Burna Boy Live from O2 Brixton Academy
African giant Burna Boy bought it to the house with fiery reggae and afrobeat pop but, it was too obvious he was missing the live audience.
From headlining Wembley Arena in front of 12,500 people a year ago to shifting to virtual gigs via Melody VR due to current circumstances; Burna Boy didn't take the opportunity of winning over more fans as potentially far more people were watching. As he emerged onto the scene back in 2010, Burna Boy has solidified himself with his Afrofusion sound across the music scene and to go and watch him live is a rare opportunity for one.
For a one-off show, Burna Boy bought stunning visuals, dynamic soundscapes and a setlist filled with hits such as 'Ye' and 'Real Life'. As he accepts the absence of an audience, Burna Boy made the best out of the situation, working with what he had and created a live stream for the crowd watching at home. Even to get a watch on one of the biggest Nigerian stars as he practically stood next to me is still something, I can tick off my bucket list.
With a timid start to the so-called concert, Burna Boy got into full swing as the night goes by. From 'Wetin Dey Sup', a collaboration with American producer Timbaland to the heated upbeat 'Bebo'. With real-life inspirations and experiences, Burna Boy makes raw statements within his music from his latest song '20 10 20' named after the date on which Nigerian security forces opened fire on peaceful protestors to the theme of colonialism in 'Monsters You Made'. As the night ends, Burna Boy shows his true colours as he becomes loose into the night.
Through the 360-degree cameras and immersive front-row setting, virtual gigs are a new way forward, but can't take away that special feeling of a live audience.