The deal will expand the global reach of Chocolate City’s roster of artists, including Femi Kuti, M.I. Abaga, Dice Ailes and more.
Warner Music Group (WMG) has entered a new partnership with Chocolate City, the influential Nigerian record label with a roster of stars that includes Femi Kuti, son of Afrobeat trailblazer Fela. Under the new deal, which was announced Thursday (May 28), Chocolate City artists will join WMG’s repertoire and receive the support of the company’s distribution and artist services via its independent label services division ADA.
“At Chocolate City, we have always been passionate about discovering and developing the best talent across Africa and giving them a platform for global growth,” said Chocolate City Group CEO Audu Maikori in a statement. “The partnership with Warner Music Group is unique in the sense that our clients get the best of both worlds — curated and bespoke services by a highly experienced team across Africa and a dedicated global team to further push their music and their brands.”
“The music scene in Nigeria is so rich and diverse that it’s important that we develop bespoke entrepreneurial strategies,” added Warner Music executive vp Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa Alfonso Perez Soto. “At the same time, we’ll keep in mind the lessons learned from other emerging markets, for instance Latin America where we successfully broke local artists globally. We have great affinity with Chocolate City’s creative and ambitious approach and we’re excited about Warner’s role in bringing to life their vision of taking their music worldwide.”
The deal, which is designed to broaden the reach of Chocolate City’s roster of artists across the world, includes a strategic, reciprocal marketing agreement with WMG South Africa. WMG will also financially invest in Chocolate City to assist in its mission of signing and developing promising local talent. Chocolate City co-founders Audu Maikori and Paul Okeugo, along with executive vps Jude Abaga and Aibee Abidoye, will continue to lead the company.
Other Chocolate City artists include M.I. Abaga, Dice Ailes, Nosa, ClassiQ, Ruby Gyang, Blaqbonez, C Kay and Street Billionaires. Its catalog also includes such popular artists as Brymo, Ice Prince and Jesse Jagz.
This is the second partnership WMG has entered into with an African company in recent weeks. Earlier this month, the label signed a major licensing deal with popular African streaming and downloading service Boomplay.
The deals come amid a surge in popularity for the Afrobeats sound (a progeny of the earlier style known as “Afrobeat”) across the globe. In 2016, Drake’s single “One Dance” featuring Nigerian singer Wizkid became a massive summer hit, topping the Billboard Hot 100 for 10 non-consecutive weeks. More recently, Migos rapper Quavo featured Nigerian singer Davido on his debut solo studio album, Quavo Huncho, while electronic music trio Major Lazer released an “Afrobeats” mix last September.
Sub-Saharan Africa is considered an emerging market thanks to a rising young population (1.1 billion) and the spread of smartphones in the region. WMG isn’t the only American music company that’s taken notice; in 2016, Sony Music signed deals with both Wizkid and Tanzanian singer Ali Kiba, while Universal Music Group opened a Nigerian division last July.
Music is the weapon of the future”- Fela Anikulapo Kuti
Music has been one of the archives where humanity stores what is happening to her at a particular period. Going through songs that were recorded several years ago, one finds that particular songs refer to events that were ongoing at that particular time or even before the time of the composition. Ranging from Peter Tosh’s Equal Rights to Fela’s Beast of No Nations to Bob Marley’s Redemption Song to several other musicians who reigned in the past, one always finds that the musicians drew inspiration from their immediate environment and the conditions of that environment to make the music.
Folarin Falana aka Falz has shown just this sort of musical activism with several of his songs especially Child of the World which discusses sexual abuse and HIV/AIDS stigmatisation, This is Nigeria(which of course generated an invisible court action from Muslim Rights Concern agency MURIC) and the present rave of the moment- Talk.
Folarin lives up to his family tradition of activism by being a socially conscious activist whose songs discuss social ills and revoke memories of Fela’s daring. Talk seems like a follow-up to This is Nigeria. It is amazing how the combined length of both songs do not exceed 6 minutes and yet they have critically raised issues that have taken several pages of books from separate authors on the Nigerian topic.
In the 6 minutes of both works, Falz raises what it would take a journalist several opinion pieces to do same. It is the power of the musician to be able to do so much with so little time. Little wonder why Fela described music as the weapon of the future.
The song follows the talk-talk chorus style of Fela. “Anything I talk make you talk am again” is similar to how Fela used to request that the audience do a call-and-response repeating certain words to sing along to the song. This style strives towards participation and mass involvement in decrying the national condition.
