Niji Adeleye is not letting anything stop the incredible forward momentum he has built up. The London born, NYC-based jazz fusion pianist has accomplished a great deal of uniquely cool musical milestones recently, with one more to add to his cap tomorrow. He provided a beautiful piano accompaniment to Stormzy’s American Late Night debut on Jimmy Fallon earlier this year in what was a moving and inspiring live performance. Niji was even recently hired as the official organist of the New York Knicks, where he plays under the tutelage of Ray Castoldi, the highly respected and long standing Music Director at Madison Square Garden. Now, after a few months of making a name for himself playing with other talented musicians, the spotlight will be shining back on Niji tomorrow. After coming to New York and landing himself a job playing music at the World’s Most Famous Arena, he returns home to London to the only venue worthy, the Royal Albert Hall.
Niji had the opportunity to perform at that legendary and prestigious venue last March, playing a medley of hits from his sophomore smash album Late Nights and Early Mornings to a raucous crowd. Late Nights and Early Mornings is a freewheeling and beautifully performed Jazz record. The funk of his instrumentation is the perfect fit for Angel Sivera’s deep voluptuous voice on “Break Free”, maybe my favorite track on the album. Angel feels like she is in perfect sync with the group performing, as the gang carries her along like her voice is floating on a bed of clouds. On a few tracks Niji intersperses conversations of varying seriousness, about things like the music at hand all the way to social issues, to guide you through the changing moods of the music. It is a fun, playful touch that makes the album feel that much more personal, almost like Niji is directing his own Khalik Allah documentary right on top of his gorgeous music. They help his songs paint a picture of prevailing social tensions, fighting through barriers, and pushing himself to realize his dreams. This live set takes that intimacy up a notch further, as Niji lets the crowd know he’s having a good time and makes sure they do too. That being said Niji truly shines when the voices go quiet and he just gets to cook, taking you on a bright bouncy melodic journey.
“Live at The Royal Albert Hall” is a dynamic performance that will light up your living room on YouTube like you are live in South Kensington. It goes up tomorrow at 3:00 PM EST / 8:00 PM GMT at the link below. Make sure to give Niji a follow on twitter and insta in the meantime!