Mahalia’s Corner just keeps getting better.
Last Sunday night, the orange-haired songbird Nikita gave the sold out crowd at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre ‘one moment in time’ and boy, wasn’t it a spectacular one. If you missed it, you missed one remarkable show.
Nikita, decked out in a stunning floor length gown, belted out ballad after ballad while showcasing her incredible vocal ability. She had the crowd hanging on to every note as she sang and even brought tears from many in the audience.
She began her set with Walking in the Park and from there it was smooth sailing, high notes and praise, right through until the end. She followed up with covers of Smile and Not Afraid, showing the versatility in her vocal range. She then followed up with her original song Hold On.
Nikita’s rendition of Listen was near perfect. Her range was spectacular and if goose bumps didn’t raise on your skin after witnessing her performance, then you must not have been listening. Following that rendition, audience members with tear filled eyes rose to their feet to applaud the orange-haired songbird.
Her rendition of One Moment in Time, originally done by the late great Whitney Houston, was truly amazing. Nikita raised the roof with that performance and the audience loved every moment of it.
She then took the audience to church with her rendition of John Yarde’s Here Right Now. Yarde joined her on stage for this performance of the song off his latest album.
Nikita revealed that this was the song that kept her grounded and focused during the 2017 Crop Over season when she faced some trials and tribulations. After an impromptu performance with her mom Veronica, dad John and younger brother Jabari, it was clear to see or hear rather where she got her remarkable talent. As Nikita put in raw Bajan, “everybody in my family cud sing . . . everybody’.
The quartet performed the love song, The Rose, even harmonized right through, while some of her extended family, the famous Leacocks, cheered from the audience.
Of course, she could not come on the Corner and not sing her soca hits. She encouraged the audience to get up out their seats and dance with her, to which a few complied. She sang Tequila, and her 2016 hit Bun It Up.
It was like one big choir when she belted out Carry Festival, which won her second place in this year’s Sweet Soca competition. She ended her performance with the song, which got her 2017 Crop Over season off to a rocky start. But based on the reaction of the crowd to the song and the way they sang along, the only question left to ask was: ‘what controversy?’
While Nikita’s set alone would have easily been enough that night, the Corner was filled with much more exciting thrills and surprises. Nicholas Brancker was a welcome surprise and soothed the crowd with his delivery of a gospel hymn on his bass guitar.
Performers in the Open Mic segment — Kenya Joseph, Larix, Vanessa, New World Nation, Lee Phillips, Danielle Taylor, Michael Trotman and Dawn — should all be commended for a job well done, seeing the array of talent on stage.
Another surprise and a first in the history of Mahalia’s Corner was having a 14-year-old, Skye Yearwood, perform. She did well in her performance of Rihanna’s Shine Bright like a Diamond.
Spotlight artiste Sharleen Morris, who is also a former member of Operation Triple Threat, did an excellent rendition of her two songs. Also performing was the house band 2 Mile Hill which, as usual, gave a good account of themselves.
The season finale comes off this coming Sunday and will feature regional soca princess, Patrice Roberts.