With more than 20 years of experience in the entertainment industry, Singer/Songwriter, Entrepreneur and Actress Brandy is a clear veteran. Witnessing her growth over that period has been astounding, her earlier albums especially helped to contribute to the 90’s/early 2000’s R&B sound that listeners constantly find themselves going back to. However, Brandy is currently experiencing problems with her label and wants to break out of her contract. So it is perplexing as to why such a talent is having difficulty releasing music and being seen on a wider global platform.
It’s interesting because as a music fan the closer you follow an artist you begin to question why their singles aren’t being played more on the radio and when they have a new album but have no singles or videos to promote it. So it essentially ‘flops’ not because the music isn’t any good but the business side of it is severely flawed. This has undermined many musicians’ success over the years not just Brandy. Well after witnessing her headline show at Indigo at O2 in London, it is evident there is no need for this beautiful songbird to be caged anymore.
The night belonged to Brandy, she effortlessly performed songs across most of her albums making sure to cater to her hit singles and deep album cuts for hardcore fans. Transporting us back to the 90’s with her first few singles ‘I Wanna Be Down’ and ‘Top of the World’ which had the crowd reminiscing and singing their hearts out especially when she slowed things down with ‘Have You Ever’ where you could really see how music really connects with people.
She also paid a fitting tribute to her idol Whitney Houston, taking us back through some classic Whitney hits and allowed us all to pay our respects through a phone light tribute to Exhale (Shoop Shoop) which was spine tingling.
Also, I was pleasantly surprised because I didn’t expect Brandy to be hitting full choreography with such ease which made her performances very entertaining. She confidently knew how to work the stage and I would like to see her push even more with what she’s doing because it could really turn her into a force to be reckoned with. Her trademark husky and raspy tone is also carried with great emotion which really brings conviction to her display as an entertainer as your attention is fixed on where she takes you fearlessly with each song.
The stage was kept minimal featuring her two-piece band who added new dimensions to her songs and two back-up dancers/singers who were not just moving props but embedded in why the live show was so slick. Often, performers give a moment in the show to thank the band but Brandy made sure hers had the chance to showcase why their talent should be appreciated, which was a real nice touch.
The atmosphere of the night was warm, supportive and felt like a celebration of why Brandy is still around today. The lively crowd sung along to every word often leaving Brandy just conducting the crowd and their passionate adlibbing. I really enjoyed a moment during her song ‘Wildest Dreams’ where she had us all repeat vocal riffs after her (which luckily I wasn’t being judged on ) thus making the live show a really immersive experience.
A real highlight came in the encore where Brandy sung her latest song ‘Beggin and Pleadin’ which finds her “Hoping and wishing for a change”. Despite her battles, it’s a given that Brandy will not give up on herself and will rightfully continue to fight to make her voice heard.