Music / Review

Here’s what we learned from Global Citizen Live

The biggest names in music joined forces with world leaders at London’s O2 Academy Brixton.

Hosting festivals around the world, Global Citizen is fighting to make a change by encouraging the young generation to take actions against gender discrimination and extreme poverty. With a packed bill featuring performances from Emeli Sande, Professor Green, Gabrielle Aplin and Kojo Funds, here’s what we learned from the Global Citizen Live experience.

There are stories that need to be heard

From Hussain Manawer’s passionate poetry, You’re Going To Hear From Me to Luisa Omielan’s heart-wrenching story of her mum’s tragic battle with cancer, it is clear the audience are here as part of a greater purpose. Hearing that slavery still exists in today’s modern society really is food for thought. But learning about inspiring movements like Mandela’s long walk to freedom demonstrates that young people can, in fact, lead and make a real change.

Kojo Funds has instantly recognisable hits

Many of the audience tonight will be forgiven for not having heard of East London’s Kojo Funds before, but upon launching into his 2017 hit with Mabel, Finders Keepers, any unfamiliarity of his rapid rise to fame is quashed. His Afro-swing has got all the hooks, beats and lines of someone who has been on the scene for a decade or more, when in fact he had never written a song before 2014. Quickly becoming a hit with the crowd, it is obvious he will be around for years to come.

 

Emeli Sande can pack in the big ballads

With so many acts to cram into one show, it’s a hard task for anyone to fit their hits into a short set, but singer-songwriter Emeli Sande achieves it in style. Wearing a bright printed jacket, she seamlessly goes from one song to another, delivering flawless vocals. Her lyrics are perfectly fitting for the occasion like she wrote them for this very event. Even though she hasn’t released an album since 2016’s Long Live Angels, it is like she has never been away.

Professor Green can whip the crowd into a frenzy

Wrapping up the show, rapper Professor Green storms the stage jumping around, encouraging the crowd to follow suit with arms waving, hair whipping, and heads bouncing. It’s all about the nostalgia, and classics Read All About It and I Need You Tonight prompt a rapturous singalong. After only a couple of songs, he starts to say his thank yous, but the crowd aren’t done yet and start shouting “one more”. He luckily gets the nod to go ahead and closes the show in the only way he knows how.


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