Paradise music fest: When Kanye West meets Wiz Khalifa
The advance party of Kanye West’s production team has been in Manila as early as March 29, in preparation for the iconic hip-hop artist’s 90-minute set at the Paradise International Music Festival, which Kanye will headline on April 9 at the Aseana City Open Grounds in Parañaque, according to the event’s producer. (Call 9115555 or e-mail [email protected].)
“More people from his camp are expected to arrive in the coming days, but the directors in charge of the lights are already here, assisting us with the setup,” Boardworks Media director of operations Joshua Ylaya told the Inquirer in a phone interview.
The lighting, he added, is one of the most “intricate” aspects of West’s coming show. “Some of the equipment were difficult to find and had to be outsourced abroad. We’re very excited to see how everything comes together,” said Ylaya, who described West as “meticulous” and “hands-on.”
“Kanye is a creative person, so of course he wants everything to be good. Even the posters had to go through his team,” he related. “We have been coordinating with his camp since August last year.”
West, who is lauded by critics for having one of the most brilliant musical minds in the business and is known for his progressive take on hip-hop, has always been at the top of Boardworks’ list of potential topbillers.
“One of our criteria when we began conceptualizing the festival last summer was that our main act should be an icon who has yet to perform here,” he said. “Someone who transcends demographics.”
Meanwhile, the inclusion to the lineup of another popular hip-hop artist, Wiz Khalifa of “Black and Yellow” and “See You Again” fame, is sure to ignite some curiosity among ardent followers of the genre, as the 28-year-old rapper was involved in a Twitter war with West earlier this year.
In January, West revealed on the social networking site that he was planning to name his latest album, “Waves” (now officially called “The Life of Pablo”), which Khalifa took as an affront to one of his inspirations, Harlem rapper Max B, who popularized the slang “wavy.”
All hell broke loose, however, when West mistook Khalifa’s use of the initials “KK”—which actually stood for Khalifa Kush, a type of weed—as a reference to the more senior rapper’s wife, reality television star Kim Kardashian.
The two have reportedly made up since the Internet feud, and Ylaya assured that both artists’ parties know that they will be taking the stage at the same event. “They’re aware that they will be performing right after each other … Their respective groups are actually looking forward to it,” he said.
But do not count on seeing the two sharing the spotlight. “I doubt it,” quipped Ylaya, when asked if concertgoers can expect West and Khalifa—who, on the other hand, is dishing out a 70-minute set in one number.
The roster of the day-long festival is a mix of local and foreign acts and bands representing different musical genres, such as Rudimental, Austin Mahone, Up Dharma Down, Hale, Itchyworms, Yolanda Moon, Maude, Lenses, Giniling Festival, Jessica Milner, Clara Benin, Katsy Lee, DJ Nina and Joyce Pring, Cheats, The Airplane Boys, 4th Impact, Afrojack and DJ Rivero.
“They will be performing for 30 minutes to an hour, with the opening performer tentatively starting at around 10:30 a.m.,” Ylaya disclosed.
While many music fans, especially of hip-hop, were thrilled about the lineup, some were also disappointed that there were no local rappers included. Ylaya, however, stressed that Paradise envisions itself as a “multigenre” event.
“The two biggest draws being hip-hop acts perhaps gave the impression that it is solely a hip-hop festival. We can’t please everyone,” he said. “But we want to have as many types of artists as possible to attract different audiences.”
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