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4 weeks ago, by Voir Editorial Team SZA Blooms at BST Hyde Park: A Night of Hits, Hints, and High Fashion

4 weeks ago, by Voir Editorial Team

SZA Blooms at BST Hyde Park: A Night of Hits, Hints, and High Fashion

American Express presents BTS Hyde Park, which kicked off the first day with a performance from US R&B star SZA, featuring a brand-new performance set that created a beautiful, cavernous botanical garden. SZA concluded her show, saying “Today was my first day performing with the new set. You’re like my second home. I’ll always come back here. You’re the best crowd. I love you. Goodnight!” The new set marked a new era for SZA, as she teased her new album at the event.

SZA appeared at the Hyde Park event on June 29th, in a head-to-toe vintage, Dior outfit, styled by Matthew and Reginald Reisman. She donned a halter-style top, mini shorts, knee-high boots, knee-brace, and oversized bomber-style jacket completely clothed in the iconic Dior multi-logo with the addition of green, red, and yellow stripes in various places on the garments – perhaps a nod to her mixed-race heritage. The vintage Dior came from John Galliano’s Dior Rasta line that was released in 2004, inspired by the colours of the Rastafarian movement. The outfit definitely made a statement, incorporating her new backdrop perfectly with the more subtle Dior print and pops of colour blending nicely with the trees and insects that adorned the set. 

The 90-minute show gave us hit after hit, featuring songs from her five-time Grammy-nominated Ctrl, and her second record SOS. We heard ‘Love Language,’ ‘Broken Clocks,’ ‘All the Stars,’ ‘Drew Barrymore,’ ‘F2F,’ and her hit song with Doja Cat ‘Kiss Me More.’ We also saw a sword-wielding spectacle during ‘Kill Bill,’ a nod to the infamous Uma Thurman movie and her iconic yellow jumpsuit. SZA even sang one song whilst riding a giant ant, a truly crazy and entertaining moment of the show that showed her prowess in working a crowd and providing a show for her audience. As she neared the show’s end, background vocals played as she casually shouted, “New album, you ready?” The crowd went wild, with SZA’s new music becoming highly anticipated after her announcement on Saturday. She concluded the show with ’20 Something,’ thanking the crowd and telling them she’ll return…hopefully for her new album.  

SZA’s headline act was not the only glorious performance on Saturday, with numerous supporting acts bringing their talent to the BST Hyde Park stage. Prior to SZA, London-based legend Sampha appeared on the Great Oak stage, performing songs from his two albums, ‘Process’ and ‘Lahai.’ Snoh Aalegra also added to the R&B theme of the day, performing early favourites such as ‘Nothing Burns Like the Cold ft. Vince Staples,’ ‘Nothing to Me,’ to ‘DYING 4 YOUR LOVE.’ 

British artists had the chance to shine at the London event, with performances from Oxford-born Elmiene and Leicester’s Sekou. Elmiene’s set was 21st Century R&B, inspired by 90’s neo-soul with searing vocal runs and shimmering music. He told the audience “You’re sounding beautiful […] And they say festivals are hard. I don’t know what they’re chatting about. This is the sh*t!” Later in the day, Sekou appeared on The Rainbow Stage, bringing a new kind of soul to Hyde Park with her breakthrough single ‘Better Man.’

Also on The Rainbow Stage, headliners No Guidance resurrected the golden age of R&B, with their viral new EP, released just last year, titled Is It a Crime? That went viral on TikTok and caught the attention of artists like Anderson.Paak and Labrinth. Other incredible artists of the day included Hope Tala, Fabiana Palladino, Nia Smith, and Jessy Blackmore. 

Bethan Gwynne


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