This past Sunday was a lovely evening to support local LA artists. In Zanzibar, a chill low-lit venue in Santa Monica, Soundstage showcased artists Tay Walker & Sir. With DJ Spill and DJ Mantron playing an eclectic yet LA-influenced mix of electronic hip hop tunes, the vibe of Zanzibar was vibrant. As usual in LA, everyone was gorgeous and had a clean yet spunky style. People came in genuinely excited to see the artists. Attractive young couples were gracefully sprinkled across the venue mixed with young artist friends and older couples, anticipating a night of romantic yet modern R&B.
Young singer Hewan began with a few R&B ballads. Despite her repetitive lyrics, Hewan’s voice is undeniably impressive and her stage presence is comfortable. Donning a stylish plaid jumper for the night, Hewan seemed sweet to an audience that was mostly hearing her for the first time.
Sir was welcomed by the crowd with warm arms. His voice was pure and really wonderful live–something hard to find these days. Sir performed a few songs from his project Seven Sundays including crowd favorites “Love You,” and “In the Sky.” He even sang a love song specifically dedicated to his lovely wife, which left the audience feeling warm and fuzzy. As his performance continued, more people began to arrive, and the atmosphere of the Zanzibar increasingly became more excited.
After Sir’s peaceful ending, Tay Walker was announced. His first couple songs were a miss because he was singing over an MP3 of his voice (a personal pet-peeve of mine), but it was cute seeing him let his younger brother help him on stage. After the pre-recorded songs, his performance improved drastically. With a band, Walker was forced to sing live without the support of a recorded vocal and he sounded great. My only critique is that his body language tended to be a little awkward (hence, my lack of photos of just him from the night). But, he publicly admitted his excitement for performing his songs for the first time and they sounded amazing so there’s no real reason to be negative about Walker’s performance.
Highlights included Walker casually bringing up guest artists from the audience, including The Internet’s Syd Tha Kid. To be honest, after Syd’s climax performance the show felt pretty much over. However the audience stayed supportive during Tay’s last few songs; cheering on his and Sir’s successful show before dancing the rest of the night away. Shouts out to Project Live LA and Nu-Soul Magazine for putting on a good show.
All photos shot by Asato Iida
Photo of Syd Tha Kid with Tay Walker shot by Anaka Morris