It will forever register in the minds of many R&B fans especially the ardent Mya ones as a night never to be forgotten. One particular fan, who got an opportunity to dance with the American superstar at the end of the breathtaking performance, will forever cherish the moment.
On a rather very chilly Saturday night in November, American songbird Mya served just the right ingredients to awaken the spirits in the semi-frozen fans as the cold breeze almost took its toll on them. But their bravery and patience paid in the end as they were melted away with some smooth nostalgia-evoking rhythms
This was all at the Johnnie Walker All Music Safari concert held on Saturday at the Lugogo Cricket Oval where Jazz and Soul Safari founder Tshaka Mayanja was celebrating 30 years in the entertainment industry.
40-year-old Mya who could easily have passed for a 21-year-old college girl, impressed with her mellow voice as she took the revellers in a journey down memory lane with a mix of her top songs from the 90’s to her latest in 2016.
Dressed in a stripped black and white over coat, her absolutely stunning performance kicked off in a slow intro before she went into over drive with the block buster hit “Case of the Ex (Watcha Gonna Do)” that immediately turned the mood from ecstasy to pure madness as the crowd burst into over flowing joy.
Mya by this time had peeled off the long over coat to unleash more revealing, sexy body-hugging black strapped pants as she wowed the fans with hit after hit belting songs like ‘Best of Me’, “Take me there’ and ‘Ghetto Superstar’ as she showed her versatility with different styles and genres like soul and hiphop.
Her dance moves alongside two queen dancers were breath-taking too as she changed into dazzling costume according to which ever session she was performing next.
When it was time for the slow love songs, she then dedicated ‘Fallen’ to lovers in the house. They swang from the left and to the right as the smooth soulful rhythm of love flavour got them lost in the heavenly moment of bliss.
After performing a few renditions of oldies songs from the 70’s that inspired her, she then invited some couples to join her on stage as she sang for them. However, it was when she invited the singles on stage that produced the moment of the night. One lucky fan had a lifetime opportunity to get up-close and personal and indeed he did not disappoint as he squeezed and tight-danced with Mya before singing his own love lines to her.
Being an All Music Safari, several genres were earlier represented too on the night as some lucky local stars shared the same stage with the American to warm it up for her withNilotika Cultural Ensemble doing the traditional tunes, followed by the Jazz Sun-Downers Session led by Aloysius Miggade, Lawrence Matovu and Toni Trumpet.
Another Jazz session led by guitar maestro Myco Ouma, Joseph Sax and Emma Dragu produced a masterly instrumentation piece with DRC outfit Chido Explosion Band giving it the touch of flair with a tribute session where they mainly remembered Madilu System with songs like ‘Ya Jeah’, ‘Sansa Ya Papier’, ‘Mokili’and ‘Mamou’.
Kenneth Mugabi did his soul searching single ‘Naki’ while the Funk session got the crowd on its feet with 2 Pac’s ‘do for Love’ before Da Roots Band closed the curtain raisers with the Raggae session.
“As Johnnie Walker we always look to celebrate those who are icons of progress among us. We are more than delighted to be a part of this concert celebrating exceptional icons like Tshaka and Mýa here in Uganda,” said Annette Nakiyaga, Head of Luxury Portfolio at Uganda Breweries Limited.
For close to 12 years now, Mayanja has been devoted to uniting the continent and the world through his Jazz and Soul Music Safaris, a music platform that has consistently been getting bigger and better with every year.
“It is by the grace of the Most High and my ancestors through whom I’m spiritually guided that we are here celebrating. Thank you all for always supporting music for all this years and thank you for being with us today,” said Tshaka Mayanja at the concert.