It was standing room only at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre last Sunday night for the presentation of the third installment of Mahalia’s Corner for this season. The event, hosted by local band 2 Mile Hill, featured a variety of local talent from spoken word artists, to instrumentalists, to vocalists. And the talent was there in abundance.
Lead singer of 2 Mile Hill, Mahalia Cummins, and Roché took longtime fans of Mahalia’s Corner and the then NexCyx, as 2 Mile Hill was known before its rebranding, on a journey back in time with their rendition of Uninvited. It was as haunting and beautiful as everyone remembered. The rendition earned them thunderous applause.
Clay Haynes returned to the stage after a phenomenal performance the previous week and thrilled the crowd once again with his smooth jazz vocals. He even threw in a rap verse to the delight of everyone present.
The 29-year-old Haynes, who has been singing since the age of 17, has spent his life between Barbados and New York, and loves how much Barbadians appreciate music. He plans to show that Barbados has much more to offer than just soca and calypso.
Haynes equates music to therapy and was motivated to pursue an entertainment career from his love of music. He credits God for his talent.
“The thing about my Maker is that he gives you intrinsic properties and intrinsic abilities. If you listen to them and you play with them, you’ll find out amazing things about yourself,” he said.
The open mic session featured spoken word, poetry, song and instrumentals. Talented musician Larix performed Monica’s Angel of Mine, a surprise dedication to her husband of three months.
Adaeze was joined on stage by Rhesa Garnes for their performance of Peace, which was written by Adaeze for her upcoming project Dae 1. They were accompanied by dancers, and a few members of the audience joined in.
The FLOW Spotlight Artist for the night was Ch’An. The singer, who is fairly new to the Barbadian stage, opened with Made to Love by John Legend and then tore the roof off the venue with her powerful and incredible performance of Sia’s Chandelier
Her rendition earned her a much deserved standing ovation and left many, including Mahalia, dabbing tears from their faces.
Featured act, Iron Pipe, took the stage next with their combination of music, spoken word and poetry. The group comprises Adrian Green, DJ Simmons and Simon Pipe. According to Simmons, Iron Pipe brings “cool, fresh, rushing, roaring music, carrying lyrics, meaning, and messages”.
They opened their set with a very energetic performance of Mo Juice. It brought a few patrons to their feet to dance along, and was followed by the equally rhythmic Vibe.
Simon then performed an original song, Building a Wall, which addressed violence in Barbados. Their medley of Simon’s If Only These Walls, Stiffy’s 2015 Crop Over hit Garden (Maintenance Man) and Rihanna’s Work was a surprising mix that absolutely worked.
The second featured performer for the night, Marvay, started off with his version of Landslide by the Dixie Chicks which, he said, was one of his favourite songs. The song definitely showcased his vocal ability.
Backed by 2 Mile Hill, the combo thrilled the audience with an impromptu a cappella performance of In The Still of the Night by Boyz II Men that was truly a treat. His set also included some reggae songs such as Sizzla’s There’s No Pain, Forever Loving Jah by Bob Marley, as well as Human Nature by Michael Jackson, during which he included some freestyle showing off his wide musical range.
Marvay finished off with his 2016 Crop Over hits Surviving the Weekend and Know the Face. The previously laid-back atmosphere was transformed into a party, ensuring the night ended on a definitely high note.