“Boy your love takes me to wonderland. I will follow you right down the rabbit hole.”
This is a line from one of the original songs written by the extremely beautiful and talented Efe Oraka who performed at the February edition of Bantu Sessions held on the 25th of February. The lyrics of that song were the theme of the night as Efe took the crowd on a roller coaster of a ride with her performances and we all felt ourselves falling down a rabbit hole and wishing the fall would continue to go on forever.
A hush fell upon the crowd every single time she opened her mouth, whether it was to speak or to sing, and the lighting which was trained on her as well as the resonance of the microphone and sound system helped to create a feeling of calm, of reverence.
Every member of the audience found themselves sitting on colorful cushions spread across the floors, or the many wooden benches scattered across the ground floor of Bantu Studio or tucked into corners but no discomfort was felt as the soothing, powerful and uplifting nature of Efe’s voice was enough comfort. With every crest of her voice, she took the audience up to the very rafters and beyond and I know most people left her performance feeling rocked to their very core.
This charming young lady captured us with her magnificent voice, prowess at the guitar, and her glowing personality. She performed crowd favorites such as Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen, Put Your Records On by Corinne Bailey Rae and Self Control by Frank Ocean, as well as original songs such as Sleep, Comfort Food, Wonderland and Intercession. She completely enthralled the audience with her voice and stage presence and spent the breaks between songs further drawing us in with her jokes and charming wit. During one of such breaks, she asked the crowd, “Do you guys really like my songs or is it just because I’m a fine girl?” to which every single person cracked up.
The beautiful 17 year old has a voice and personality that belies her age and her appearance. Everything about her speaks of softness and gentleness at first glance until she has a chance to speak. She was seated at the front and center of the room on a raised platform of colorful cushions with a guitar in her arms and an inviting smile on her face, poised and ready to make the entire room fall in love with her which she proceeded to do with every word, note and gesture. You could feel her passion literally emanate from her as she radiated like an absolute superstar. It was all in all a very spiritual experience and one I feel everyone should be blessed with as often as possible.
By the end of the night, everyone could see that, really and truly, Efe Can Sing.