In true Nigerian fashion (blame underestimating the traffic from NJ to NY), I arrived at the NEA awards a little over an hour after the show started, but in a way seems like I got there just in time when the show was picking up.
Disclaimer: Seeing as I was in no way prepared for writing a post, I’m typing as I remember
I was lucky enough to catch the rest of top producer Samklef’s performance to his hit “Molowo Noni” as he bust a couple of moves with his dancers on stage entertaining and engaging the crowd along. The next performer was Zaina who I remember from the early days from her track “Naughty Girl featuring Zara”. Needless to say, this was my least favorite performance of the night and judging by the reaction from the crowd, they seemed to agree with me on this one. MI Agbaga’s rumored girlfriend Waje hit the stage next starting off with the classic Sade tune “Sweetest Taboo” before seemlessly transitioning into her debut hit “For a Minute”. I will thus take this minute to officially declare Waje as my favorite female artist right now. Her vocals were/are amazing and she sure did put one of the night’s top performances strutting the stage like a true diva.
Moyeen another upcoming artist who burst on our radar with the track “Aritsto” performed an uptempo version to her sophomore single “Follow Ur Dreams”, featuring a guest rapper who joined her on stage. I for one somewhat enjoyed the performance maybe because I was on a flight with her once (famz) or because I found out she attended my Alma matter, but either way it came down to being her song choice wasn’t the best to perform.
Veteran Sound Sultan graced the stage performing a medley of his hits, both past and present which the crowd seemed to enjoy much; evidently seen as they responded and completed lyrics to his songs throughout the performance.
The last group to hit the stage were the Choc Boys with MI charging the stage first performing hits from his latest album before being joined by Ice Prince and Jesse Jagz for the hypest performance of the night.
Choosing to end on a high note, the organizers used this as the opportunity to close the show even though they still had a bunch of awards to announce.
The Choc Boys were then joined on stage by a number of celebrities in the house. Think of a soul train line, but with a microphone as artists such as Titi Lokei, Duncan Daniels, Samklef, Waje and a host of others took turns freestyling. I could elaborate on, but let’s get to the hosts…
Other performers: Naira, Duncan Daniels, Titi Lokei, Rotimi, Doggext
Funke Akindele and Julius Agwu in a nutshell stole the whole show. The chemistry between these two on stage was undoubtedly present and their ability to adlib / keep the show going was flawless. You could tell they truly had fun on stage engaging the crowd on every break. The standout scene however was the dance-off between the two hosts which Funke Akindele took her Loubs off her feet for and in true “Jenifa” fashion danced away (I think she won by the way). Following that, with the tune still on Beyonce’s Run the World playing in the theatre, this dialogue happened…
Funke: Who run the world?
Julius: Who run the girls?
Funke: Who born the boys?
Now I have to say I didn’t see that last part coming and I bet so did everyone else as the whole auditorium burst out into laughter (you had to be there).
I don’t have much to compare the show to as this is my first time attending such an event, but apart from misspelling “Hotest” in the “Hottest Single of the Year” category which probably only I noticed when the nominees were announced, it was a great experience overall. Check out the nights winners below.
Pics courtesy of [AdewestMedia]
Hottest Single of the Year
Oleku – Ice Prince
Best Album of the Year
Best New Act of the Year
Gospel Artist of the Year
Best Pop/R&B Artist of The Year
Best Rap Act of The Year
Music Producer of The Year
Best International Artist
Best Music Video of The Year
Eni Duro (Olamide) – DJ Tee
Most Promising Act To Watch
Entertainment Executive of The Year
Audu Maikori (Chocolate City)
Indigenous Artist of The Year
Pan African Artist or Group of The Year
Best US-based Male Artist of the Year
Best US-based Female Artist of the Year
Best Actor in a Film/Short Story
Ramsey Nouah – A Private Storm
Best Actress in a Film/Short Story
Omoni Oboli – Anchor Baby
Best Picture (Producer)
Inale – Jeta Amata
Best Directing in a Film/Short Story
Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen/Ikechukwu Onyeka – A Private Storm
Best Actor in TV Series/Reality/Game Show
Frank Edoho (Who Wants To Be A Millionaire)
Best Actress in TV Series/Reality/Game Show
Damilola Adegbite (Tinsel)
Pan African Actress of the Year (Film/Short Story)
Pan African Actor of the Year (Film/Short Story)
Comedian of the Year
Best World DJ
DJ Obi (Boston)
Entertainment Promoter of the Year
Tiwaworks (Atlanta, USA)