Santi’s headline show had been a night I had been anticipating for months and it finally arrived Tuesday night at Kentish Town Forum.
Filled to the brim with Afrobeats lovers from all over, I travelled down from Milton Keynes to witness the greatness of Santi who’s one of the most exciting artists creating music right now. With two albums under his belt, his most recent Mandy & the Jungle was released earlier this year. 3 years from his debut Suzie’s Funeral and displayed the growth and genius of Santi in the new generation of African artists. I’d been playing the album all summer so I was hyped for the show.
When we entered the forum, Vivendi was spinning all the best in Afrobeats. It was a welcomed change as I’ve experienced previously where the opening DJ sets have been so far from the headline acts genre or style of music that it grates you whilst waiting for the main act. This wasn’t the case, Vivendii was on point and in tune. It was really refreshing to hear a well tailored set that fit the theme of the night perfectly. That was then blended in with the next DJs set to keep the crowds energy high with popular Hip Hop & Trap hits.
Then the moment I had been waiting for, the moment that would allow me to rage to my hearts content as my favourite songs were performed came. Santi walked onto the stage, strobe lights and a commanding presence to album opener Raining Outside. Saying the crowd erupted would be a grave understatement. Everyone burst into song as if someone had popped the cork on a bottle of champagne.
We were active, and were rewarded quickly as he ran into Murvlana next and brought out collaborator Tay Iwar to perform. Earlier in the day Santi and various others had tweeted that tonight there was going to be “no tears” a popular phrase now and the name of the tour ‘No Tears in the Jungle’. So as the night progressed we raged hard, I jumped, I sang passionately to songs like Demon Hearts, Morocco, Sparky, Turn Down Mami. By the time we got to Raw Dinner, we had seen Stranger Monica as another special guest and our very own Kida Kudz joined Santi to perform the fan favourite. The night continued through Freaky, Maria, Gangster Fear and then the grand finale the apex of our joint excitement came when Rapid Fire dropped. It honestly deserved multiple reloads but I was satirised nonetheless.
Santi’s energy never dipped, he was charismatic and fun. He sounded incredible throughout the night, an effortless swag to his performance was evident. A confident cool and you could tell he was appreciative of all the love he was receiving. The London crowd didn’t lack, they showed up and showed out. It was one of my highly anticipating shows and it delivered making it one of the best shows to happen to this year.
I can’t wait to see the monster boy Santi take over next year. Until then, next time tickets go live I urge you grab them ASAP, as it’s not an experience you want to miss out on again.