Fatimah Warner – better know as Noname – came into my life when I was on one of those late night music searches. You know the ones that start with you deciding that none of your current music is cutting it and ends with you finding a song that sends you into an out-of-body experience due to it hitting you right in the *feels*. Well Chicago rapper Noname and her song ‘Diddy Pop’ did that for me on warm November evening in 2016. A little over a year later, she’s in Australia showcasing her incredible blend of spoken word, rapping and hip hop beats to a live audience at The Triffid.
Staying towards the back like I usually do, I watched Noname and her band grace the stage to a loud cheer from the audience. With a cute but sly smile, she wasted no time jumping into her set. She made her way through her debut release ‘Telefone’ but changed the songs here and there so not to bore the audience. There were a few mishaps and timing issues but they were saved usually by Fatimah laughing them off or cracking self-deprecating jokes, actually turning the mistakes into some of the highlights of the evening.
Another highlight of the evening was her talent of including an audience. Gigs sometimes are often just that, gigs, and you come away happy that you have heard one of your favourite albums live but you don’t feel like you were a part of the artist’s experience or you don’t feel as though you know the artist any better. Noname was chatting with the audience, getting us singing an underlying melody, rapping some lines and it really did make all the difference.
My only complaint throughout the night was that I wasn’t as blown away with her rapping skills as I was with her lyric writing skills. I found her backing vocalist was carrying the melody a lot more than she was and her rapping seemed to be drowned by that sometimes but there are plenty of artists, e.g. Lorde (one of the biggest touring acts right now), that shine a lot more in their writing than they do with their unpolished representation of the album on stage. It’s definitely not a bad thing and doesn’t necessarily make or break the gig.
All in all the show was fantastic, her band was great, Noname as a person was much more commanding and confident in herself than I expected her to be andit all made for a great night. Walking out of The Triffid and onto the street to head home, there was that great buzz that a group of punters get after an awesome show. It was the buzz that oozed of inspiration and pure bliss and really, what more could you want?