The live performance review in this instance follows Tkay Maidza performing a live set that was recorded on the 3rd of November 2020 and streamed exclusively on the KEXP YouTube Channel. The songs performed by the artist include 24k, you sad, my flower and shook that were all taken from her album titled Last Year Was Weird, Vol.3. Tkay Maidza is an Australian artist who is known to try out numerous genres without having to overcommit to them. Her album was released back in 2018 and did create a path for a rather fresh and reliable lane in addition to a more dextrous flow of music. Born in Zimbabwe and raised in Australia, Maidza through her performance has earned comparisons with numerous established artists such as M.I.A with most of her song making strong impressions on the charts. Her performance in this live recording was set up in a back alley in Adelaide in a seemingly private outdoor setting following the COVID-19 protocols that did not feature any form of fans. The only instruments noted insights were her drummer and a bass guitarist who also manned a synthesizer. The music was written as an experimental take to new age hip hop that also features light speed flow with the main emphasis being on the inclusion of Afro-pop elements that are reminiscent of her African roots. It is experimental since the elements of hip-hop and dreamy RNB harmonies are presented in the artist’s choice of chorus making the live recording a riveting listen. The main focus is how she can inject hip-hop tunes into afro-pop music and still manage to rap on the beat.
Listening to the performance of all four songs, it becomes clear that the focus of the artist is placed within the genre of Afro-pop infused with hip-hop. The tempo of the songs performed is noticeably high beat consistent with the ideas of getting people to dance to the tune. But the amazing part comes in how the artist can infuse her rap skills, her vocals in singing, and the fast melody of her songs in the creation of a new form of a hybrid genre. The music performed does have great similarities with the 90s hip-house energy music that follows flashing lights as well as voguing. The focus is not on the lyrics and the narratives but rather on her flow that creates a rather smooth and melodic feel to her music.
Her manner of raping does not present any form of conflict with the beat which gives the song some power to immerse the audience in the feel of dance that is contained in the tune. The major accompaniment in the presentation of her songs is the drum and the tempo it takes. It is more of African considering that African music does infuse drums in the creation of their creative beats. There is simply one tempo followed that does not allow individuals to repress their feelings which means they are drawn to the rhythm and are forced to dance. The melody that is presented in her voice does give the entire performance hip-hop feel as noted in the song you sad. Her overall performance in the recording was determined by both the beat created by the drums and her vocals that make the experience unique and enjoyable.
Coldplay Livestream Performance
The second live-streamed performance features the live concert recording performance of Coldplay in Germany at the Olympic stadium that was dubbed Coldplay live at Pro7 in concert recorded on October 2021. Coldplay has become one of the world’s most popular acts since their formation in 1996, selling over 100 million copies of their eight number one albums, which have spawned a string of hits such as Yellow, Clocks, Fix You, Paradise, Viva La Vida, A Sky Full Of Stars, Hymn For The Weekend, Adventure Of A Lifetime, Orphans, and, most recently, Higher Power. It features a careful selection of songs that could be performed live with the intention of getting the audience on their feet. These songs include Higher Power, Clocks, Fix You, Viva la Vida and Coloratura. The selection of the songs that were featured in the concert performance was made with the premise of bringing the audience back into a rather festive mood as it does feature numerous rock hits that got them jumping and singing along throughout the performance. This is synonymous with the style that Coldplay adopts in their music that has over the years given them their fame. On the other hand, the songs they performed are a representation of their efforts to break out of their comfort zone and engage their listeners in a new type of music that claims to heal the soul albeit from the devastating effects of the pandemic. The environment, on the other hand, contributes to the character of the performance’s significance. The band chose the location because it wanted to create its own “exciting” atmosphere due to the upbeat undertones that the songs performed had in their presentation. The band’s musical focus has shifted as a result of the live performance.
With only the four band members and their instruments in sight, the performance is centered on the notoriety of the band in creating a special feel good atmosphere. This can be heard even in the selection of the songs that are a representation of some of their best work within the last 3 years. The overall performance of the band is breathtaking considering the quality of the acoustic required to pull off some of the songs like Viva la Vida. The melody of the songs featured in the performance was upbeat and was more focused on fan engagement. This was noted in how the fans responded to the songs by joining in and dancing to them. The tone set on the other hand was more festive as the rhythm and performance did reinforce a rather happy and party mood that has been rather a calling card for the band. The performance in this instance was not lyrics focused as they did nothing for the narrative created, it was all about ensuring the crowd did have a good time hence the lead singer kept making attempts to reach out to the crowd in engaging them. . There is great stability that is created with the upbeat melodic motions that create a party mood within the songs as the major accompaniment being the band and their instruments only. For example in the performance of the song Fix you, one can’t help but be mesmerized by the indulgence of the crowd, the intense emotional undertone of the song and the vocals the lead singer. The rhythmic consonance in some of the songs does elevate it to an emphatic feel where throughout the performance everyone has to be on their feet.
A comparison of the two events with the inclusion of the music performed reveals a great difference in genre ideas but similarities in terms of energy and indulgence. Tkay Maidza’s performance levels more on afro-pop and hip-hop sounds while Coldplay’s performance could be summed up as indie-rock owing to the various influences used in the making of the sounds. Both performers are experimenting with the creation of new forms of music which means stepping out of their boundaries with Coldplay’s performance being different from what one listens to in streaming music. Considering these events were held during the lockdown period, there were no audiences around Maidza’s performance which did not bother the artist in any way. Tkay Maidza’s performance venue did match the music style as it took on a rather energetic street kind of feel to the music as the venue was an alley. Coldplay on the other hand did record their performance live infront of a crowd who followed their every move and did sing along with them. Performing infront of a crowd did seem difficult as focus is not only on the artist but also on the reaction of the crowd.
In comparing the experience of live-streamed music to a live event, I did note that ambiance is key in creating a feel for the music. This ambiance is created by the setting selected in the performance of this music. For Tkay Maidza to sell the idea of afro-pop, then her performance has to feature the street element that she does. The same to Coldplay in the performance of their music has to go in hand with the venue. Each venue does match the target audience in both cases. The social context in each of the performances is in turn determined by the type of songs that would be played as noted in Coldplay’s performance was structured towards engaging the crowd that were at the venue.