biggest name walking the streets, but he mattered in many places. It is that quality that has enabled this concert to be organized by Bankulli Entertainment, The Plug NG, and Play Center. Heritage Bank also put money on it, ensuring that the show became a reality for the singer’s fans.
Hosts Dorcas Shola Fapson and Ebiye the comedian handled duties for the evening as Jeff Akoh opened the stage with a performance. The rest was artistic and classy. Bisola shed a tear on stage while she powered through her new record ‘Lucchia’. It was intense. Teni, Ryan, Vanilla, Efe Oraka, Mystro, Deji Abdul, BOJ, Wavy TheCreator, LAX, and Shaydee stretched it with great performances.
Interestingly, Odunsi The Engine, a personal friend and collaborator with Nonso Amadi chose to appear on stage with Santi. They stayed on for a minute, did a hook, and moved out. Interesting.
But then came Nonso, the man of the hour, the star of the night, the convener of cool kids. The band hit their notes, and fireworks were unleashed. As everywhere burned bright, a girl beside me hugged her friend in excitement, and screamed “Come on stage already!”
I understood. For many, Nonso Amadi isn’t only a singer. He’s a crush. A Man Crush Everyday.
“How many of you listened to my “Alone” EP?” He asked. Of course everyone did. Who would dare say no to such a bringer of good vibes. “You know the first song alone? Let’s sing it together.”
And so the singing began. As a performer, Nonso Amadi is a work in progress, and while he might not get everything right, he sure knows how to create a bond between him and the fans. He acted uncertain and unsure at various moments, but he smiled through his sets, stared the ladies in the eye, and controlled the live band with dexterity. He quickly ran through the records.
Maleek Berry joined him on stage for a performance of early, before he had the floor to perform ‘Pon my mind’, and ‘Been calling’.
Banky W would later come on to peform ‘Blessing me’ and ‘Yes/No’. But before he left, he had some choice words for Nonso.
“As someone who have been in the lives of a lot of young artists like Shaydee, Skales, DJ Xclusive and Wizkid, I know talente when I see it,” he gushed, with one arm around Amadi’s shoulder. “Make some noise for this onece-in-a-generation type of talent.”
Nonso closed the show with ‘Tonight’, his most important single yet. People held hands and sang as he singer carried through the promise of a great live show. He wasn't the greatest performer of the night, but he had a bond with the fans, one that generated enough energy to ensure that we all had a great show. It was a proud moment for the singer, as he concluded what has been his first major project in Lagos. Banky W was right. Nonso Amadi’s talent is truly special, and on this night, he showed us via live music.