Guvna B is one of the leading Christian artists of the day. He’s had an album at the top of the official Christian and Gospel charts and has performed to crowds of thousands at festivals such as Soul Survivor and Big Church Day Out. Following our interview with him earlier in the month, this bonfire night, Guvna B bought his original brand of positive rap music to the Lemmy.
Shine 2015 was run by the NOOMA society. It may not have been the largest crowd that the Guvna has ever performed to, but it was certainly one of the most enthusiastic. Before the main act’s arrival, DJ Kelechi got the crowd going with a mixture of club music and urban Christian tunes. It already felt as if the place was full by the time I was pulled from the bar (where I was enjoying a mocktail as part of the event’s Christian ethos) by screaming and shouts of “the Guvna has arrived”.
Guvna B’s stage presence is truly something to behold. From the start he was casual and chatty with the crowd; it felt as though he was here to party with us rather than to perform. He spoke about growing up in East London and (having Ghanaian parents himself) gave shout outs to various African countries. The crowd clearly related to him, and I was able to see the deep cultural importance that someone like Guvna B has to those Christians who have a similar background and face similar hardships to the man himself.
The music definitely went down well too. Highlights included ‘Whoever Said’, the lyrics to which are “Whoever said you couldn’t do it, whoever said you couldn’t change the world, whoever said you’d never make it, whoever said it was impossible, we bout to do it right now”. As a student with a lot of debt on the way and very little idea what I want to do next, the message of this song was definitely an encouraging one, and Guvna B seemed very aware of his audience’s situation.
A brand new song, ‘Nothing but the Blood’, gave a clear Christian message and created an atmosphere of worship in the venue, while proving that his new album is likely to be just as epic as his previous chart-topping record. And of course he finished with everyone’s favourite song ‘Kingdom Skank’, introducing a new version of the old classic. This final performance really summed up the show. Both performer and crowd were full of energy, and the Guvna still sounded great as he led the Skank (a two-tone dance) throughout the venue.
Overall the evening was great fun. The music was of a high quality and the room was so full of energy that my friends and I couldn’t help but take our questionable moves onto the dancefloor. Throughout the night, the positive message of hope, love and ultimately salvation remained central to his performance. I went away feeling encouraged, worn out and very excited to see what the Guvna’s new album Secret World will bring!