Airtel/ Buckwyld ‘n’ Breathless Concert: Tuface lifted Away and Beyond

Posted: May 10, 2012 in art/entertainment

Monday, April 30, indeed, was an unusual night marked by wholesome excitement, creativity, fun, star performances and inspirational entertainment at the Expo Hall of the Eko Hotels and Suites, Lagos, when served as venue for both this year’s edition of Buckwyld ‘n’ Breathless Concert as well as the much-anticipated fifth album launch of Nigeria’s leading Rhythm and Blues/Hip Hop celebrity, Innocent ‘Tuface’ Idibia.

On another level it was also a night that top telecommunications firm in Nigeria, Airtel Nigeria, night led a host of friends, associates and music lovers to Idibia’s solo performance as the singer also doubles as the brand ambassador to the telecommunications giant. Succinctly put, Airtel lifted Tuface Away and Beyond.

The event which started with a red carpet was a big hit throughout the over fours it lasted with fans, friends and associates of the African Queen crooner treated to thrilling tunes complemented by the welcoming ambience of the massive hall.

The night was also a high one for the fans as Airtel Nigeria provided them with platforms to experience the exciting features on its foremost value offerings for the Nigerian youth, Club 10 Hook.

Speaking on Airtel’s partnership with 2face on the concert, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director, Airtel Nigeria, Deepak Srivastava expressed delight at the company’s support for its brand ambassador and one of the greatest artistes from Africa.

While drawing the link between Airtel’s Club 10 Hook musical platform and the concert, Srivastava noted that the innovative offering was designed to excite, engage and reward talented Nigerian youth as well as create credible reward platforms for them.

“Nigerians love music; they are trendy, social and innovative. With the launch of Club 10 Hook, we want to offer our customers excitement and enjoyment; and the unique opportunity to develop their talent and also enjoy a taste of stardom. We believe the Buckwyld N Breathless concert serves our vision right, and we are proud to be associated with it,” said Srivastava.

Tuface Idibia, who led the park of performers for the night, took the occasion to announce for the umpteen time his engagement to Annie Macaulay on whom he placed a crown while performing on stage the hit, “ African Queen”. Incidentally, the pair performed the single in its debut video.

Performing from his latest album, Away and Beyond, Tuface, showed why he is above his contemporaries around the African continent, and has enjoyed more accolades from the international music community than any of his contemporaries.

The audience was also treated to collaborative efforts with Tuface and MI (Mr. Incredible), Vector, Kass, Sound Sultan, and W4 and Sound Sultan. There was also a reminiscence of the Plantashun Boyz days as the trio of Tuface, Faze and Blackface took to the stage somewhat reminding the fans of what a great loss the breaking up of the group had cost Nigerian music industry.

Aside the collaborations, ace Afro Juju maestro, Sir Shina Peters showed a glimpse of his old self with a cameo appearance.

The concert was a continuation of the breathtaking production that fans have come to associate with Tu face and the Buckwyld N Breathless brand. The first of the series which held on September 26, 2010 was a well-attended concert with fantastic reviews for the sheer energy and captivating nature of the deliberate performances and the impeccable choreography put together by Tuface and his support cast.

The second edition held on November 6, 2011at the O2 Arena in London, a concert which is still talked about in glowing terms in the English capital.

Notable personalities at the event include: Senator Florence Ita-Giwa; Super Eagles and Rubin Kazan forward, Obafemi Martins; IK of the Big Brother Africa fame; Radio presenter, Yaw; Stand-Up Comedian, Basket Mouth; musicians Sir Shina Peters, Weird MC, MI, Sound Sultan, Faze, Vector, W4 and Blackface.

Tuface Idibia remains one of the most popular artistes on the African music scene, if not the most popular, going by international awards scooped up so far. Emerging from the late 90’s hip hop group Plantashun Boyz, the man has neither looked back nor taken his foot off the pedal of success as a solo recording artiste.

