Written by Excel Joab
Word on the street was that Lady Donli has been on tour in Lagos. When we hear or read about an artist being on tour, it is always associated with real/mental images of large crowds, huge stage, and flashing lights.
However, this is not the case with Lady Donli’s just-concluded Living room tour (Yeah, that’s right. Lady Donli has been touring in different houses in Lagos). I am of the opinion that calling it a tour is not appropriate as it was much more than that.
I was privileged to be in attendance at the last show and what I witnessed/experienced cannot be found in the average music tour. The good folks at Radr Online and Lady Donli came up with this idea to treat fans of Lady Donli to a more intimate music session and they accomplished this feat.
The show was supposed to start by 5 pm but Nigerians are Nigerians so the show started around 6:30 pm. The venue was a house in Lekki Gardens Horizon 2, a quiet estate that had no idea of the vibes that was about to be unleashed upon it.
I was surprised to meet Lady Donli and her band at the venue when I got there. Surprised, because the average Nigerian artist who has fans will assume the “very important person” façade behavior that is common with celebrities. Donli, on the other hand, seems to be a different breed.
When I entered the living room where Donli would later use to take me and the other guests to an unprecedented level of higher vibrations with the purest of vibes ever known to man, she was pacing about; talking to guests and freestyling to a beat that was playing on a laptop.
She notified some of the organizers that it was time to set up the stage. Someone brought a large yellow mat that had been folded. Still freestyling, she takes the mat and sets it on the floor in a part of the living room that I suspect to be the dining room as there were no dining tables or chairs in sight. The mat was then furnished with lights that ran from the ground to the microphone stand.
More guests arrive and Lady Donli signals to the cavemen that it’s time to start the show. Who are the cavemen? The Cavemen are the instrumentalists who helped Lady Donli create music magic for the Living room tour, one plays the bass guitar while the other is in love with his drums. They were so good that I had to meet up with them after the show and ask some questions. Here are my findings, they are blood brothers who have been playing music for as long as they can remember and not only were they part of Lady Donli’s Living room tour; they also played for her at other gigs such as the recently held GidiFest.
Lady Donli introduces herself to the audience and explains that it will be an interactive session, we were free to ask her questions about her music/creative process (which we did) and make special requests regarding songs we would want her to perform for us. She begins with Solemn, Tease & Roses for K which are song from her last project “Letters to her”. She explains that this EP was written from a place of heartbreak/emotional turmoil and playfully warns us not to listen to it if we are not going through problems in our relationships.
A short break ensues and she returns to sing Mr. Creeper, one of her old songs that I had forgotten. The audience connects with the song very well as most of them seemed to be hearing it for the first time. Then all hell went loose when she began singing Poison, the song is a fan favorite and the audience goes into a state of musical madness as they sing along with her. But the most interesting part of her live rendition of this song was when she explained that she had been performing for two weeks straight and her voice was in dire need of not being overstressed by her singing on a high key, she begins to sing a low key and immediately signals the band to stop.
“If I’m going to perform, I have to give my best. Take me back to my normal key”
With those words, she found a new energy that created a spark in her and the audience. Everyone was up on their feet dancing and screaming along to this song. She goes on to perform Kashe ni, Alice and Cash (an unreleased song) which might be on her upcoming album.
That’s right folks, Lady Donli is releasing an album soon. She’s working on a joint EP with Wavy the creator at the moment and also about to take the Living Room Tour to London.
Lady Donli dedication to her art is not only commendable but is also the reason her fans feel a special connection towards her and her music. Not only did she make history by starting the living room tour, she made it a memorable experience for her fans and for herself as well.
Don’t you dare call Lady Donli an upcoming artist, she just finished a successful tour.