Friday 10 February 2017

Lekker Collective + Majestic Casual Sessions: 001

Against the current world context of sociopolitical madness, any opportunity to be swaddled in good feels and lovely humans (where people from all backgrounds, places and cultures are embraced) is a welcome one – not least when musical goodness, soul foods and art appreciation are in the mix.

Last weekend's Lekker session supplied aaall the goods. Created by extra talented lady queen Donna Arendse – and with the support of her three-woman team of fellow lady queens – Lekker Collective is, in Donna's words, "a family of musicians and creatives working with music." Sidestepping the mainstream music industry's often fickle and superficial nature, the Lekker crew goes far beyond surface level when it comes to supporting rising artists. 

As the "Collective" segment of the name suggests, Lekker exudes a familial, inclusive vibe that in turn has attracted – and continues to attract – lovely likeminded types with a mutual appreciation for musical and spiritual realness. And the offline events epitomise this entirely. 

Hosted in Neukölln's aesthetically-on-point Studio Chérie, the sweet Sunday session was bigger, but no less intimate than Lekker's earlier offerings. The afternoon kicked off casually with an abundant selection of homemade foods (lentil dhal and banana bread were involved), keenly priced drinks, a stellar playlist and good conversation. 

Far from pretentious or intimidatingly "cool," the crowd was made up of open, diverse and stylish-in-their-own-way individuals who – rather than constantly looking at their phones – were largely focused on the people in front of their faces. When the first act, Hugh, took to the neon-lit stage, Donna politely hinted the need to shhh during the performance – a little r-e-s-p-e-c-t for the artists please. From the off, the London-based group had an infectiously uplifting energy, with meaningful lyrics and killer moves to boot. 

After a 30 minute break to have a drink, chat and eat some more, it was the turn of another talented group hailing from the UK: Lyves. Made up of four multi-instrumental friends (feat. powerhouse female lead Francesca), the band provided yet another fix of soulful, feel-good sounds and deservedly earned the warmest of receptions from the crowd in return. The evening finished up with an afterparty set by Berlin-based SugaBoy, who mixed tune after tune (after tune etc.) – the dance floor full of energy, but with enough room to actually move.

While the event was grounded in the quality music being showcased, it was very much an all-encompassing celebration of art, style and creativity – from the beautiful exhibition of illustrator Niti Marcelle Mueth to the cute display of fresh Lekker merch, which was also launched on the night. 

In other words: If Lekker Collective represents the future of the music industry, I'm listening.

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