At the start of the song, Falz continues from the controversy of religious pundits on his use of hijab to reflect the condition of ladies captured by Boko Haram. He throws the first ‘yab’ in the song at MURIC wondering why they did not make any court appearance despite so much threats and media noise.
He refers in the next line to the election and says “election don dey come dem go need your support“. The campaigns for the 2019 election are in full swing and one understands that this is a warning against electoral violence. Dem go need your support. (Would you offer it?) He introduces the electoral aspect of it very early because the rest of the complains in the song can be addressed by voting the right persons in elections.
Falz moves on to the issue of yahoo boys. Falz has been very vocal on the issue of internet fraud. He again refers to the recent arrest of suspected yahoo boys in a popular club in Lagos. “Since EFCC bust in, we no Dey see you for club/ And you get legit work Na wetin you talk”. The menace has become very rife of late with increased crime to go alongside it.
“4 year tenure, 3 year holiday” is an obvious reference to the medical tourism that has continued over Nigeria with several politicians flying out of the country to treat themselves and for other reasons that remain undisclosed. This menace was condemned in the song with this line.
“Our senator don dey fight Kung Fu again/Shey dem never tire dem wan continue the race? We buy your story but dem no give us change”. These lines reflect the degradation of Nigeria’a National Assembly into a fighting ground. It goes on to throw a subtle pass at the Presidency asking if at the present age, he is not tired to continue the race. “We buy your story but you no give us change” is a subtle pass at the APC which is the ruling party. Having received their mandate, the “change” slogan of their campaign is invisible.
“Month don end Oga pay salary/ In 2019, 19800 alawe/ Instead make you talk you dey find Alhaji”. He refers here to the minimum wage tussle and how workers have not gotten their payment in several states despite their work. For some, they still receive modulated salaries. He also lends his voice to the increment of the minimum wage and claims it is in appropriate for 2019. He decries commercial sex work among ladies too, an area where he has shown interest often in other songs like Child of the World.
“3 private jets you say you buy am for church/ but your congregation no Dey follow fly am of course/why your people still dey carry carry eye for someone/ shey I no be person cause no be your tribe I come from?”
Falana would not end the song without taking a swipe at Pastors at least having introduced the song with MURIC. He is just being fair. He decries the purchase of several private jets in the name of the church and other assets such as Univeristies and costly schools that the children of the poor cannot attend or even members of the congregation. It is wonder why church funds then provide services for corrupt people and a few that made the wealth through clean means.
He addresses tribalism too and pushes humanism instead of the tribal inclinations of Nigerians. He implies that being human is worthy of more consideration than belonging to any particular church.
“Small man thief for market we set fire for him Body/ big man thief money we dey hail am like dummy/ we dey suffer we dey smile, we dey fear to talk/ my people no get chop/ my people no get work/ these days we no know if authority Dey for office cus the yawa wey we see no be security wey you promise/ and the cup e don full/ we don tire for all the rubbish and the punishment/ Na me talk am o!”
Fela discusses the menace of setting fire on poor petty thieves in his song ITT and other interviews claiming that those who should be burnt are the thieves in power. Falz goes on to decry the fear of Nigerians and says we suffer and smile. An allusion to Fela’a Shuffering and Smiling. He decries the rate of unemployment too and finally laments on security.
At the tail end of the song, Falz makes a reference to revolution. He claims the cup is full which of course means the suffering of the people has come to a brim. He claims the people are tired of this condition. Then he owns up to the earlier lyrics which up till then had been “Na you talk am o/ no be me talk am o”.
He rounds it up by stating clearly.
Na me talk am o!
This is a song that will be relevant in several years to come.
Koye-Ladele Mofehintoluwa is a student of the Faculty of Law, Obafemi Awolowo University. He has a passion for activism and human rights. He is a frequent opinion writer with reputable print and online media. He can be contacted on email@example.com.
The Lagos State Police Command has arrested Adekunle Temitope, popularly known as Small Doctor, for unlawful possession of firearms and for allegedly threatening to shoot a police officer.
Edgal Imohimi, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, revealed this to the press on Monday while parading the musician along with three other persons.
Small Doctor was arrested on allegations that he threatened a Police officer who was on traffic duty along Oshodi, Lagos.
“It was alleged that some unknown men, four of them, in an unregistered green SUV had brought out a gun and threatened a policeman that if he does not leave the road, they will shoot him,” Imohimi said.
“Believing that they were armed robbers, I sent out my men and fortunately, with the DPO in charge of Shogunle division, they were able to intercept them and the men were arrested and were brought down to the headquarters for interrogation.
