There are those who perform and then there are those who inspire, move and captivate. At the launch party for the Tired of Being Broke Tour, which is supported by the Rita Marley Foundation, KAMEKO exemplified all of the aforementioned with a powerful set. An artistic and sophisticated audience from the entertainment, business and nonprofit industries gathered at New York’s National Black Theatre of Harlem.
The scent of sage, dim lights, live band and the smoky-voiced delivery of spoken word artist Maluwa created an intimate and warm setting for KAMEKO’s vocals to soar. And soar they did, as he wailed the line, “We going home,” before appearing from behind African drapery like a messenger sent to return his people to the Motherland. After the introduction, KAMEKO certainly made everyone feel like they were home with the opening song, “Free,” about embracing one’s individualism. The rock-inspired chorus led the crowd to chant “free.”
During “No More War,” the crowd waved their hands in the air in support of the lyric’s anti-war message. It’s not often you get strangers to hold hands but the rare moment was captured during KAMEKO’s spiritual interlude. With humility and grace he chanted “thank you,” as his background singers skillfully went from whispers to falsettos and the band took it to church.
The night appropriately ended with the tour’s title song, “Tired of Being Broke.” There wasn’t one person in the crowd who could not relate to the song as KAMEKO reminded them that everyone has a struggle in life. It was also a call to action to remember the plight of those suffering in third world countries. If the energy KAMEKO brought to his set is any indication of what he will deliver to the impoverished villages he is set to tour in Africa, then he will have proven that music can heal, inspire and take you home. –souleo