Omah Lay’s Tiny Desk Concert Was His Subtle Stamping As Afrobeats Rising Star, Across The Diaspora

When you think about the global music genre Afrobeats, who is the first act that comes to mind? Well, if Omah Lay wasn’t the first name to leave your lips, the Nigerian recording artist is working towards changing that. Making his Tiny Desk Concert series debut, the “Attention” singer put his best foot forward with a harmonious performance of his biggest tracks.

After finding success in 2020, thanks to his song, “Bad Influence,” which went on to be the most-streamed Nigerian song on Apple Music, Omah was sure to lead off his brief set with it. However, before transitioning onto the next track, which was “I’m A Mess,” he took a moment to introduce his band and supporting vocalists.

The musicians supporting Omah included guitarist Ernest “Subroza” Osei-Bonsu, keyboardist Donald Crentsil, drummer Kwabena Kyeremeh Adade, percussionist Leroy “Boogie” Greer, and bassist Steve Millar, while Domo Abrams and Monet Shelton provided background vocals. Speaking with the attentive in-studio audience, Omah said, “These boys are from Ghana, I’m from Nigeria, and the ladies [the background vocalists] are from America. So, my band is a mixture of it all.”

Songs “Soso,” “Never Forget, ” and a medley of “Infinity,” “Bend You,” and “Understand” close out his set. Quite a few of Omah’s fan-favorite tracks were notably missing from the set, including “Woman,” “Confession,” and “Damn,” the latter of which has been covered by 6lack. But to be fair, with so many songs to choose from, some just weren’t going to make the cut.

Watch Omah Lay’s full performance above.

Omah Lay is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.