Poetra’s Drum Roll performance begun with the poet dressed in a beautiful African themed dress and pair of silver heels she referred to as props, placing a bottle of water and a roll of card papers on stage.
The card papers were a part of her performance. The bottled water however, was her copying what she had seen other artists do the past couple months whenever they came on stage.
Poetra was joined by a drummer named Richie from The Musical Lunatics who provided drum beats throughout her performance.
The purpose of the roll of card papers was to usher the audience into a theme of poetry to be performed by the artist. The audience was to read out what was on the card when the artist held it up to begin a series of performances related to the content on the card.
The use of a drum kit as an instrument supporting poetry is unusual in mordern Ghanaian poetry performances. African drums have in the past accompanied poetry performances but lately the guitar, saxophone and sometimes piano are used to provide melody for poets to lay their words on.
Poetra is no stranger to performing and entertaining crowds with a live band. However for poetry, sometimes the message gets drowned in the music.
The idea from the show came from the artist watching a performance of a female poet with a single instrument and the impact that had on her poetry.
She decided to use drums but added that any other musical instrument could be used to achieve the same goal.
Themes, Chapters or Stages
There were eight themes or chapters of Poetra’s Drum Roll, Please performance. The first was Motherhood. It begun with a poem that painted the real life story of a woman in Cape Town, South Africa who killed her own son as a result of her frustration of his drug abuse.
The piece begun with the artist singing her own rendition of “Hallelujah”. The poem itself starts with the concept of mathematics and how the mother was so good at it. Her bearing a son that depended on her was a beautiful equation. “Tick Tock” was then used to time travel a decade and some years later when the ticks to suggest correct answers evolved to tik (South African nickname for methamphetamine). Which lead to her killing her son or math equation as her way of showing love and ending with the phrase .
“Were you ever good at this thing called math?”
That’s the summary but the poem actually has more depth than that.
Woman was the next theme. The beat pace from Richies drums quickened and was heavy. It ushered a song, a poem and then a song called Annie of the poets Motherfuckitude album. The track which evolves around a girl named Annie’s choice to not wear panties always intrigues audiences. Females are indeed interesting.
Sensuality was the theme that followed next and from the way the crowd read the card, you could tell they were anticipating something bold and edgy.
It started with the chorus of J.Coles Power Trip and evolved into poetry. Poetra has a way of using sex metaphors to make a point. As to whether it is to get the mind to focus or to draw the similarity in things is unknown. Her effortlessness in engaging the human senses to simulate her words theatrically is how the poet has acquired a fan base.
The themes that followed were Love, Heartbreak and Saving Yourself. Supreme Rights artist, Worlasi joined in to perform a section of his track Freedom of the Nuse mixtape where Poetra features. The words and lyrics aided the concept of saving one’s self and even though it was not apparent the drums were still at work like a heart beating unconsciously to the human.
The last two themes were Arts and Politics and Self Love, which was concluded with Tema based producer KaySo joining in to provide strings.
All in all it was a wonderful experience. Poetry lovers would have enjoyed this journey with drums and words. All the guest artists were amazing from KaySo, Chief Moomen, Cina Soul, Musical Lunatics and not forgetting MC extraordinaire Daniel Quist who attempted a remix of Cina Soul’s Julor.(which isn’t bad by the way)
I enjoyed my performance yesterday. It was my first time working with a band and I was blessed to have The Musical Lunatics make that happen. The rap performances were awesome and I will share the videos later.
Keep blessing us Poetra with your art. The rest of you remember to keep it One Hondred!
As promised here are the images of the Nuse Concert with Worlasi and friends last Saturday at Alliance Francais. Keep it One Hondred!
A confident Worlasi approached the stage strapped with what looked like safety belts for a parachute. He was prepared for the jump into stardom.
With the amazing Safoa band, Dj, wonderful guest artists, an audience who just couldn’t sit down and a consistently smoke filled stage that warranted the band members wearing gas masks, I guess his fashion statement was justified.
I sat right in the front and loved every minute of this concert. They say if you want to visit a good Chinese restaurant, go to the one the Chinese visit. The same can be said for music. If you want to see a good musician/artist go to the one that all the other artists are talking about.Artists from all walks of life came out to support Worlasi and contributed to making the night spectacular.
Daniel Quist as the MC was perfect. He was the one that introduced me to Worlasi and champions his music passionately. No one else could do that job better than him in my opinion.
Worlasi was at home entertaining guests. He spoke about everything that came to mind like the confused state of fish when you buy Kenkey, his grandmother and the fact that everyone should grab a drink. It’s free but it can get finished, he said.
Each of the artists that graced the stage are a testament to how versatile the Nuse artist is. From Six Strings, Akan, Poetra, Cina Soul, Wanlov and Manifest, each artist held their own and proved to me that Ghana’s music scene is indeed diverse and evolving.
Cina Soul did something really creative to make the concert truly artistic. She made the audience, band and herself take part in the mannequin challenge. I thought that was really unique and bold. As a Ghanaian you would think people would not have participated, especially with all that Jameson around but she pulled it off. I can’t wait to see what that was like on video.
Alliance Francais was half filled by 8 PM before 11 PM it was filled beyond capacity with people forever glued to the front of the stage. There were so many hands in the air with the Worlasi hand gesture making a “W” that if Worlasi was to stand for election that day people will have voted twice for him.
As Hondred Percent, I was inspired to keep striving and believing in my art. Worlasi is an effective communicator on stage utilizing pidgin in a manner like no other to address social issues as well as add commentary on things we go through in life. It is difficult for a Ghanaian not to relate to his music.
The artist embraces his creativity head on and goes with the flow to create one of the best concerts I have been to. His fashion from harness belts to a northern attire and finally a red shirt and black pants give you a feel of the artists taste and style.
Manifest defined it right.
“Everything Nice For Worla”
On that night everything was good for him. I was proud and happy for him. As an artist one of most beautiful things is to perform and have people perform your track with you. When you penned down the lyrics to that song, no one was around. The impact those words will have was untested and now a crowd is jamming with you giving you back the very words you strung together. It’s a truly humbling experience that also has the capacity to giving you a big ego. I however feel with Worlasi we will be seeing more of the latter.
Indeed everything nice for Worla. If you don’t believe me you should have been there to witness it. There was so much love from his fans that he insulted his fans they insulted him back and they all had a laugh. It was that good.
Thank you Worlasi for keeping it One Hondred!
PS: Gallery of images taken to follow soon