Over the last few months, the buzz had been on about the Soundcity MVP Awards, hovering sometimes dangerously on the fringes of hype. The kind that sometimes comes up as empty noise put together with the sole purpose to annoy. There have been countless such sounds and fury, which at the end of the day signify nothing. But this was totally different not just in conception but also in execution.
No day went by since a few days before and after the official announcement of the nominees by the organisers late last year without publicity explaining that greatness was about to be unleashed. It was jingles galore but everyone who came to the show will agree that it was not all hype as it was gracefully delivered to precision, unleashing greatness in the process. Nothing was left to chance from the red carpet, which perched outside the hall like an afterthought to the hallway leading to the Eko Convention venue of the fiesta that gleamed with the faces of the nominees. The floor of the same hallway as well as the lobby leading to the events hall were also swathed in red.
Then there was the hall itself with those close to the stage forged in the shape of a T, standing, dancing, mingling, a throng that was in motion throughout the night. They were right next to the two semicircles of people sitting raised on sturdy scaffolding like two half moons floating at opposite extremes of the large hall. This prop meant the award cum festival could bring in more people, and what a great multitude was in the hall and outside in the entire vicinity of the hotel. What is more, people kept trooping to the event whether they had tickets or not, hoping to glance at greatness, be a part of its unleashing. Thanks to the tight security, such people who had no business being there could only dream of getting inside.
The set that formed the backdrop for the stage glittered with screens interconnected like galaxies bringing extraterrestrials from the very belly of space. Such aliens were the musicians who performed to the total conquering delight of the audience whether they were standing next to the stage in front, sitting on the two half moons or far behind in the gallery where the sponsors and celebrities converged. Never has the Convention Centre of the Eko Hotels been so wonderfully transformed with a personification of such glitz and glamour.
Such were the performances from Tiwa Savage, Scales, Yemi Alade, M. I., Sheyi Shay, Small Doctor, 2baba and a host of others electrifying with an energy that could only be manufactured by the man behind it all, Tajudeen Adepetu. A man that has painstakingly built an entertainment empire brick by brick and from what he has wrought with this latest gathering, continues to do so.
Apart from the enchanting set, there was the dancers, who swayed and swung to the music from the performers that came at you not in trickles but in torrents reminiscent of a marathon. It did not matter what song the performer sang, the dancers, who occupied every space on the stage, had a step for it. Of particular note was the hip-hop one on which M.I and his rapping colleagues rode on to the stage on the proverbial wheels of steel leaving the crowd warmed up for more and shamelessly asking for an encore.
There was also 2baba, calling on the government to government to stop the killings in his home state of Benue and Olamide commiserating with his producer over the loss of the latter’s mum.
Even when it had finally stopped, it just couldn’t stop playing in the minds of not just those in the hall but also that of countless others whether watching on TV at home or listening to it on the car radio.
There was a DJ, for the dull moments that were few and even far between and the nominees who could not make it to the award, sent in a recorded message. These little touches added in their small way to a perfect whole. Perhaps the only thing that went dangerously wrong was starting the event a couple of hours behind schedule.
Nonetheless, the organisers promised an award ceremony and a festival and delivered on both counts. People came for the two and went home happy to have more. Also, what politics has failed to do all these years by bringing Africa together, that T-shaped stage did effortlessly, bringing youth all over the country into one space.
And when all the singing and dancing was done that night of Friday, February 12, Davido walked away with the most laurels like the African Artiste of the Year, Song of the Year and Video of the Year, no thanks to his ‘If’ song. Maleek Berry took home the Best New Artiste and Best Pop, Olamide and Wizkid, respectively got the Listeners Choice and Digital Artiste of the Year.
Tiwa Savage (Best Female MVP), Cassper Nyovest (Best Hip Hop) and Diamond Platnumz (Best Male MVP), were the other winners.
Hosted by the 2018 Big Brother Nigeria Host, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, the awards were introduced in 2016 by Consolidated Media Associates, owners of Soundcity Africa (Television, Radio and Digital), to replace the Soundcity Music Video Awards rested in 2010.