On Friday 27th February 2009, a collection of hot UK talent came together to perform a one of show to express a united front-Takeover.
Takeover took place at the Royal Festival Hall on the Southbank, London.
The stage was graced with over 150 musicians throughout the evening! Permanently situated on the stage were an orchestra and two choirs for maximum musical effect.
Around 2000 lovers of music were in attendance, the energy alone was incredible.
Acts included Se1 United, Sour times, and Nathan ‘flutebox’ Lee Special guests were Chipmunk (2008 MOBO award winner for best newcomer), Natty, Jason Yarde and the amazing Ayanna Writer-Johnson one of Southbanks’ Centers’ Emerging artists Residence.
Ayanna was placed towards the back end of the show. The saying ‘save the best till last’ most definitely proved to be true.
She began with a powerful piece titled ‘Ain’t I a woman’ which was introduced by a fellow artist. The moment she began to sing, her voice was engaging, feminine and captivating. The orchestra remained silent for this piece, only Ayanna and her cello were needed. The simplicity worked in her favour.
Words of the song were by Sojourner Truth – an admired historic woman born into slavery, who made this famous speech in 1851 at the Ohio’s woman’s right convention.
Ayanna’s adaptation was performed in a soft and quiet manner, which made it that more powerful. The imagery used on the screen behind her reflected the tune perfectly. This included constant flashes of women from all around the world, some looking like they were struggling, others looking lost in life.
The tune lasted a few minutes and teased the audience towards the end. I felt like I had been transported into a peaceful place, the only thing that brought me out of this was the abundance of applauses. The whole crowd was in absolute awe!
This was the biggest applause of the evening. No-one wanted to stop clapping; the majority of people were up on their feet and smiling from ear to ear.
The clapping only came to halt as the narrator came back on to the stage to introduce the next tune with a short piece of prose.
‘Free Trade’ was the name of the second piece performed by Ayanna. For this both choirs were used to aid her magical sound. This song had a much edgy sound with a faster tempo. The chorus reinforced the idea that ‘the world is a sweat shop’. The sound was smooth much like Ayanna magnificent voice.
Half way through the song there was a sudden break, this added a special something to the performance, this was unexpected yet flowed nicely. This song contained a deep message and was very moving.
Ayanna certainly is a multi-talented individual. To sum up her performance there is only one word to use WOW!
I don’t know how this incredible singer and cellist music has not made it into the homes of all UK residents.
Her sweet and serenading voice was more than captivating.
Ayanna’s musical style was first-class, her voice-insatiable and her stage presence was magical.
The takeover was a refreshing display of fresh UK talent. In the heart of the city Over one hundred performers left behind a hidden gem stage in place of the Royal festival hall for a few hours.
I wish it was longer!