The market credibility of Mr. Innocent Ugah ‘Tu Face’ Idibia far outshines and outweighs the rather ironical case of being always the most favoured comic material for stand-up comedians in the country.

We may as well live it, TuFace is presently the most decorated Nigerian contemporary music recording artiste, if not in all genres, in terms of awards collected in his near one decade reign as a solo recording artiste in the Nigerian Afro Hip Hop and R&B scene.

Indeed, TuFace has (rather unfairly) been on the receiving end of materials and subject for stand-up comedians in the country, in just the same way as he has turned a perfect illustration for critics point to the negative reputation of Nigerian contemporary when the discourse is the negative trends in Nigerian music and  Nigerian musicians.

However, unfazed by the barrage of criticisms, this Okpokwu local government area of Benue State-bred singer has opted to seek other climes to promote his music and lifestyle by embracing the international music industry; the rewards being the international release of his current album and the attendant windfall of awards that has seemingly followed suit.

Idibia who attended Mount Saint Gabriel’s Secondary School in Makurdi, Benue State dropped out of the Institute of Management & Technology, IMT, Enugu, one of the country’s foremost higher institutions of learning where he did his preliminary National Diploma course in Business Administration.

His major breakthrough in the IMT was composing and singing the jingles in the famous radio show GB Fan Club in Enugu State Broadcasting Services (ESBS) in 1996. He then relocated to Lagos and joined up with his ex-IMT and ex-Mount Saint Gabriel’s mate BlackFace along with Faze to form Plantashun Boyz. He started calling himself “2Face” in 1996. “The name to me just refers to the outside and inside: when you first see me you see the outside but when you get to know me, you see the inside,” he said in an interview with the BBC.

Tuface recently released two lead off singles from the international version of his Unstoppable album and is the first Nigerian artist to have an appropriately priced international album. He is also reported to have recorded a single with Mary J. Blige.

In 2010 with his Unstoppable album (The Intl. Edition) he won 2 awards at the 2010 Sound City Music Video Awards (SMVA).. He is the lead vocalist of the Sony All African 08 Project alongside 7 other stars across Africa recording their first singles with R. Kelly and Prince Lee titled Hands Across The World.

Aside from running his own record label known as Hypertek after leaving Kennis Music, the artist has established the Tuface Idibia Foundation, which is into charity. In December 2010, the foundation collaborated with the Hands Project International for an Aids charity dinner. His show held at the expo center was the best of its kind, as it featured all the notable Nigerian artists, particularly 9ice, Dbanj and P-Square.

So far, TuFace has in his collection, awards like the: Best Song of the Year 2005 G.C.E International Awards; Musician of The Year (2006) The Future Awards; A.M.E.N Awards (2004) for Best Male Vocalist, Song of the Year, Best New Act Male, Best Video; Best Male Vocalist 2002 Affinity Awards; Song of the decade for 2007 African Queen- Nigerian Music Awards; Best African Act 2007 MOBO (Music of Black Origin) Awards UK; Hip Hop Awards for-Best R&B album, Best R&B male; Best African Act Australian African Awards (2008); Best selling Nigerian Artist – World Music Awards 2008, Monaco, Spain; Channel ‘O’ Music Video Awards for Best Male Video, Best African Video of the Year, Best African Act, and Most Gifted Western African.

Others include: Youth Ambassador for Peace- Universal Federation for World Peace from the Nigerian International Youth Award- National Youth Council of Nigeria; Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations’ World Food Programme; First non-Liberian to become an honorary member of the Liberian Music Society; Best R&B at MTV Africa Music Awards 2009; Artist of the Year – MTV Africa Music Awards 2010; Best Male –MTV Africa Music Awards 2010; World Music Awards 2008 for Best Selling Nigerian Artist.

The list is by no means exhausted as there are also several others in the kitty of this massively creative young Nigerian contemporary music exponent.

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