Artist: Musicalize presents August Alsina and Ryan Leslie plus Angel and support
Date: Sunday 9th March 2014
Due to transport delays I arrived at the venue late and luckily managed to catch the main UK support act Angel halfway through his set. I saw the singer songwriter a few years ago and it was nice to see him develop into such a good artist. He had the stage presence and the talent to sustain a very mixed crowd and deliver a great performance.
Be sure to check out his upcoming EP ‘Possession with intent’ out later this year and I’ll include a link to one of his biggest hits below.
After the cancellation of a scheduled Hip Hop show I was pleasantly surprised to see Musicalize jump straight back into the light with a whole other show lined up. One veteran in the R&B game and a newcomer to the mainstream who is causing palpitations all over the globe!
Without further ado, after DJ EverOfficial got us warmed up, a hooded figure appeared from backstage and with the shrill of high pitched screams I knew it was the man they call August Alsina. Dressed in a big parka jacket and shades the singer/rapper came on stage and knew what he had to do. 21 year old August burst onto the scene in 2011 after various tragedies in his personal life including exposure to addiction and violence led him to take refuge in music and make a better life for himself. He began his career in a very modern way, uploading a video to YouTube which started ripples in the music industry. Starting through mixtapes and collaborations, August got his big break with a duet featuring US rapper Trinidad James called ‘I Luv This Shit’ and he’s gone from strength to strength ever since.
To the delight of his female fans and cringing dismay of their parents amongst other supporters August gave us a good performance introducing us to his music. I feel that he wanted to take a different approach to his career and instead of focusing on the US market only, with the help of social media he was able to create a global fan base and luckily managed to do an international tour before his 1st album has been released. Many top selling artists are yet the cross the Atlantic….
Although he had just left Amsterdam from a show and was suffering with fatigue and exhaustion, August still managed to vocally lift us and show what he can do. Some of the highlights were his crowd interactions, causing literal landslides as he moved across the stage and his performance of ‘I Luv This Shit’ which gave him the freedom to seduce us musically while showing us his ‘lovemaking moves’ (I can still hear the screams ringing in my head!!) Other stand out songs were ‘Ghetto’, ‘Numb’ and his lead single ‘Make It Home’ which are part of his musically biography album ‘Testimony’ due out April 2014.
Overall I think it was a good set that ticked all the boxes of a tour for a new artists, of course his good looks helped fill the arena but as seen tonight he is more than just a pretty face.
Onto the final main act.
Firstly I will say that I am not a huge follower of R&B music therefore the part of the review will only be based on what I saw tonight. Dubbed the ‘Black Mozart’ and supported by a live band complete with a keyboard for him Ryan Leslie graced the stage with immense energy and passion. By this time a lot of the younger listeners had began making their way home as they did not find a connection to Ryan Leslie, which is fair enough as they saw who they came to see.
From the get go I could tell this set was going to be very different to that of August Alsina and it was a nice way to end the night. Singer, Songwriter and Producer Ryan Leslie proved his talents tonight by bring a very acoustic sound to his music. I definitely felt like I was watching a live show and the band supported him flawlessly. I know Ryan Leslie through collaborations he has done so was nice to hear what he has been doing over the past few years.
From an early age, his love for music and playing instruments paved the way for Ryan Leslie, earning him scholarships and accessed to some of the top schools and universities in the U.S. Once perfecting his niche and working with other artists, Ryan Leslie burst onto the scene after collaborating with R&B singer Cassie on the track ‘Me and You.’ From the he gained the exposure needed to go into his own and build his own career. 3 studios albums later and one on the way we were given a musical history lesson in the life of Ryan Leslie. Songs such as ‘Addiction’ and ‘Diamond Girl’ definitely got the crowd going and wanting more. His next album titled ‘Black Mozart’ is due to be released by summer 2014.
Tonight was a civil mixture of urban music ranging from home-grown talent, new singers and r&b veterans. It was nice to see such a line up live as I doubt a mix of supporters would have ever come together if it wasn’t for the music.
HOMEWORK TIME!!! xoxo