It has been a while since I uploaded any posts and I apologize from the depths of my soul. Let’s just say (on a more positive note) my silence means that I have gathered enough experiences to blog about for the next 2 weeks……YAY!!!!!! With that said, the difficulty now lies in picking what experience to share first. The luck of the draw has landed on Thursday. So we shall be blogging about an awesome Thursday experience. If you’ve followed my blog since the beginning of this trip you might have put 2 and 2 together and guessed that it might be another Bogobiri moment or something related. Yes and No!!! So yes, it is music related (10 cool points for you 😉 😉 ) and no, it has nothing to do with Bogobiri, but you can read up on my experience HERE.
One of the things I learnt pretty early on this trip, is that in Lagos, you have to create your own fun especially if you’re not the clubbing/partying type. Knowing the introverted and chilled nature surrounding my being, I instantly started finding things to do that were fun, new to me and more importantly indoors since the Lagos heat didn’t want me to be great….lol. While in the process of creating my own fun, I stumbled on an Instagram post that literally changed the feel of my summer vacation. The post was by Afro Jazz guitarist Femi Leye and all the poster needed to tell me was that there was going to be an acoustic session in a coffee shop. I flipped out because since I’d been back, I hadn’t had coffee. Now, i’m not an addict or anything, but Starbucks’s white chocolate mocha every other morning just put me in the right mood oh and of course the barista who looked like J Cole, but that’s besides the point. So yeah I like coffee, but what i like more is the good and authentic Nigerian music that comes from the talented maestro, Femi Leye.
Quick inside story: about a year ago or so, I had stumbled on a sound cloud link to a song called Smile. I was on my way home from the mall and so I played it on the drive home. After the first listen, I took a look at the name of the artist and it said Femi Leye. It stunned me to know that this music came from a Nigerian. This is not to say that there aren’t people doing other genres of music apart from AfroPop, but it took me off guard…….I wasn’t ready (in Kevin Hart’s voice.) The moment I got home, I decided to find this guy on Instagram because who isn’t on the gram right? I found this tall, lanky dude with a guitar and I instantly followed. This, my friends, was the beginning of our social media friendship. I had never met him before, but every time I would see he had a performance, I would die a little inside because I was miles away. So, imagine my reaction when I saw the post on Instagram that day…….. it was all over!!!! I had to be there even though my brother (going out buddy) wasn’t in the mood to do anything that evening.
I braved the Lagos streets on my own and arrived at Cafe Neo, the coffee shop. It was a cozy spot and the smell of coffee greeted me and my nostrils once I stepped in. I headed straight to the counter to get me some of that coffee. I ordered a large cafe mocha from the barista who didn’t need to look like J Cole because he had the best personality and was willing to give me extra whip cream without making a fuss. It was at this counter that I finally met the great Femi Leye in person!!!!!!!!!!! I don’t know where to begin to describe this individual and his sense of humor. I am easily amused and for the first 5 minutes, I was all laughs and giggles as he fluently transitioned between English and Jennifarian (English with the Jennifa touch.) What I was most impressed with was how open he was with me and everyone else that came to hear him play. His light hearted jokes and authentically Nigerian disposition definitely enhanced the mood in the room. He split the show into 2 sections: Covers and Originals. He did covers to ordinary people, a woman’s worth and stay with me to name a few. It didn’t matter if you knew how to sing or not, the atmosphere was so lit that you joined in the singing anyway. After all, it was all part of the experience. I sat there with my notebook writing down words that came to mind as he manipulated every part of the instrument and I shall present them to you in a special way real soon. There’s no doubt that Femi is a talented musician as every head nod to the beat and foot stomp carried us all through a musical journey. The originals like Smile and Ayo, his latest single will have you grooving non-stop. All I can tell you is that you have to experience it at least once.
Last Thursday was another great show and I got my brother to come out for this one. Let’s just say a little blackmail goes a long way……lol. He thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it though and I hope even when I leave he makes time to attend especially since he loves bubble tea and cafe neo makes awesome ones. Lest I forget, another reason why these sessions have been amazing has everything to do with the supportive music family that surrounds Femi from his manager (who murdered me while playing chess) to his friends and fellow singers, it’s just an awesome time all around. So, if you’re looking to relax after work or just meet new people, Cafe Neo off Akin Adesola on Thursday at 6pm is where it’s at. All you have to do is look out for the posters on Instagram by following:
Cafe Neo: @mycafeneo
Femi Leye: @femileye1
You can also find his songs on iTunes……….You can thank me later 🙂