Initially crowds are scarce during Jordan Rakei’s first song ‘Midnight Mischief’, no doubt a consequence of Rakei being unenviably billed against the planet-spinning pull of Gregory Porter and Robert Glasper on alternative stages. Soon enough, however, more and more people piled into the Arena tent to hear the last few instalments of Love Supreme’s line-up, late on Sunday evening.
His nuanced electronic scatterings throughout the performance keep the listener locked into his music as he created rich soulful soundscapes accompanied by his tight band. It was pleasing to watch him jump from his gentle piano playing, to his effects pedals, to the guitar. He is a multi-talented artist who creates multi-faceted art.
The highlight was hearing his newest song ‘Sorceress’, the first single from his forthcoming album. Sorceress is less complex in its melodic structure but serves its purpose as a raw and powerful expression of emotions. Rakei sings, ‘depths try to take hold of me’. His music holds true weight and his set took the audience on a journey ranging from dancing to ‘Blame It On The Youth’ or swaying gently to the more ballad-esq ‘Cupids Cheese’. There was something for everyone in the crowd.
Rakei finishes his set with ‘Talk To Me’, which marries dense South American rhythms with thick, luscious piano chords. The crowd echo his falsetto vocals until we are left speechless as he finished the last few bars, completely accapella.