By Jordan Yeager
VANCOUVER – There are few artists worthy of braving an all-ages, dry nightclub venue to see perform, and rising hip-hop star Aminé is one of them. The multi-talented rapper, singer, and songwriter kicked off Seasons Fest with not one, but two shows after his initial Vancouver date quickly sold out – a testament to the strength of his premiere studio album, Good For You.
Aminé’s ascent to success has been a relatively rapid one. After teasing tastes of his sanguine style with two mixtapes (Odyssey to Me and Calling Brio) and an EP (En Vogue) released between 2014 and 2015, Good For You took on a life of its own, fusing new wave hip-hop with experimental pop melodies. In a market often saturated by moodiness and gloom, tracks like “Wedding Crashers” and his first-ever single, “Caroline” (which has been certified triple platinum), have refreshingly catchy, feel-good lyrics underscored by production that makes you want to move.
Aminé’s March 27 show stood apart for a number of reasons. He opened with a request: put the cell phones away and live in the moment. For the most part, the crowd honoured his wishes, making for an unusually screen-free view of the stage – luxury. He went on to perform nearly the entirety of Good For You, even throwing in “Baba,” “REDMERCEDES,” and an unreleased track for good measure.
Small venues have their perks, and this one contributed to an almost cozy atmosphere filled by the voices of fans singing along to each and every lyric. People got especially excited when Aminé broke out into a rendition of TLC’s “No Scrubs,” and even more so when he followed his own track “Spice Girl” with a cover of The Spice Girls’ “Wannabe.” To further emphasize his quirky, upbeat presence, Aminé interjected call-and-responses with the audience throughout his set: “When I say ‘You’re beautiful,’ you say ‘I know.’”
The colour yellow isn’t only emblematic of his album – it also represents the sheer glee and energy he radiates, particularly onstage. The show was a memorable start to Seasons Fest, and a solid conclusion to the Canadian leg of his tour.