Words Joelle Reid

With the well anticipated release of his sophomore album ‘East Atlanta Love Letter’, singer and rapper 6lack came to Auckland to showcase his impressive vocals at the Powerstation.

6lack (pronounced ‘Black’) recently hit mainstream waves with a feature on the Khalid song ‘OTW’. But his own music has a more alternative feel tinged with a strong R&B and Rap flavour. It was interesting to see the crowd reciprocated well to the more pop-y songs as well as his underground sound.

An outstanding aspect of the concert was the work of 6lack’s vocals which often hide behind auto tune on his studio tracks. Although that has become part of his definitive style, the natural no-effects aided side to his music was refreshing. To compliment his strings was a talented live band. I have to give an honorary mention to the drum and piano solos which were impressive in their own right.

The crowd had a few lulls in energy- maybe due to some of 6lack’s more slow, serenading work of songs- or simply because it was a Thursday night. But he had a stage presence which brought the crowd back to life. In one particular moment he egged at the crowd “Right now we are at an 8, let’s get it to a 10!”. Followed by getting the crowd to wave simultaneously, him taking his shirt off, and the everybody- holding-up-their-phone-torches trope – natch.

Quite a few songs went down well with the audience in which loyal fans were seen everywhere singing along including the moody synth of ‘Switch’ and also ‘Free’. But, everyone pushed for an encore in hope that he would eventually play his breakthrough song PRBLMS (2016). When he did, there was a collective excitement and relief that the desired jam was played. What a tease, but oh, what a night