The listening party of Waje’s second body of work, Red Velvet took place on the 30th of November at Civic Centre, Lagos and it was a timeout for some of the women in the Nigerian music and entertainment industry to enjoy good music, support each other and highlight the emotional struggles women are going through by exploring the themes in Red Velvet.
The album, Red Velvet, consist of five tracks that narrate the issues of the heart. This is a personal album for the singer who wants people to see a part of her that she hardly reveals to her fans and of course connect to women going through the same emotional struggles and are either ashamed to talk about it, lacks the right word to describe it or lacks the courage to confront these emotional issues.
Waje also presented a mini-documentary during this private album listening where she talked about how she started music at a young age, how she has grown in music and how music has revealed her to herself over time.
Every track performed came with an artwork or framed photograph of the soul singer placed on auction. Five paintings were auctioned on this night and sold at a different rate with the lowest being one hundred thousand naira and the highest bid at 1.2 Million naira. These paintings and photographs, which were of the singer, represent something important to the singer and that also inspired the songs in the album. The proceeds from this auction according to Waje will be donated to a charity which the singer explained has been doing its best to take care of kids with the little resource they have, and the money made from the auction will go a long way in helping the children feed and also make their dreams come true.
This intimate listening party revealed some of the Nigerians that enjoy great music as they express appreciation for all tracks, not because they’re in front of the artiste but because she has created a masterpiece that has become rare in the industry and this one is although centered on the emotional of the women can also be enjoyed and appreciated by men who were also involved in the listening and gave their opinion on the record stating that these are the kind of songs women in the music industry should try to push enough and drive conversations that are related to the heart for other young women to learn from artistes they follow.
The soul singer was in her element yesterday, reminding guests who were enthralled by her performance and most shocked as they expressed their surprise as this part of Waje they have never been exposed to and never anticipated. According to Nigerian comedian, Bovi, Waje has been trying for the longest time to fit into an industry she’s way talented to be struggling for. He said;
Waje has been limiting herself in order to fit into the system whereas she shouldn’t because she’s unique”
while IK Osakioduwa who was also the host at the event said Waje unlike many celebrated artistes with little or no content whom he refers to as singing Gbagam Gbagam.
From being friend zoned to saying no to a complicated relationship and intimacy without commitment down to the Sauce where she admires a guy she likes, complimenting him and tries to make him understand that he should look past her hard façade and see through to the woman that loves him, Waje’s Red Velvet took the women through different emotional stages while the men observed and saw through Waje the struggles behind the confident woman they always see.
Waje’s Red Velvet is the understanding voice every woman wants to hear in a world where women, due to experience tries to shut down any emotional part of themselves and try to be hard as society expects men to be. This album speaks to you and makes you understand that whatever you’re going through as a woman, you’re not alone. It shows you a woman that can be vulnerable enough to reveal her emotions but strong enough to state her conditions and not compromise. It’s the album every woman should have, not because it is by a woman but because it is a masterpiece that melodiously describes the different stages women go through in a relationship and the emotions attached to each.
Even Waje couldn’t help stating that her album listening has become a counselling session but that’s the least of it, it was an atmosphere of sisterhood where questions raised issues and deep undiluted conversations were Waje talked about being friend zoned, being in love, being in a complicated relationship and her decision to remain celibate. The issue of celibacy brought on a train of conversation where women wanted to know how she is successfully being celibate in an industry where sex is being advertised and celebrated. Connections were made from artiste to fans who related to all her stories wishing she could go on longer than she did. It was a gathering of not just women, but of Nigerian female artistes supporting each other and connecting with each other, not in music, but by hearts and these connections are so genuine you’ll wonder why you didn’t see it earlier.
The Red Velvet album listening party was not just a success because people loved it or the performances were great, it was a success because it pushed other causes like the painting auction which is for a greater cause to make the dreams of kids come true, plus it was a time for Nigerian female singers such as Yemi Alade, Niniola, Omawumi, Chidinma and other women from the creative industry to come show their support for their own and that was a beautiful sight to experience especially with some reports that say Nigerian artistes don’t support each other.
Ending with the words of Waje, “what’s the use of all the action, light and camera if we do all these and not help the lives that can be helped when we have the opportunities to?” And Red Velvet album listening party did just that!