LIVE REVIEW: Weyland Mckenzie
words: Amara Barrett-Willett
photos: Photos: @itsjustgillain
"Weyland’s creativity goes beyond his music."
Weyland Mckenzie’s first headline performance undoubtedly proved to everyone in the room that 2019 is going to be big for him. Weyland’s creativity goes beyond his music, shown with the acts and DJs he chose to support him, to the merchandise and selling his EP on a limited-edition USB.
Opening the show, Careless, was quite possibly one of the best supporting performances I’ve seen in a long time. Down to his stage presence, his beat selections creating a soothing vibe, alongside the honesty within his lyrics. Setting the scene of warmer days, where he is with the girl of his dreams that won’t stop stressing him out, he brought a distinct feeling of summer and enjoyment, a very needed contrast to the cold January blues outside. Look out for this guy, trust me.
Weyland came out next, after a fantastic set from the DJ. Opening with TDM, Weyland is engaging to watch, and his music lives up to this too. As he moved into 100 Tabs the energy switched. An ethereally spooky bop, the crowd couldn’t help but get involved; delivering an intimacy to the show in the best of ways.
He explained how he is extremely selective with who he works with, his debut EP Northeast only having two features. But seeing these performances live, you could really see why. Bringing out Careless for Enchanted, Weyland flexed his story telling ability, with Careless complimenting the mellow feeling of the song.
After, he introduced a very important person, Suelily, who was the other support act and feature. Performing one of his favourite songs Hold On Its Raining, the performance can only be described as what I would call ‘intimate reflection.’ Despite the high energy and busyness in the room, we somehow all had our own individual moments with them on stage. It was beautiful. Suelily then went on to take us to her ghostly dream space for the next 20 minutes. Performing unreleased tracks from her upcoming EP, she opened up her heart to the crowd and it was well received.
She managed to bring the audience into her world for that short performance and I have no doubts that this EP will take us even further. The ability to blend emotions, both happy and sad with real life experiences translated extremely well.
Weyland McKenzie came out shortly after the end of Suelily’s performance, outfit changed, silk headscarf on and ready to flex. Performing Navigation, he delivered his signature flow, and displayed his undeniable lyrical ability. Ends 16 is his ode to Stoke Newington. Blunt and upfront about the realities of growing up in ends with rapid gentrification, Weyland touched on a topic most people in the audience could relate to. This is one of the reasons he is so amazing. He tells the stories, both good and bad, that loads of us have lived through, whilst making it enjoyable to listen to at the same time.
The show ended with a promise to enjoy the rest of the night with the audience and a performance of Leave. The perfect way to end the show, giving the audience energy, passion and a sweet little shoulder bop for his final song of the night.
What a start to 2019 Weyland McKenzie has had. And it's very obvious it's only going to get better for him. Take my advice and listen to Northeast, so you can enjoy and experience too.