Just because it’s a virtual experience this year doesn’t mean the artists hitting the stage at the ESSENCE Festival of Culture presented by Coca-Cola aren’t still bringing the same flavor to their performances.
First up was Raiche, who kicked off her performance at week 1 of the Festival’s ESSENCE After Dark stage with a sultry take on her single, “Funeral.” She later transitioned into “Drive,” before moving into a melodic performance and outfit change for “Simple.” The 25-year-old starlet closed out her set with her latest single, “Pick A Side.” Tune into the video below to watch Raiche’s full performance.
Up next was Mumu Fresh, who performed her single “North Star” with a special feature from D Smoke. The song opened up with a disclaimer about a sailor by the name of Peg Leg Joe. According to the tale disclosed in the introduction, the sailor would travel from plantation to plantation to teach slaves a song that embedded instructions to freedom by following the Big Dipper. If you followed the North Star, that would lead you up North to a freer nation.
Executive produced by the Grammy®–nominated singer, songwriter and rapper herself, the video follows a Black family in a pre-Civil War dated period. The groundbreaking visual connects the dots between the Black experience then versus being Black in America now, using the metaphor of a “north star” as a spiritual guiding through unprecedented times. For Mumu Fresh’s full performance, check out the video below.
Performing hits from her sophomore album Coping Mechanisms, Tayla Parx brought all the vocal rangers and vibes to close out week 1 of the ESSENCE After Dark experience, accompanied by two colorful background dancers. Kicking off her sett with “System” and a psychedelic funk dance break with live instrumentation, Parx understood the assignment from beginning to end. Her performance also included her hit single “Fixerupper,” party anthem “Bricks,” and a special acoustic version of “Dance Alone, which came out earlier this year. Check out the full performance above.
For more of everything you missed at week 1 of the 2021 ESSENCE Festival of Culture After Dark experience, click HERE. Be sure to tune in to our week 2 performances beginning Friday, July 2 at 10:00PM EST on ESSENCEStudios.com.