“It was then discovered that one of them is the same Adekunle Temitope, a.k.a. ‘Small Doctor’. They were arrested in possession of a functional rifle, cartridge and some of their personal belongings.”
According to the commissioner, ‘Small Doctor’ had earlier been involved in a similar offence and is currently under investigation for firing live ammunition at the Agege stadium after a show on November 27.
He said: “Adekunle Temitope, a.k.a. ‘Small Doctor’, was arrested and taken to the state CID for questioning. He was alleged to have fired a gun; the pellets from the gun injured four people who were rushed to the hospital.”
‘Small Doctor’ will be charged to court for prosecution.
We take stock of the rapper’s career, through stints in prison, label rows and trash-rock impulses to his heyday of raw swagger and southern bangers.
13. Rebirth (2010)
When it comes to Lil Wayne’s worst-ever album, the obvious choice is the correct one. Rebirth was Weezy’s attempt to work out his unfortunate trash-rock impulses, resulting in a set of sloppy, nightmarish numbers drenched in Auto-Tune. Worse than the music was knowing Wayne had grown bored of being a magnificent rapper. His peak was over.
12. I Am Not a Human Being 2 (2013)
A sequel nobody asked for. Intended as a warm-up to Tha Carter V, Wayne’s disinterest with the project is palpable as he sluggishly spits sex-obsessed rhymes. Mind you, Love Me is a infectious slice of spooky pop-rap while the creeping funk of Rich as Fuck inspires Wayne to one of his sharpest flows of this era.
11. The Free Weezy Album (2015)
Released exclusively to Tidal as Tha Carter V lingered in legal purgatory, this set of Wayne leftovers unsurprisingly lacks cohesion. Given the barbed title, it’s a disappointment that there’s little reference to his battles with former mentor Birdman, while the uninspired writing and messy beats mean most of these cuts were better left on the studio floor.
10. I Am Not a Human Being (2010)
Dropped while Wayne languished in prison, this hastily assembled set screamed stopgap release. The prominent presence of then-proteges Drake and Nicki Minaj yield mixed results – the former helping out on the fresh soul sample of With You, a highlight. But, with Wayne too often sounding like he’s performing within himself, the album lacks both relevance and enough decent songs.
9. Tha Carter IV (2011)
Wayne’s Tha Carter series has produced some of his most seminal records so it’s disappointing to find the fourth instalment feeling so superfluous. Rather than inviting guests into his universe, Weezy frequently attempts to slide into the sonic lane of guys such as Rick Ross and T-Pain. This is well made early-2010s hip-hop, but where is Wayne’s once uncontainable personality?
8. Tha Block Is Hot (1999)
The 17-year-old little Wayne’s ferocious debut encapsulated the Cash Money Records machine with Mannie Fresh’s rumble’n’bump beats and ample appearances from Weezy’s group Hot Boyz and Big Tymers. His froggy flow would smooth out, and quotable lines would become more cutting, but there’s plenty of no-nonsense street bars and plaintive musings from a kid who was already a father. “Here I come – star rapper,” he warns. Clairvoyance.
7. Tha Carter V (2018)
Wayne puts the frustrating delays and legal wrangles with Birdman in his rearview mirror with a personal, big-hearted record that combines modern sounds and thrilling early-00s pastiches. His finest full-length in a decade, the 36-year-old’s music-making instincts and passion for rap reach levels we feared would never return.
6. Lights Out (2000)
Wayne’s second album offered a better showcase for his burgeoning talent than Tha Block Is Hot. The same team is assembled, but their presence is minimised, allowing Wayne’s tales from Chopper City more space, his braggadocio bristling with extra confidence.
5. 500 Degreez (2002)
After Cash Money’s first star, Juvenile, bailed out, Wayne asserted his allegiance to the label by calling his third album 500 Degreez – 100 hotter than Juve’s classic. Perhaps feeling liberated, Wayne breathes more fire than before. The hooks are killer: see Way of Life, which updates Junior Mafia’s classic Get Money.
4. Tha Carter (2004)
The first instalment of Tha Carter linked past and present. Mannie was still chiefly in control behind the boards and Wayne’s focus was again on New Orleans street rap staples: cash, rap supremacy and his rivals. But now 21, Wayne’s voice smoothed from the jittery style of his early records to the more monstrous flow that would become so familiar.
