R&B vocalist Azekel was brought up in East London, making his mark on the industry in 2014 after Lauren Laverne named ‘New Romance‘ her track of the year. A year and millions of Spotify streams later, Azekel plays an intimate show at The Boileroom, Guildford. In support; two undeniably talented acts in the form of young storyteller Otis Mensah, a fascinating rapper with an enthralling delivery, and three Academy of Contemporary Music graduates, SHOR.
The intimacy of Azekel’s Boileroom performance demonstrates how and why Azekel deserves to stand out in the live music scene. After a tentative beginning, Azekel wowed the audience with his hazy RnB vocals, backed by compelling, glitch-ridden, electronic production. Stand out performances included ‘The War Inside‘, a socially conscious track which discusses the internal issues of society. With lyrics such as: ‘There’s a war inside that no race is safe from / Being white’s the new black / Self hate’s the new crack’, Azekel’s music really is essential listening for the modern age. His beautifully-written, poignant material is made only more compelling with by his exceptionally strong vocal performance. Another stand out, ‘Chronophobia‘, delivers a loud, thumping bassline and a hypnotic clicking sound, layered atop a beautiful Free Jazz instrumental.
Armed with a microphone and occasionally a guitar, Azekel’s humble personality was showcased in its essence. The set felt personal, even conversational, allowing the audience to get properly acquainted with the captivating singer/songwriter. Stream recent single [and first offering from Azekel’s long-awaited follow-up to ‘Raw, Vol.1‘] below via SoundCloud.