Four hours of pure fun and excitement. A fulfilling night of incredible energy and showmanship. These were some of the highlights this year’s “Decemba 2 Rememba” offered the many who filled the auditorium of the Accra International Conference Centre. Organized by Citi FM, “D2R” (as it’s known for short) is an annual event, with its white trademark white tops and blue jeans, has in a couple of years, become a cult fixture on the ‘December Event List’ in the country. Advertised as an 8PM event, the show started an hour and few minutes late. Early arrivals were treated to some reels from the Citi FM organized ”Heritage Caravan” trips to while away time. The first act of the night, Adomaa, in her splendid long, African print gown and Angela Davies ball of hair tried to warm the audience up with a mash up of songs. The energy she kicked didn’t ignite the place. Adomaa’s jazzy/soul musical trope isn’t cut for this kind of crowd or ‘jamming’ event. She needs to learn to assert her influence over big audiences with her stage craft; least she ends up being forgotten or ignored .
B4bonah did his best on stage but his performance elicited an average response. A few in the audience seem to know his two big singles – ‘Dear God’ and ‘My Girl’- and they helped him sing along. The low energy circling the auditorium soon rose when the MC introduced Fancy Gadam. Fancy Gadam proved why he is able to fill up the Tamale Sports Stadium. He came to perform and nailed it. He danced (with his dancers), rapped, sang and got the crowd on the feet throughout his set. His big hit ‘Total Cheat’, drew the same response as his other none cross over hits, all thanks to his personality and energy.
Magnom, later joined by Spacely, did little to match the incredible set of Fancy Gadam. Magnom may have some good songs on radio but his performances are lackluster.
Adina did well to save the night with her impressionable set. Granted it took a few songs to get the crowd excited, she made sure the positive vibes “It’s Too Late” and ”M’akoma” offer resonated across the room. Her vocals were crisp, complimenting her simple yet radiant look- a black crop top over blue jeans and heels.
As the evenings co-host, AJ Sarpong described them, the ‘Lynx Triumvirate’ were the highlight of the evening. Starting with KiDi, his body language on stage was enchanting. And when he sang the first lines of his songs, the audience were in trance-like mood. His two hit songs, ‘Odo’ and ‘Say You Love Me’ were taken over by the audience, singing line by line as if they helped him write the songs. A test of a young artist’s acceptance is his/her ability to get the fans to sing his lyrics with him/her looking on with bewildering excitement.
Like KiDi, Kuami Eugene earned the same reaction. “Angela”, the last song of his performance on the night, after ‘Boom Bang Bang’ lifted the mood to a crescendo. He, like KiDi are on the right path with their onstage presence. All they need now is more platforms to master their craft.
MzVee, with her extensive catalogue ended the Lynx set. Looking all peng on stage, she had to do away with the gown attached to her short. (It was impeding her movement). She struggled to maintain the standard set by her two previous labelmates. But, she earned good fans reaction with her two songs “Davi” and “Say My Name”. If there’s anything worth improving, it’s her live performances. Until then, she shouldn’t close any ‘Lynx’ set when KiDi and Eugene are on the bill. It takes a bit of shine away from it.
Kurlsongz’ two song set- “Feeling Me” and “Jennifer Lomotey” were painfully uninspiring. His laid back, ‘smooth brother’ look douched the energy that had enveloped the room. But that was soon saved by Ebony. In a white, knee level suit and white inner dress, she and her backup dancers gave a dance interpretation of her current hit songs plus some ‘oldies’ as well. “Maame Hwe”, “Hustle”, “Sponsor” and “Posion” got the auditorium roaring as she expected. The positive reaction and passion to entertain were visibly on the night.
King Promise shouldn’t have been the closing act of the night, but assumed that responsibility following the absence of Wutah. He knew the pressure was on, but the young man didn’t sell himself short. Elegantly looking in his khaki pants and black top and dark shades, he left the stage and jammed among the audience in the pews. A smart move if you ask me, since he realized earlier that the initial fan reaction wasn’t as he expected. Performing from his hit repertoire which include songs like the lovely “Selfish”, the party jam “Oh Yeah”, “Hey Sexy” and his verses off “Trouble”. King Promise sold an experience. He made some of his fans, mostly the ladies feel special by singing the songs like he wrote it for them. You could see the level of appreciation on the faces of some of them especially when he did his hook off “Me Ne Woa”. (He was featured by M.anifest on the song).
Artists billed to perform must realize they get booked for shows not only off the back of their hit records. It, therefore, behoves on them to deliver lasting performances since good displays add to their value.
Off the back of his performance, I’ll say King Promise deserve every Ghana Cedi note he charges, less for his incredible songs, but his ability to read the crowd and switch his game up a notch to meet their expectations. His set was one of the highlights of the evening. The performances aside, “Decemba2Rememba” scored high points on certain levels including the Mcship of the night. Osei Kwame and AJ Sarpong did their best, but it was their co-host, Nigerian comedian Bash who stole the night. With his rib cracking anecdotes and stage acting (or antics), he ensured there were no periods of dullness. DJ Armani, who was the DJ of the evening also chalked high points when it came to turning the auditorium into a party ground. His playlists suited the musical palettes of the audience. Those throwbacks were crazy. The cocktail bar for VIP ticket holders was essential for the evening. It would be great if they could extend the ‘working hours’ of the bar. But, there were few blots on the night starting with the quality of sound. The loud sound affected the quality of display of the likes of Adomaa, B4bonah and Adina, who emitted more noise than music during their set. It however, improved over time. Again, the sequencing of acts could be looked at again next year. Although it didn’t kill off the energy on the night completely, some performers were unimpressionable. Artists billed to perform must realize they get booked for shows not only off the back of their hit records. It, therefore, behoves on them to deliver lasting performances since good displays add to their value. Also, event organizers must ensure artists rehearse more to match whatever that get paid. And, can we get artists to stop miming? It’s a live performance artists, not mime performance. The organizers awarding some fans with gifts is great. However, calling on female awardees (mostly plus sized) to dance for the prize was objectifying. The co-MC, Bash may have sought to bring a bit of excitement to the whole award ceremony, but it felt uncomfortable considering the guys awarded weren’t subjected to any ‘dance for prize’ session. As a first timer at “Decemba2Rememba”, I really was impressed by overall organization; from security, to sitting arrangements, MCs and the artists featured. Once the organizers, Citi FM get the few technical challenges sorted, the experience would live with anyone who attends this annual event.
We sourced photos from Citi FM Twitter page & KiDi