3. Tha Carter III (2008)
After numerous delays, Tha Carter III fell just short of the legendary mixtape run that came before it. Still, the music has a polished sheen, and blockbuster moments – such as ubiquitous singles Lollipop and A Milli – don’t blunt Wayne’s phenomenal rapping, while his alien tendencies are teased out in various high-concept experiments. The final act of Weezy’s greatest era.
2. Tha Carter II (2005)
Wayne becomes fully formed. With new producers serving up everything from tenement-sized southern bangers (Money on My Mind) to 1970s playa funk (Hustler Musik) to alarm klaxon rings (Fireman), Weezy – with a growling flow that’s as nimble as it is knotty, and enough raw swagger to melt metal – warps everything to fit into his increasingly cracked universe.
1. Mixtapes (2005-2007)
As brilliant as the studio albums are, Wayne’s 2005-2007 mixtape run is the stuff of lore, when his “best rapper alive” claims went from chest-beating pronouncements of superiority to undeniable truth. On tapes such as Dedication 2 and Da Drought 3, Wayne collects some of the hottest beats of the day and obliterates all pretenders. The unofficial mixtape version of Tha Carter III, made up of tracks tossed once they leaked, is easily stronger song-to-song than the album. Wayne’s bars ripple with life, the jokes are funny, the breadth of his pop culture references is never-ending. He makes rapping seem so easy, yet so unlimited.
I though it was a prank, a dice thing or something, dunno what I was even thinking again, but for real, slim shady just dropped a whole album and the world of hip hop is on fire.
After so much wait and love, the hip hop world’s favourite just suprised fans with the follow-up to 2017’s Revival.
The veteran Detroit rapper dropped his tenth studio LP Kamikaze Thursday night out of nowhere. The 13-track project, executive produced by Dr. Dre, contains guest features from Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, Joyner Lucas, his manager Paul Rosenberg, fellow 313 rhymer Royce Da 5’9” and Jessie Reyez.
The album also contains Em’s track for the upcoming Venom film starring Tom Hardy and Riz Ahmed. The album artwork pays homage to Beastie Boys’ classic 1986 album Licensed to Ill.
Two of the tracks on the album are sub-minute long skits in the form of voicemails between Rosenberg and Em. Throughout the album, Slim Shady address on a variety of topics including President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, the Grammy Awards and the press.
Stream the album via Spotify and Apple Music below and grab your download on iTunes.
Cover photo: The art for the new surprise album Kamikaze. Photo: Aftermath/Shady/Interscope
As the rapper’s new album arrives on the usual sea of ego and controversy, we rate everything he’s done so far – from The College Dropout to The Life of Pablo.
10. Cruel Summer (2012)
As close as Kanye West has come to that least-disarming of hip-hop phenomena – the posse album – Cruel Summer was wildly uneven: stimulating and underwhelming in equal measure. Ghostface Killah and Jay-Z turned in strong work and West himself sounds imperious throughout, but all the big-name patronage in the world isn’t going to turn lesser names such as Cyhi the Prynce into premier-league talent.
9. Late Orchestration (2006)
Recorded live at Abbey Road with an all-female orchestra, Late Orchestration is more impressive as an act of screw-you ostentation than as an album in its own right. It’s certainly not bad, especially on the urgent version of Jesus Walks, but it’s not an essential listen, other than as a signifier of West’s vaulting ambition.
8. 808s & Heartbreak (2008)
Devastated by romantic failure and by his mother’s death, West, who cannot sing, elected to spend an entire album doing just that, through Auto-Tune, to sparse electronic backing. The good bits are great – single Love Lockdown among them – but it’s wearyingly monotonal, so lost in personal misery that it dispenses with the wit and ambiguity of West’s best lyrics. Still, its sound continues to echo through pop.
7. Watch the Throne (2011)
Kanye West and Jay-Z perform at the Verizon Center in Washington DC. Photograph: The Washington Post/Getty
West hooking up with Jay-Z was perhaps less about music than a super-sized, follow-that event, and there are moments when listening to the pair discuss how rich they are starts to pall. But some of the music boasts the same ambition as My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and the lyrics occasionally flame, as on New Day and Made in America.
6. The Life of Pablo (2016)
At turns infuriating, superb, utterly original and deeply flawed – occasionally over the course of the same track – The Life of Pablo is a rambling mess, liberally splattered with moments of greatness (Famous, Waves and Fade) and haunted by the sense that its failings might be less down to hubris than the fact you are listening to a mind unravelling.
