Wellington had the experience of seeing a few leading artists of Aotearoa on the night of International Women’s Day. Thanks to Red Bull Music, Milk & Honey Festival and Madcap for teaming up and providing an event for Wellington to celebrate local influences who, at the very least, deserved to be in the spotlight for the night. Having everyone in the same room for the same reason, the same occasion with the same message was incredible to watch and be a part of.
With a packed house at San Fran, you definitely had to fight for your spot at the front, and for those who experienced the artist in the front row were lucky enough to have a few close encounters, as the majority of the artists were not afraid to connect with the audience. The overall atmosphere from my perspective felt like it was a never-ending place of support and acceptance.
Headlining the San Fran show was hip hop influencer Ladi6 who performed some of her greatest hits. While playing more recent singles such as Diagonals and Outta Time, she also performed classics Like Water, Walk Right Up and Diamonds that you’re guaranteed to recognize if you are unfamiliar with her.
If the crowd wasn’t making the shape of a diamond in the sky they were dancing or singing - or if they were like me, they did all the above, on top of photography. Having two dancers on stage with her, the choreography went perfectly with the songs and as energetic as the audience were... it’s fair to say this was one heck of a show, from both performers and the crowd.
Local artist Yayné brought a cinematic set with her powerful lyrics and voice, also bringing onstage friend CK to perform Learning Love. It created an atmosphere deeper than the overall message of female empowerment or gender equality. It was an honour to see the two singing live together and how much enjoyment they had on stage.
Wellington-based singer, producer and DJ Alexa Casino performed songs from EP Cheer Up Try Hard Tear Up Cry Hard before later playing at the Milk & Honey afterparty. If the lineup wasn’t badass enough, then here is Alexa Casino doing two sets. I was lucky enough to catch her second DJ set at Club 121 and thought it was great and fitting for the underground rave. I’m pleased I got to experience her music live at San Fran where I heard her voice and lyrics as it felt more personal.
To kick off the start of the night, DJ Andy Heartthrob brought in the crowds because when she’s not promoting the younger women of colour in the creative industry, she’s being an influence and opening the gateway for the next wave of creatives. Following Alexa Casino, Yayné and Ladi6 she closed San Fran with another hour-long set.