Writer Mirab Kay / Photographer Hassan Ul-Haq
What a night of powerful, female talent tonight has turned out to be.
Preceding the Black Irish rapper Anita Quinn at The Sunflower Lounge are two local female vocalists whose RnB chops are definitely worth mentioning. V3nus shows off her beautifully light vibrato and airy head voice in a set containing the likes of Jorja Smith and Beyoncé – a set which encourages rapturous applause after its strong, heartfelt conclusion.
Veronica then wows us with her smooth, velvety tone and well-controlled riffing, before refreshing us with a reggae-inspired original. Not only is it a joy to see a female bassist and incredibly talented drummer, but also to be surrounded by a crowd singing and dancing along to ‘On & On’ by Erykah Badu. We’re also treated to some skilful skat at the end of her final song, ‘Movie’ by Tom Misch.
Before Quinn has even begun her set, her cheerful, joking attitude sets the audience at ease. This humour and informality become a theme throughout the set, Quinn often interacting with her friends in the crowd or making some witty comment to her bandmates.
The set is equally split between originals and covers, including ‘No Role Modelz’ by J. Cole for which a guest rapper is invited on stage, and ‘Buy U a Drank’ by T-Pain – another vocalist replaces the first and remains on stage for the rest of the set, providing a layer of dexterously placed harmonies.
All of Quinn’s originals impress with their cleverly written messages of personal experiences, and the skill with which the band performs them. Quinn expertly conducts her accompaniment with verbal cues and gestures, though this band of over seven members effortlessly glides through each song and I am once again dazzled by Saxophonist Tommy Lawther.
Of all her originals, the one that interests me most is Quinn’s downtempo and emotional composition on the miscommunications in relationships. The use of the Andalusian Cadence immediately alerts the audience to the serious tone of the track whilst overwhelming us with emotion when the progression resolves to the tonic chord. Alongside this, a jazz-inspired guitar solo enacts call-and-response with keys and drums, offering a dynamic and energetic moment to get the audience pumped.
Quinn gives in to the calls for an encore, performing a lively interpretation of her “favourite song from when I was twelve”, ‘You Need Me, I Don’t Need You’ by Ed Sheeran.
If anything is for certain about this rising female rapper, it is that she knows exactly how to hype-up a crowd.
For more from the artists see the links below:
V3nus – www.instagram.com/venuss_music
Veronica – www.instagram.com/veronica_adaezexx
Anita Quinn – www.instagram.com/imanitaquinn
Tommy Lawther – www.instagram.com/tommylawther
For more from The Sunflower Lounge go to: www.thesunflowerlounge.com