Feli Nandi shakes up local music scene

23 Jun, 2024 - 00:06 0 Views
Feli Nandi shakes up local music scene Feli Nandi

The Sunday Mail

Prince Mushawevato

EXCITING developments are taking place on the local showbiz scene, and Feli Nandi might be leading the charge.

For years, the debate on the country’s best live music performer has focused on male artistes. However, Feli’s electrifying performance at the recent “Redefined Concert” has ignited conversations about a potential shift.

The show also featured Jah Prayzah, Winky D and Master H.

But her show-stopping performance at the concert has the music scene buzzing.

Not only did the vivacious singer, born Felistas Winnie Chipendo, captivate the audience with her high-energy act, but she also silenced critics at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC), a venue typically dominated by male superstars like Winky D and Jah Prayzah.

Her recent masterclass could be a turning point.

Feli’s confidence, honed through rigorous preparation and a strong stage presence, proves that female performers deserve a larger spotlight. She gave a vintage show that stole the night.

The performance resonated with the audience on a deeper level, earning their genuine appreciation.

While Jah Prayzah and Winky D’s performances were well-received, the appreciation might have been more out of respect for their stature or reputation rather than being purely based on the excellence itself.

Going on stage, Feli appeared very relaxed and not bothered being the opening act for a show of such magnitude.

“I can play and deliver the best at any venue. My formative years taught me a lot. Also, we take rehearsals seriously. People close to me know that Feli is sweet but tough . . . stage presence and song arrangement are important; they are the secret to any successful gig,” she told this publication in a recent interview.

The singer is not just delivering pulsating performances; she is also raising the bar for the entire industry.

The rising star arrived for the gig with a nearly 20-piece band, a powerful statement of intent that translated into a tight, polished set.

Her captivating playlist, featuring hits like “Ndoona Iwe”, “Mubayei” and “Unotyei”, left the audience wanting more and made life difficult for the act that followed, rising chanter
Master H — born Hillary Marufu.

This level of professionalism and audience connection is undeniable. Her consistent excellence, both solo and as a supporting act, demands the singer’s inclusion in future major events.

The talented musician-cum-designer deserves a chance to shine and further blossom like her male counterparts.

A reputable performer like Master H felt the heat. While the chanter is no stranger to captivating crowds, talk of events like the Castle Tankard Show and the OK Grand Challenge Concert, following Feli’s act proved a daunting task.

The audience, still vibrating from her energy, made it difficult for him to capture the same momentum.  This is not a slight on Master H’s talent, but a testament to the power of Feli’s performance. The chanter, despite his positive attitude and usual ability to connect with audiences, needed a massive stunt to regain attention.

This challenging experience can be a valuable lesson for his future performances, perhaps indicating the advantage of a strong live band.

Good thing is the “Namwandem” singer has positive energy and is keen to learn.

“I got all this fame out of sweat and sacrifice. I will remain grounded and do my best in the face of high expectations from my fans,” he said.

This could be a glimpse into the future, where female performers like the “Nguva” singer command such a strong presence that they redefine the entire show experience.

Feli’s impact transcends her own success.

Can her triumph pave the way for more recognition of the country’s talented women in music? Only time will tell.

The HICC show was a success, though with some minor glitches.

There was a period, during Jah Prayzah’s set, that the security team colluded to seal all entry and exit points of the venue. No clear explanation was given for this move, which had the potential to ignite trouble.

Many just assumed it was a routine crowd control strategy, but what happened on the day was certainly not the best way to go about it. Imagine someone pays US$20 or US$50 for a general access or VIP ticket, respectively, only to be told the venue is closed or full to capacity.

That is a clear recipe for disaster!

Paying revellers should simply have hassle-free movement, in and out of the venue, throughout the gig. Some come for a specific artiste and when their favourite is done, they should be allowed to leave.

Organisers of such events should always prioritise advance tickets and make sure they do not sell more tickets than the venue’s holding capacity.

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