A glimpse of Asake's headline at DLT MALTA 23' by laura chianese

As the festival season approached in Malta last June, I completed my final university exams, swiftly packed my bags, and caught the first flight back to the island. I arrived just in time to attend the final days of this year’s DLT Festival. There was no way I could have missed such an event happening on my beloved island, especially since I knew that this summer’s edition was going to be one for the books. 

Having photographed and attended the last day of DLT Malta in 2022, my expectations for this year’s closing night were set high. The summer of 2022, which marked the first Malta DLT edition, was blessed with Wizkid who headlined and delivered an incredible performance on the stage, apart from him, the lineup also included plenty of other of my fave artists. This year headlining, it was none other than ASAKE, who was set to grace the stage for the closing night of DLT. 

Thankfully, just like the previous summer, I had the opportunity to work with the media team for Afro Island, and got the chance to photograph while having the best view of the show. From the start of the day, the experience was top notch starting from the transportation of our team and crew to the beach venue. Our ride picking us up was a VIP double decker limousine, fully equipped with a DJ set by Shay Who and open bar, something I had never seen before.  The ride was wonderful, filled with panoramic views of the island and a warm up to the performances we were about to experience. 

This is how the last performance of DLT went down.

The anticipation for Asake had been building over the course of the festival’s few days, and now it was time for him to take the stage. It was just after sunset, and the crowd, made up of a couple thousands of people, filled up the beach venue. Everyone was having a fantastic time after the Compozers gave at least what was a 40 minute uninterrupted mix of live arrangement bangers. Even last year they were present on the lineup, and I was very glad to have the chance to hear them once again this year. The scenery was beautiful, with the sea all the way in the back being illuminated by some stage lights. The people were waiting for the most awaited performance of the week, then the lights dimmed and the speakers blasted: “Ololade mi Asakeeee ”. 

As I secured my spot for taking pictures in the media pit, I could hear the crowd behind me go crazy. I cannot recall which song he was singing, all I know is that my professional photographer composure was gone and that I was screaming along to the lyrics with the crowd.  

The YBNL artiste had recently flown from a previous performance in Dubai. As he walked on stage with a blunt in his right hand, he started dancing in perfect sync with the band playing behind him. The stage presence and vocal abilities of this artist were really incredible. From his dance moves it was clear that he was a dancer before he rose to fame. The Compozers really elevated the whole music aspect and the performance was just electrifying. 

Later in the performance, while I was trying to capture the best shots, I saw him heading down onto the speakers and then down in the media pit, then up to the crowd. While his bodyguards struggled to keep up , he ran up to the people and started singing on top of one of the barricades, immersed in a sea of people with their flashlights up. His connection with the audience really stood out, the crowd and him were one, and you could hear him put all of himself in the songs he was performing. While in that media pit I laughed a lot, I sang, I ‘SUNGBAed’,  and I thought to myself ‘Wow, some people will get some serious FOMO tonight’. 

Of course I did not forget what my purpose in the media pit was, and took all the shots I needed as well as recorded from some of the best angles possible, here are the shots:


Image Rights: Laura Chianese

In the next few days after the show, the Nigerian star posted three different reels featuring him roaming around in Mdina promoting his singles “New Religion” and “Amapiano” (aka the DLT 2023 anthem). Let me tell you, the last thing I expected this year was to see « MRMoney » walking around our small island and especially in the silent city. A bizarre vision. 

The BET nominated artist recently achieved one of his greatest accomplishments by performing a sold out show at the O2 Arena of London, with a 20 k capacity which also had 82k views on youtube live stream. 

Image Rights: @asakemusic

As I anxiously await to know who could possibly be on next year’s DLT lineup, I also take the opportunity to give the organizers their flowers, who for a second year in a row did not disappoint. Their work is definitely producing incredible outcomes, as the festival in 2024 will not just have one but two editions on the island, which quickly sold out in advance. I am grateful to have been able to document such an amazing performance

Lately the event scene on the island tied to Afrobeats and its associated genres, has left me filled with a sense of pride and realization: I am still in awe sometimes that the small rock I call home just experienced such a festival, when only a couple years back, I could never imagined this would be the reality. Surely the Afro Island brand has helped embrace this movement and make the right connections to make Malta’s event scene thriving. Surely, expect us to be close to the upcoming DLT motives, as well as be ready for some big announcements in the future months, and as you know, all latest infos will be available on our socials.