Legendary music professional Nile Rodgers hosted and curated London’s 26th edition of Meltdown festival which included a host of extremely talented singers, and musicians over the course of the 9 days. Over the course of the festival, Rodgers blended a deliberate mixture of his favourite artists, both old and new, and on the fifth day, gave the Queen Elizabeth center’s Purcell Room evening slot to one of the UK’s most gracious singers, Azekel Adesuyi. Growing up in a capital as richly diverse as London seems to have helped Azekel establish a range of influences from soul and R&B, to electronic and Pop.
As the night began, Azekel’s warming and almost shy presence met the slightly cautious cheers and screams from the crowd as some didn’t seem to know whether stand or remain seated. However, Azekel seemed to easily settle the crowd afterwards, reeling off the first two tracks of his set before casually introducing himself and his backing drummer and guitarist.
One of the poignant moments during the night was Azekel’s passionate solo track, which was an immersive acoustic performance involving only his voice and the silky string play of his guitarist. It was the first-time listeners could fully lose themselves in tune with Azekel’s tenacious vocal range and emphatic singing ability, which was able to come to the forefront during this piece. His soothing, delicate voice captivated the audience for the duration of his standout performance. leaving half the room in awe, eager eyed, hanging onto every note with an intense focus for its entirety, and just when the last few lyrics were sung, Azekel was greeted by raucous applause and a standing ovation; a brilliant moment.
Going to live concerts you are always hopeful of hearing new music from the artist, and Azekel went into the second half of his hour long set to test a couple new tracks he’d been working on titled, ‘Thrills’ and ‘Freeway’. Similarly matched in pace, the quick succession between the two new tracks brought an engrossing switch in tempo with a grooving bassline and scintillating pockets for drums to takeover and elevate the track.
Azekel closed the evening with the tranquil swirling grooves for one of his standout debut album tracks – ‘Wetty Betty’. There’s a beautiful cruising in the car in sunshine feel to the track, the wonderful chord progression and spinning effects surrounding Azekel’s vocals during chorus makes hook so catchy.
Check out his debut album Father below: