On September 1 the Vodafone Icons train made a stop at the West Hills Mall car park for the Dansoman (DC) crew to have a chance to exhibit their musical gifts.
It had drizzled all day but the rains had abated for a while enabling the production guys to set up stage, camera, lighting and other props only for the heavens to open and pour heavily sending everyone running for cover. After 40 minutes or thereabouts, the sky held still as the show took off about 07:30 pm.
Verony opened the event with a beautiful performance much to the admiration of judges – Appietus, Mz Naa and Samini.
Verony appeared in a shiny outfit aided by a lovely strap heel wear. She was calm in her delivery, not agitated or fazed. After her performance, Appietus remarked he loved her start, loved her fashion sense but urged her not to put the microphone too close to her lips when she is performing as it robs audiences the opportunity to experience her stellar voice.
Samini observed she started well and raised the bar for subsequent performers adding he looked forward to seeing more of her.
“Your composure was incredible, your power faded along the line but I still loved it,” was Mz Naa’s observation.
EiJay had to dig deep to woo the judges and the crowd. She appeared in a black long gown split at the thigh spotting a cropped hair. She began poorly lacking power but eventually entered her element and delivered.
Samini commended her for representing Dansoman (DC) most exceptionally with her performance adding she had star quality. Appietus noted that although he could hardly her words, it was clear she was skilled enough to hit high notes which were not easy to pull off.
For Mz Naa, EiJay’s earthy voice was always a delight to listen too. She, however, felt the participant could have chosen a more dynamic song.
BoiJake will mount the stage as the first male of the night. He opted for a red striped shirt over black trouser with a white Fila sneaker.
When he was done, Appietus was impressed with his performance observing he had a super microphone technique although he had to work on his falsettos.
“Smooth song and good performance,” was how Mz Naa put it while Samini rendered “nice performance, great job” however noting that when he had to do a high falsetto he was not comfortable.
Actor Adjetey Anang alias Pusher the emcee for this campaign urged fans to vote for their favourite candidates to win the GHS100,000 recording contract at stake using the *4353# Vodafone code.
Agona Swedru chap Remedy DisandDat was up next. Appearing in a black sneaker, black jeans trouser, violent and white tee shirt over a hooded apparel and head scarf, Remedy brought his years of mounting musical stages in Swedru to bear when he opted for the Reggae Fest Riddim to render his own version of Samini’s ‘My Own’ song. Remedy’s feat is the more impressive considering he had gone to write a paper at the Perez University College where he is an undergrad before coming for the show. Little wonder then that his Swedru School of Business mates and other Busy Bees are urging him on to clinch the ultimate prize.
Till this point, no one had put the crowd into a frenzy but he did with his Twi lyrics about love and heartbreak as well as desire to be loved. The remedy was so good that Samini remarked “you remind me of my Batman days,” adding “to use Twi to ragga is a feat many cannot pull off and I hope to hear more from you.”
“I nearly shed a tear,” was Mz Naa’s response.
For Appietus: “Your sound was nasal, held the mic top too close to lips drowning the sound but you are very good managing to put a highlife voice over a reggae riddim.”
Kissi mounted the stage appearing in a black shoe, tight jeans trouser and faded jeans shirt over a Rasta cap. His performance was more of dancing, theatrics rather than the actual musical delivery.
Little wonder then that Appietus stated he couldn’t hear what he was saying. “I was just hearing noise,” he rendered.
Mz Naa kept it short: “Too much theatrics and gyrating.”
For Samini, it was clear Kissi is a serious Bob Marley fan and was actually enjoying his show till he decided to add a dancehall flavour he wasn’t at ease with when things fell apart.
Alibaba is based in Kasoa so had a good number of the crowd already familiar with him but even for a newcomer, seeing Alibaba rap is a memorable experience. He emerged in a short white sleeve shirt with white shorts, a white belt and a white sneaker with a touch of red and green.
Alibaba is cocky, has fashion style and is gifted with words. He is bearded and beloved by the ladies. He is surely set on the path of greatness win or lose. He is sure to become a regular staple in the music diets of Ghanaians and other global citizens.
Alibaba rendered a performance as if rap was no work. He nutmegged his rivals, took cheeky free kicks and dribbled from centre half of the field before scoring the winning goal. If you were a gambler, betting on Alibaba is a safe bet. It was he who sent the whole West Hills car park into another frenzy after Remedy. The fans chanted his name and were dazzled with his flow wishing it never ended. His rap even encompassed multi-millionaire NAM 1 and Ebony’s dad Papa Kwarteng to rapturous applause.
When it ended Appietus offered: “Rhyme on point, not your usual rapper”. He was the one chap Appietus had no problem with on the night.
Mz Naa loved that his punchlines were not corny and equally loved his cocky ways with Samini summarizing: “Dope, one full package.”
Evance was next to deliver. Appearing in a striped shirt, black trousers and white sneaker, Evance proved he could sing hitting some good notes blending in some raps as well.
Mz Naa was delighted he was the only one to do a mash-up on the night. She, however, observed more rehearsals could have made his performance stellar. Samini concurred with Appietus noting he failed to hit some of the top notes although he loved his show.
The performances were rounded up by female rapper Nazah, the former Entertainment Prefect at Ofori Panin Senior High School proved she got enough gas in the tank to go the full haul. The Kof Town damsel appeared in a hugging jeans pant and an African print top with a low blue heel footwear. Sure, she had a problem but recovered in seconds to soldier on. Nazah, the journalist cum rapper can sing but her obvious bias is with rap and when she is in her element, the BlueCrest University College product is a pure delight to watch and listen to.
When it ended; Appietus stated she can ride a hip-hop beat effortlessly although he didn’t feel the chorus. But Nazah had done enough to sway minds and hearts with Appietus acknowledging “for a female rapper I am adding you to my list of top female rappers.”
For Mz Naa, she was not surprised about Nazah’s rap prowess because she had seen she her do good at rap and even dancehall during her audition.
Samini submitted he loves female rappers on music platforms noting Nazah’s performance was dope nonetheless reminding her to have raps she is conversant with and could fall on at tricky times.
The Vodafone Icons “Rep Ur Hood” edition airs on Saturdays at 5:30 pm on TV3 and on GhOne at 8 pm. It also features on Adom TV on Sundays at 5 pm.
Contestants selected in their locations during the auditions (Tamale, Kumasi, Takoradi, Dansoman) get to perform in their localities with final winners from each locality proceeding to be on the final show where the winner will be announced.
This year’s format aims at discovering talents from communities and neighbourhoods whilst grooming them to exhibit their talents to be screened on television.
For those texting for their candidates, Vodafone has introduced a unique offer dubbed Icons Offer to enable Vodafone-X customers to connect to various platforms for all the action, gossip and relevant information from this year’s edition. The product offers 1.2GB of browsing data and an additional 800MB for Whatsapp, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Customers can also make free calls to all Vodafone X numbers and send SMS to all Vodafone numbers with a100% bonus on all recharges for 7-days at GHS10.