It was an awesome first day at the Naniki Music Festival in St Joseph. There was no line-up of countless artistes, but that was not needed. What made the event top-notch was the quality of entertainment, not quantity.
There were three acts who all held their own. But it was 2 Mile Hill who delighted the audience most. The local band sang over 15 songs and performed for close to two hours. What’s more important is that they did not disappoint.
The gang of musicians were on point and lead vocalist, Mahalia, truly delivered. Along with their music, the set had in a bit of everything. Many genres of music were included with a number of top artistes represented. The band performed international hits from Michael Jackson, Beyonce and Lauryn Hill, and regional hits from Kes The Band, Patrice Roberts and Chronixx.
Some of the more memorable songs the band sang were All Night, Rock With You, Black or White, Billy Jean, and Killing Me Softly while Mahalia admitted her love for Lauryn Hill. When they switched to reggae, they performed Skankin Sweet. For their soca set they performed Savannah Grass, A Little Wine and Lil Rick’s All is Rum.
There was a singalong for most of their original music which the crowd definitely enjoyed. They sang Conversation, Talk To Me and I Can’t Get Over. But it was Run It and Let It Go that really had the crowd rocking. The band ended their set with the latter and by this time, some who were standing got to their feet.
Before 2 Mile Hill’s performance and opening the show was Wesu of UK’s The Voice fame. While he sang a few of his original songs, he mostly free-styled and beat-boxed. He sang In Love and Bob Marley’s Wait in Vain, John Legend’s All Of Me, Ray Charles’ Georgia On My Mind and Sam Smith’s Stay With Me were some of the major hits of his set.
Wesu performed dual roles as he teamed up with MC Carol Toppin to host the event. The two did a great job keeping the crowd engaged as they both shared tidbits about their life, especially their childhood.
Headliner of the event was Trinidadian musician Adan Hagley. The pianist, arranger, composer, producer and educator was backed by local band GP Horns which was made up of the likes of Ramaro Greaves, Kevin Lynch, Jomo Fletcher, Andre Lord, Chad Greaves and Jermone Waithe.
Adan played the keyboard and performed mostly original music. The majority of selections came from his debut seven-song album Insomnia.
Declaring it his second time in Barbados, he thanked producer of the event Tom Hinds for inviting him to be a part of the festival. He was in high praise of the Naniki accommodations saying it really felt like he was on a break.
Songs from the album he performed were: Snarkyish, Shadow Dance, Run Away, George Street, Ole, Cheers to Life, which he arranged for Trinidadian entertainer Voice, and of course the title track, Insomnia. (IMC)