A few weeks back, I was presented with the opportunity to be part of UK artist Stormzy’s 2020 Brit Award performance, which would be comprised of a Medley of hits from his latest album ‘Heavy is the Head’. Having enjoyed my experiences working with Stormzy before, naturally I was elated at the chance to do it again!
The first day of production rehearsals was an absolute blast for several reasons. Upon arrival, I bumped into many singers that I knew and had worked with within the industry, who were also going to be part of the performance. So essentially, it felt like a huge family reunion!
Rehearsals consisted of several groups of singers and dancers who would feature in various parts of the performance, so remembering our cues was top priority; as it was not only live in front of thousands at the 02 Arena, but would also be televised!
The camaraderie amongst the entire team could be felt throughout the rehearsal days, as most of our breaks consisted of dance battles, food and catch ups!
We had a wonderful styling team who got all the different groups into matching outfits and boots. Considering that the final part of the performance would require us to be singing and dancing in the rain on a high platform, I was very grateful that the high heeled boots had a chunky heel with good grip! After winning the award for Male Solo Artist, it was go time for our performance with Stormzy!
Watching back our performance allowed me to appreciate the beauty of the moment more. Our initial scene started with us singing behind Stormzy with a soft interlude of ‘Don’t Forget to Breathe’ led by my sis Teni before he then exploded into an electric performance of the ‘Do Better’ and ‘Wiley Flow’ followed by a snippet of J Hus ‘Fortune Teller’.
Stormzy was then joined by Burna Boy (who I have also worked with previously) for a performance of their hit, ‘Own It’, after which he sang his own single ‘Anybody’. Burna was surrounded by phenomenal dancers dressed to the nines in the finest african kente and ankara prints. This was a beautiful sight to see black african culture being presented and celebrated on a mainstream television award show and one that would surely go down in history as a moment and a movement to remember!
The big finale of the performance was my favourite part of our set, as all the singers and dancers from each segment came together for an epic performance of ‘Rainfall’ with Tiana Major9 in some very heavy artificial rain! (leaps and bounds heavier than it had been in rehearsals might I add!)
The final song started with a compelling speech blazing through the area, ending with the phrase ” Black is beautiful man.” As the song ‘Rainfall’ then progressed, we were then showered with exactly that, as staged torrential rain drenched us all, as we continued to sing out the rest of the song alongside Tiana Major9.
All in all the experience was nothing short of incredible! I felt very blessed to not only work with peers that I respect in the industry, but also to be part of a performance that highlighted some of the pressing issues in the black community across the world. It was a visual representation of the amount of talent that exists within the community and highlighted how much greatness can be achieved when we all work together!