Search

Ady Suleiman, Oslo, review: ‘a voice as sweet as spiced rum’

PUBLISHED: 12:00 19 July 2016

Ady Suleiman

Ady Suleiman

Archant

Having supported the likes of Michael Kiwanuka, Lianne La Havas and Laura Mvula, the 24-year-old brings understated charisma to a sold out venue.

Considering the sheer graft a young artist has to put in these days, perhaps the hardest task is keeping your cool.

Take Ady Suleiman, whose colourful smudges of reggae, pop and soul have made him a blogosphere darling – so in demand from press and punters alike that he was even made to live stream the rehearsal to his sold-out show in Hackney on Tuesday.

It’s the sort of publicity blitz that could frazzle the most seasoned crooner, yet Suleiman still maintains a curious slacker charm.

Having supported the vaunted likes of Michael Kiwanuka, Lianne La Havas and Laura Mvula, the 24-year-old clearly knows his destination, even if he approaches it with the nonchalance of a Sunday stroll around Sherwood Forest.

Cloaked in an oversized Oxford shirt, the singer took to the stage through a haze of light jazz from his impeccably drilled band.

With the briefest of hellos, he launched into the sizzling ska hit Running Away, bouncing to the groove of Shaggy-esque melodies and brass overtures that characterises his latest, eponymous EP.

Across the set, a thread of unrest lurked beneath his laissez faire pleasantries with the audience.

On Drink Too Much, Suleiman laid bare the stunted etiquette of his digitised generation (“Conversation? Sorry I don’t, I’m afraid you’re out of luck”), so it was with some irony that a mellower acoustic moment was later drowned out by the murmurings of restless Hoxtonites at the bar.

A stripped down but playful cover of Protoje’s Who Knows soon regained the crowd’s attention; Suleiman ramping up the bashfulness by revealing that “when I played this on Radio 1 recently, I s*** my pants”.

By the time he returned for an encore of the lamenting soul ballad Not Giving Up, his voice – as sweet and peppered as spiced rum – was the only one to be heard.

Alongside a fine ear for a hook, this will surely be the sharpest weapon in his upcoming debut album.

Suleiman’s pick ‘n’ mix of genres is nothing new in itself, ploughing back through a lineage of everyone from Sly Stone to Jamiroquai.

But if his understated charisma warmed the room, it was the power of his soaring vocals that melted away the night.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Latest Hackney Stories

The 26-year-old reflected on the controversial moment which occured during the game with Hartlepool United

Harry Kane, Eric Dier, Harry Winks and Kieran Trippier all featured for the Three Lions in their 3-2 victory away to Spain

09:05

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Sky Sports today announced a new four-year broadcast and multiplatform partnership that will see Sky Sports become the NBA’s exclusive broadcast partner and official website operator in the UK and Ireland.

Yesterday, 18:37

Five teenagers who killed father-of-three Daniel Frederick yards from his home in Stoke Newington have today been jailed for 64 years.

Yesterday, 18:00

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Norwegian announced today a partnership that sees the award-winning airline named presenting partner of the NBA London Game 2019.

Yesterday, 16:30

Ridley Road Shopping Village is being closed down by police over drug dealing and anti-social behaviour – kicking out long-standing traders with just two weeks’ notice.

Two men have conquered their fear of swimming to take the plunge and raise £42,000 for their friend who was paralysed on holiday this summer.

Yesterday, 15:00

The experienced midfielder wasn’t part of the matchday squad on Saturday and boss Justin Edinburgh explained why post-match



Newsletter Sign Up

Hackney Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read entertainment

Show Job Lists