At a time when the industry boasts of a few reputable music awards, the Soundcity MVP (Most Valuable Player) Awards Festival held last Friday at the Eko Convention Centre of Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, was a breath of fresh air.
While the huge turnout spoke volumes for the organiser’s reach, the massive hall that was transformed into a concert venue of sort, could not accommodate all. There was barely any unoccupied space on the ground floor of the hall. It was not different upstairs. Even the VIP section that accommodated nominees and celebrities was so packed that some attendees only had room to stand.
Nevertheless, the SMVP Awards Festival was a very brilliant show. In fact, it has raised the bar for music award shows. It was also big testimonial to the excellence and professionalism of the CMA helmsman, Tajudeen Adepetu. For five days, Adepetu and his team worked tirelessly at the venue to achieve the desired result. Carpenters, sound technicians, event planners, and stage designers etc. gathered at the site daily to transform the purlieu. The walls of the hallway leading to the main hall were covered with design of the nominees. Although, there was a dedicated red carpet area right outside the convention centre, the floor of the hallway as well as the lobby leading to the events hall were draped in red.
Inside, the auditorium was a continuum of glitz and glamour. The lighting and visual randomization spread from the screen on stage to the ceiling and walls, creating a fascinating effect befitting of an event of such caliber. This was largely made possible by three major brands including Guinness, United Bank of Africa (UBA), and Coca-Cola that threw their weights behind the ceremony.
The performances of the artistes were jaw dropping.
For instance, Skales’ debut performance was just a foretaste of what to expect for the night. Junior Boy’s performance of ‘Irapada’ was very dramatic. The dancers waltzed into the stage dressed in traditional Yoruba costumes. The ladies were dressed in ‘iro and buba’ with big headgears while the guys wore ‘buba and sokoto’ with matching caps. Their gestures indicated that they were in a party setting where the ladies gossiped, clapped hands while
grabbing their men for a dance.
There was no way Small Doctor could be outdone. He came on stage with his own group of dancers dressed in red football jerseys and shorts, as he rendered his wave-making hit ‘Penalty’. The audience was, however, deprived of a good theatre display during Kiss Daniel’s performance of his dancehall tune, ‘Sofa’. The back-up dancers did not come on stage on time and by the time they arrived in pairs; the crowd was already carried away by the song, as they sang along with the artiste. His second performance of ‘Yeba’, another, favourite of the audience, however, saw the dancers entertaining the crowd with their moves.
But then, Iyanya was the only performer who did not rely on the popularity of his songs to entertain the audience, but actually immersed himself in his performance.
While Nigerian artistes, including Tiwa Savage and Tuface Idibia, had a good outing at the show, South African rappers, EMTee and Cassper Nyovest, and Ghanaian act, Sarkodie who took home the Best Collaboration Award for ‘Pain Killer’, his collaborative effort with Runtown, didn’t fail to excite the audience.
Davido was the man of the night. Right from his arrival, he caused such a frenzy that his fans ignored the happenings on stage to focus on him. He won the highest number of awards for the night. His 2017 super
Hit, ‘If’ fetched him two awards including ‘Song of the Year’ and ‘Video of the Year’. He was also the recipient of the biggest award of the night, going home with African Artiste of the Year diadem.
Maleek Berry also took home two awards for Best New Artiste and Best Pop. Olamide and Wizkid took one award each: Listeners Choice and Digital Artiste of the Year respectively. Tiwa Savage was the only female winner of the night. She took home the award for the Best Female MVP. Other winners of the night include Cassper Nyovest (Best Hip Hop) and Diamond Platnumz (Best Male MVP).