5. Graduation (2007)
The least appealing of his opening trilogy of albums – the superstar narcissism tending to the-paparazzi-are-worse-than-Nazis idiocy, the sound a little too calculated in its lunge for stadium-filling vastness – but still frequently fantastic. Forget Chris Martin’s ill-judged cameo and luxuriate instead in the euphoric Good Life and the Daft Punk-sampling Stronger.
4. The College Dropout (2004)
As striking a debut album as 2000s hip-hop produced, the endlessly delayed and tampered-with College Dropout was almost as good as West claimed it was. The sugar rush of his then-signature production quirk – old soul samples sped up to chipmunk squeakiness – matched by lyrics that already hinted at the complex, ambiguous figure behind the elephantine ego.
3. Late Registration (2005)
College Dropout has better lyrics, but Late Registration just edges it in musical terms. The orchestral arrangements of Jon Brion add a new weight and depth to West’s sound, the hits – Touch the Sky, Gold Digger – are among his most impermeable, and there’s the unmistakable sense of an artist keen to reach beyond the usual confines of his genre.
2. Yeezus (2013)
Forty minutes of abrasive, distorted hostility that drags everything from bovver-booted glam to industrial music to acid house into the mix, Yeezus is faintly marred by the feeling that West’s no-filter approach to lyrics is getting disturbingly out of control. It’s a still a stunning, bold piece of work, utterly unlike anything his peers were making.
1. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010)
Kanye West in 2009. Photograph: Reuters
Its sound ranges from grandiose pop to straight-up hip-hop to head-spinning sonic overload, the key to this album’s ambitions may lie in its preponderance of prog-rock samples: from King Crimson, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band and Mike Oldfield, among others. Like prog, the album was dense, sprawling, complex and occasionally confounding; a gripping, brave, sometimes contradictory meditation on fame, race, sex and money made by a man who occasionally sounds at the end of his tether – witness the uncomfortable cocktail of braggadocio and self-loathing on Blame Game and Runaway. But more often, Kanye is at the top of his game: pulling together wildly disparate strands of music (it’s a rare album that features Aphex Twin, Elton John, Gil Scott-Heron and Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas) into an endlessly fascinating whole that he’s yet to equal.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has asked singer, Folarin ‘Falz’ Falana, to withdraw his ‘This is Nigeria’ video and apologise to Nigerians, or face legal action.
A scene from Falz’s This is Nigeria video with some girls dressed in hijab were seen dancing the “shaku shaku” dance.
The group said this in a statement signed by its director, Ishaq Akintola, and made available to PREMIUM TIMES.
In the recently released video, some girls dressed in hijab were seen dancing the “shaku shaku” dance.
Responding to criticisms that trailed the video, Falz explained that the girls were a representation of the abducted Chibok girls still in Boko Haram captivity. .
But MURIC, said the dancers in the video in no way depict the situation of the girls. .
The group also condemned “a character that dressed like a Fulani man, who suddenly abandoned his traditional guitar and beheaded a man” featured in the video.
Describing the video as “thoughtless, insensitive and highly provocative,” MURIC said it could brew religious and ethnic crisis. It also said the video is spiteful and intended to denigrate Islam and Muslims.
“MURIC rejects Falz’ explanation that the girls in hijab in his ‘Shaku Shaku’ dance symbolise the Chibok girls because nothing in the video indicates that the girls represent the Chibok girls,” the statement read. .
“At least none of the Chibok girls have been seen dancing like a drunkard. They are always in pensive mood. Do they have any cause to be dancing? Are they happy? .
“The video manifests ethnic bias against Fulanis while it ignored the criminal activities of ethnic militia of the Middle Belt who have also massacred Fulanis and rustled their cattle in their thousands.
“It is a hate video. This video has the potential of causing religious crisis of unprecedented dimension. It is an assault on the self-dignity of every Muslim. It is freedom of expression gone haywire.
“We therefore demand its withdrawal and an apology to Nigerian Muslims within seven days or the authors and their agents will face legal action if they fail to comply.”
The group called on security agencies and the National Film And Video Censors Board to clamp down on the video.
The group also said, ‘We therefore give notice of impending legal action against the artist behind the ‘Shaku Shaku’ video unless the latter is withdrawn and an apology is widely published within seven days.”
PREMIUM TIMES reached out to Femi Soro, a member of Falz’s management team on Tuesday, for his reaction to the threat.
“We have nothing to say. We are not withdrawing the video neither are we commenting on their claims. If they have any grievance they can head to court and we will meet them,” he said.
The family of the late singer South African singer Miriam Makeba, known as Mama Africa, has won a legal victory over her former business manager for control of her legacy, South African daily Independent Online reports.
