Supporting him in his pursuit to make it big in the music industry, Ady Suleiman has most definitely got the backing of his city. Packing out Rescue Rooms, a charged crowd waited in anticipation for the return the city’s emerging talent.
Having first seen Ady perform in the tiny Jam Cafe just over a year ago, playing to a crowd of about 40 people, preparing to watch him perform in this setting already felt very different. The staging was simple, blacked out apart from Ady’s name and logo, which was hung across the back wall. A white light was fixed on the mic and we were excited to hear him sing again, expecting incredible things from his life-changing year.
Heavily influenced by soul, reggae, jazz and RnB music, Suleiman’s distinctive tone and honest lyrics have gained him recognition beyond Nottingham’s local music scene; performing at Brownswood Basement courtesy of Gilles Peterson and linking with George the Poet to demo their track “Don’t Need You” in the studio. Ady followed his signing with Sony with the release of his first EP, ‘What’s the Score’. Hispanic, acoustic melodies, authentic, relatable lyrics and an underplayed feature from Joey Bada$$, all contributing to the success of this debut release. With his recent feature on Chance the Rapper’s ‘Surf’ album and growing friendship with fellow emerging talent Loyle Carner, we are begging for a collaboration.
As soon as Ady stepped onto the stage the crowd came alive. A Nottingham boy through and through, Suleiman appeared wearing the funkiest shirt and appeared overwhelmed and overjoyed at his hometown turn-out.
From the start, Suleiman commanded the entire stage and the attention of his audience. He opened with ‘Running Away’, backed smoothly by his band. Seemingly effortlessly, his incredible remained the focus of his performance, integrating rifts and rap, walking from one side of the stage to other.
He treated the crowd to the favourites; ‘So Lost’, ‘What’s the Score’, ‘State of Mind’, and gave his guitarist, fellow artist and Notts boy, Edward Black, a shout out on ‘The Beep’. Slipping a couple of reminiscent throw-back tracks in and slowing things down with his performance of ‘Need Somebody’, we were also lucky enough to hear a sic new track from the forthcoming album, “When we were f***ing”
Our main, and perhaps only, criticism of the performance was its length. With doors opening at 6.30pm and Suleiman not appearing till 9pm, I was left waiting for some kind of encore when Suleiman left the stage after just 45 minutes.
Having said that, if my only complaint is I wanted to listen to him for longer, then maybe that’s not something to be too worried about.
We found him a little later in the smoking area, chatting to and taking photos with fans, and saying hello to old faces who have watched him grow as a musician and artist. I had the chance to chat to him for a bit, and his genuineness became very apparent. He’s still just a young guy after all, looking to release music that resonates with people and makes them happy.
All in all, if Suleiman can bring the same energy and funk that he has in abundance at his live shows, coupled with an odd feature here and there, his forthcoming album could potentially be one to push his success into the mainstream spotlight.