Updated: Apr 21
The year is 2020, and although I can’t vividly recall, I do know that I’m locked in. With my Bluetooth headphones on, bumping my usual intricately crafted music playlists, curated by me, as I allow each song to drift me away on another euphoric journey. After all, this is just who I am and always was from as young as I can remember. Headphones in, emulating a DJ of some sort (that’s where the playlists come in…until I grow the balls to pull out some turntables for real), finding peace in my own little world. On this day, in particular, the playlist came to an end and Spotify did its thing. You know what thing I’m talking about. “Playlist radio based on [Insert Playlist Title]”. Normally, anyone smacking me in the face with a load of suggestions when I’m not quite fully prepared might leave me startled but this particular feature happens to be one of my favorite things about Spotify and it has introduced me to a lot of talented artists that I otherwise may not have been exposed to. At this moment, I was introduced to R&B songstress, Snoh Aalegra and I never looked back.
The song that played was “Find Someone Like You” off her third album, “-Ugh, those feels again”. At my first listen, I remember thinking “this singer sounds a lot like Brandy”. From the raspiness in her voice to the vocal arrangements I instantly drew comparisons as Brandy is my favorite R&B singer. I later found out that Brandy is one of Snoh’s biggest inspirations and in her 2019 interview with Paper Magazine, Snoh mentioned that Brandy’s “Never Say Never” album is the album that taught her how to sing. Impressed by the Brandy influences, lyrics, and song topic, I felt compelled to dig deeper into Snoh’s catalog and grew to become a fan.
Snoh’s music, in my opinion, is bringing back an almost “quiet storm” feel to the genre of R&B that is also reminiscent of artists such as Sade, to whom Snoh is often compared. While her music gives off a refined and soulful old-school aura, there’s still a modern-day touch to it, especially lyrically. Songs like “Situationship” and “Indecisive” are well written and heavily relatable for audiences navigating love and dating in our current day society. The further I dug into Snoh’s catalog the more impressed I became and often thought to myself, “ I would love to experience these beautiful songs live one day”. Thanks to my husband, those thoughts would become a reality. He gifted me with a ticket to see Snoh Aalegra live at the iconic NYC landmark, Radio City Music Hall and it was truly a pleasant experience.
This tour, in particular, is inspired by Snoh’s most recent album release, “Temporary Highs In the Violet Skies” and featured performances of most of the tracks off that album in addition to fan favorites from her previous albums. As soon the stage curtains ascended, Snoh was met with an audience ready to fully immerse themselves in the experience. The show kicked off with the midtempo banger, “Situationship” which prompted audience members to get up on their feet and sway to the sounds of Snoh’s vocals and her live band. With no background singers or dancers, Snoh held her own by blessing the stage with her grace, precise vocals, and immaculate breath control. I was personally wowed by how smooth she sounded live and found her performances to be even more enjoyable than the recordings themselves. She displayed far more range than I was aware of, which has made me even more of a fan.
In addition to seamless vocals, Snoh moved the crowd with her sheer elegance. Performing in a silver-studded jumpsuit, coupled with her signature high ponytail, her presence alone was enough to command the affection of a crowd that continued to chant her name and snap pics in awe throughout the night. Contributing to a warm, intimate, and loving space under the visual presentation of red, blue, and purple “smoke’’ and lighting. An ambiance that was dream-like and fitting, considering the title of the album and tour-in reference to “Violet Skies”.
In addition to “Situationship”, Snoh performed, “Tangerine Dreams”, “Lost You”, “In Your Eyes”, “Whoa”, “Dying 4 Your Love”, “Neon Peach”, “On My Mind”, and more. Sprinkled in between performances, Snoh maneuvered around the stage quite frequently, reaching out and singing directly to fans standing in the front rows of the orchestra level. She graciously thanked her fans, shouted out NYC as her favorite city to perform in, and left her audience with encouraging words. A message to continue to pursue your dreams in spite of any doubts or naysayers. As we grew closer to the end of the show, she shared her “goodbyes” to an audience of loyal fans who knew that there was no way in hell our good sis would leave us stranded in the aisles of Radio City without hearing two of her biggest hits. Nevertheless, the act continued. Left in the dark (literally), fans stood up patiently, camera ready, in excitement as we all knew what was coming within the last few mins of the show. Long behold, we were met with the opening sounds of Snoh’s hit love ballad “Find Someone Like You”. A popular track that has even been featured on the soundtrack to films such as Netflix’s “The Lovebirds”. In the most choir-like attempt that an audience of a couple of thousands can give, we all passionately sung along. Word for word and then followed up with the closing song, “ I Want You Around”. To which, I think Snoh fans would agree, is her “signature song” . A beautifully written record that has touched many lovers all over the world and if you're unfamilar, I hope that my review inspires you to join in on the beautifully crafted art that I was able to witness live at this event.