Donaeo XOYO

Donae'o XOYO review - the joy and power of his first headline show

“I promise I’m going to be more consistent this time,” those were the words echoed by Donae’o during his debut headline show. This statement rang true as most would say that was one of the drawbacks of being a Donae’o fan. He would release banger after banger, but at quite a sporadic pace. However, things are looking to change if you go by his stellar gig at London’s XOYO.

It is hard to believe that Donae’o is standing on the edge of clocking in 15 years in the music business. It seems like only yesterday he dropped “Devil In A Blue Dress” and “Party Hard”. Fast forward to 2017 and we find an artist continuing to find intriguing and innovative ways to captivate fans. Whether he’s creating solo bangers or delivering memorable guest spots on your favourite artist's tunes, Donae’o proves that he’s here to stay.

While it's surprising that this was his first ever headline show, especially considering his lengthy career, it’s clear that it was actually perfect timing. Having inked a major record deal with Island Records, announced a forthcoming album, and with an arsenal of bangers up his sleeve, 2017 is prepped to be a career-defining year for the revered musician. Offering up a two-hour-plus show that spanned his solo material as well as his prolific features, check out some of the highlights below: 

Donaeo’s set list was jam-packed

With new music in the pipeline, there was some expectation that we may miss out on hearing some of our all-time, favourite Donae'o cuts. But he made sure that wasn’t the case, and you could tell as he made sure the audience was treated to performances of hits including “Devil In A Blue Dress”, “Mami No Like” and “Black”.

Donae’o got a little help from his friends

Of course, Donae’o stole the show, but he was eager to share the love. Shortly after taking the stage, Donae’o brought out Lethal Bizzle to perform their 2009 hit “Go Hard”. “I just want to say that this guy right here [Donae’o] is one of the most talented guys I’ve ever worked with,” Lethal said. Towards the end of his set, he also invited Princess Nyah, Gracious Kay and more to share the stage for a sick performance. 

The pacing was perfect

Given how insatiably energised he appeared throughout the entire affair, it didn’t feel at all like he was blowing smoke during his fiery, high-octane set, which drew overpoweringly loud, all-in chants during highlights “Party Hard” and “African Warrior”.

First-play on new music

There’s nothing better about going to a show and hearing an exclusive track. Donae’o got the crowd hyped when he offered the first taste of his new single “Whole Life” featuring Fredo. And judging by the crowd's reaction, Donae’o has a future hit on his hands. 

Download 'Whole Life' featuring Fredo on iTunes

Photo Credit: Joshua Simpson


Adenike Gboyega