Talented South African singer Pilani Bubu, may be new to Ghanaians but her stagecraft coupled with her magical voice, turned her into an instant sensation Saturday night.
Her performance at the opening night of the 2019 edition of the Live In Accra Jazz Festival at Alliance Française in Accra will be remembered by many not only for her voice and dance skills but also the sheer intimacy her act exuberated.
Even though this was her second time in Ghana – her first two years ago -, the opening act for this year’s jazz festival, which has Joy FM as the main media partner, held patrons spellbound with her performance.
They sang along, danced or simply cheered to her songs as if they were addicted patrons to her shows and music.
Backed by the GH Jazz Collective, Pilani Bubu opened the night with an enchanting love song – ‘Sweet Love’.
That soothing piece was followed by ‘Music Love’. For the pretty singer, each song had a unique story, something she readily shared on the night.
According to her, ‘Music Love’ was born during her stay in New Orleans for an international jazz festival where she was supposed to have stayed for only five days but ended up staying three months all because of her love for music.
Sharing bits and pieces of her life story, including some drastic decisions she has taken, Pilani revealed that after she found music, she knew she had found ‘Heaven’.
According to her, after eight years of doing nine to five jobs - marketing after studying law and marketing – she finally embraced her calling to do what she loves – music.
“I think we will agree that music is like a piece of heaven on earth…” she said inspirationally while beaming like a bright star. ‘Heaven’ is also another song from her ‘Warrior of Light’ album.
Her performance throughout the night was filled with an immersive blend of tales from her travels, traditions, love and her fight against domestic violence.
Her songs are a careful intermingling of the modern and rich South African traditions.
She had an amazing chemistry with patrons. It was as if she had cast a spell on them; they simply heed her bid throughout her time on stage.
True to her fight against domestic violence, Pilani performed a song she wrote to help turn the tide.
She hopes the song, ‘Baile’, will teach people about having good homes. The song was released during the 16 days of activism against domestic abuse and violence against women and children in South Africa.
Her next piece - ‘Boom Che’ - for the night was a song to celebrate women. She strongly stressed that women need to be celebrated.
Luckily for her, a proton who knew her songs and traditional tales so well suddenly grabbed the attention of guests. He sang and danced along effortlessly to her.
Apart from Pilani, this patron - man - became the second attraction of the night. He had his fair share of applauds and cheers.
Pilani’s impressive showing on the night was nearly marred by a fire outbreak near the venue.
Midway through her performance, some shops close to the Alliance Française were burnt disrupting her act for about 30 minutes.
She will be performing again on April 30 at the +233 Jazz Bar & Grill in Accra.
The 2019 Alliance Française Live In Accra Jazz Festival will also feature a workshop – The Art and Science of Music (Part 1) on April 29, International Jazz Day at the +233 Jazz Bar & Grill featuring several artistes, workshop – The Art and Science of Music (Part 2) on May 2, and Women’s Lifestyle Expo on May 3 and May 4.
The festival will be climaxed with a Closing Concert on May 4. That concert will features performances from Achille Ouattara (Burkina Faso) with the Funky Faso Tour featuring Sandra Huson.