Miriam Makeba died from a heart attack in 2008 after collapsing during a performance in Italy. Photo: BBC
Siyandisa Music, which is the company of business manager Graeme Gilfillan, had gone to a high court in Pretoria to block Makeba’s two grandchildren, Lumumba and Zenzile Lee, and Miriam Makeba Foundation from being the proprietors of her intellectual property and associated rights.
Siyandisa Music also wanted the South African Hall of Fame to be blocked from inducting Ms Makeba into the hall of fame as it lacked prior written approval from the company.
Judge Hans Fabricius ruled that Siyandisa Music’s application had failed over a technical point of law in South Africa’s Trust Property Control Act.
The company alleged its rights to her legacy stemmed from Ms Makeba taking steps to commercialise her intellectual property during her lifetime, which would persist after her death.
But Ms Makeba’s family argues that the Grammy award-winning artist had signed an allegedly “fictitious” licence contract, called ZM Makeba Trust, with Siyandisa Music.
The alleged contract was signed by Makeba and one of her grandchildren, Dumisani, according to Zenzile Lee.
The Judge said Siyandisa Music could launch another application, based on other grounds, if it wanted to.
SSE Hydro, Glasgow The industrious singer’s giant arena show spans futuristic disco hits and spine-tingling torch songs, performed with winningly jazzercise-style dance routines.
‘Moments of delirious communion’ … Dua Lipa performing in Dublin, 9 April. Photo: REX/Shutterstock
Can anything stop Dua Lipa? After a patient build-up, 2017 was such a breakthrough year for the bewitching London-born singer – selling over a million copies of her self-titled debut album and cruising past some of the world’s biggest pop stars to be crowned the most-streamed female artist in the UK – that she could probably take a few months off. But Lipa has continued her vertiginous career ascent in 2018, claiming two Brit awards in February, teaming up with dancefloor genie Calvin Harris for sleek new club banger One Kiss and insouciantly cracking a billion YouTube views for New Rules, her signature hit that warns against backsliding into a lousy relationship with a stern but moreish checklist-style mantra.
While impressive on paper, racking up record-breaking streaming stats can sometimes feel like an intangible, almost passive form of success. But Lipa’s industrious workrate and gruelling tour schedule (including a stint supporting Coldplay) have clearly brought palpable real-world benefits.
When she last played Glasgow six months ago it was in a crammed 2,500-capacity venue. Now she is packing them to the rafters in a giant arena bowl made for 13,000. Her core fanbase skews young and female but while the screams are as loud and piercing as at any Bieber show, the crowd seem keen to reflect back some of Lipa’s worldly sophistication. Compared to most full-bore pop gigs at the Hydro, there is a distinct lack of strobing deely boppers.
‘In perpetual motion’ … Dua Lipa in Dublin. Photo: Rex/Shutterstock
On magazine covers and in impeccably styled promo shots, Lipa often looks aloof or simply nonplussed. But the 22-year-old kicks off by imploring fans to “be your most unapologetic you” and “dance the night away”, and promptly leads by example through Blow Your Mind (Mwah), a slice of futuristic disco that slyly incorporates an actual kiss-off into its chorus. For sustained stretches of her 90-minute show, Lipa is in perpetual motion, bouncing and reeling round the stage in billowing black joggers, springy trainers and aquamarine bra. She is flanked by four equally tireless dancers while her long-serving backing trio of a drummer and two multitasking keyboard/guitarists jam away atop oversized stage cubes.
A massive projection screen showing artfully stylised visuals and pulsing hyperspace starfields is arena-show standard but otherwise there is a distinct lack of large-scale staging gimmicks. It makes it all the more impressive that Lipa is able to sustain so many winningly jazzercise-style dance routines without missing a note.
There are moments of delirious communion, as when Lipa hoists herself up on the front-row stage barrier to conduct a singalong to the yearning Be the One. But there are also moments of spine-tingling spotlight: the stripped-down obsessional ballad Thinking ’Bout You, with just her and guitar, showcases her voice at its smokiest. Strip away the headstrong beats and synthy stabs of her biggest hits and Lipa would remain a potent, intuitive torch singer.
The biggest laugh of the night comes toward the end when a title card pops up dedicating IDGAF to “all the fuckboys who have done you wrong”. While this playground-chant anthem to empowerment doesn’t yet match the climactic New Rules in terms of streams and views, it is – perhaps tellingly – the song fans are raucously singing a capella as they spill out of the venue.