AfroWorld review: Rema thanks Middle East for ‘all the love’ at concert in Dubai
Afrobeat music stars Rema and Omah Lay performed at the Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai on Friday night. A large and diverse crowd turned out to see the two perform live.
Rema has gained popularity in the region with his song Calm Down, which became the first to reach No 1 on the inaugural Official Mena Chart, a regional music chart that was launched in Saudi Arabia in November last year. It also has become one of the most streamed Afrobeats songs on YouTube, with 369 million views since it was released in February last year.
The Nigerian artist appeared on stage inside a vintage red London telephone booth, then stepped out of it carrying a giant brown teddy bear on his back.
He started off with some of his slower songs, and one or two people in the crowd seemed perplexed, but they did not have to wait too long as Rema turned up the energy.
Soon, everyone was on their feet as he raised the tempo with songs such as Dumebi and Iron Man. The audience sang along with the star during his performance of the hit song Calm Down.
Rema spoke about how the region has a special place in his heart and took time to thank the audience for “all the love and support” they have shown him over the years.
Earlier, Omah Lay had delivered an equally enjoyable performance.
If there was any doubt about his energy, these were dispelled at the concert as the Nigerian artist leapt about on the stage so much that he occasionally had to pull up his designer tracksuit bottoms.
Lay’s smooth and soulful melodies, You and Bad Influence have earned him a dedicated fan base, but it was the thumping tracks Understand and Mess that had the audience calling for more as he moved on to other fan favourites, including the hit Ku Lo Sa.
With a DJ who also served as his hype-man on stage, Lay’s set had an entirely different feel from Rema, who performed with a live band.
But the absence of the band did not make it any less intimate as the singer took time to talk to the crowd and ask questions in-between songs.
Both artists gave solid performances and it almost felt as if the concert was over too soon as the fans were dancing along to the music right until the last song.