Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sneakers on the red carpet

The folks of Ogopa Butterfly Records invited me to perform on Saturday night at the launch party of the latest issue of Red Carpet, a Namibian entertainment magazine. This launch party was an exclusive members-only event with quite the guestlist that included the Dogg, Lady May, Gal Level, Lize Ehlers, and a number of NAMA Music Award winners and nominees.

It was a pretty fancypants event, with beautiful women showing up in trendy ball gowns and rappers wearing suits (I love seeing rappers wear suits). I was wearing sneakers. There was also a sweet spread of free food and drinks. I always find it curious that fancypants events like law firm receptions and these media parties seem to feature all this free stuff, when their guests tend to be the very people that could afford to buy food. I'm reminded of the central line from Min Jin Lee's novel "Free Food For Millionaires". Not that I was complaining about the buffet spread. I could always use a fourth or fifth meal.

The party was held at NICE Restaurant which was, of course, very nice. The room was beautifully designed too, except for this really inconveniently placed palm tree that blocked the middle of the stage. I can't say I've ever had that problem before though.

the stage

that's quite the palm tree

nice nice very nice

The party featured performances from various different musicians, including a gospel hip hop artist, Lize Ehlers (whose new album was reviewed in the magazine), and some R&B singers. There was also a Russian guy based in Namibia named Smokey who did kwaito rap, which was quite the sight. He kind of looks like he belongs in a neo-Silverchair rock band, and yet there he was, executing the kwaito rap perfectly. I was impressed. But if a China (me) could sing a country song, why not a Russian doing kwaito? Why not?

gospel hiphop

My own performance went decently, although that unfortunately placed palm tree really was, well, unfortunate. We certainly had a completely different sound from the other acts and were one of the few live performances that didn't use a backtrack. I think the audience appreciated that we were different. Afterwards, many of the other musicians approached me to see if I was interested in working on some collaborations. I'm always impressed by the friendliness of Namibians, especially Namibian artists. It's always a pleasure to roll with the Namibian music industry folks, even if I wear sneakers on the red carpet. Gloria Guns is not what you would describe as "fancypants".

musicians from the Rusch Street Sessions


me...and the palm tree.