Upstream Music Fest + Summit 2017, Day 2: DoNormaal

all photos by Morgen Schuler (view set)

Though at this point a remarkable DoNormaal performance is no unusual occurrence, Friday’s set from the artist (as part of the 2017 Upstream Music Fest + Summit) found DoNormaal in quite good form, the artist’s enthusiasm returned by a sizable audience in the Court in the Square venue. Since before the release of her 2015 album Jump or Die, DoNormaal (the moniker of Christianne Karefa-Johnson) has been on a creative tear, playing at a host of local DIY venues throughout the area, as well as alongside nationally recognized rappers (see: her recent set opening for Princess Nokia at the Crocodile). Accompanied by d.j. and a backdrop of hazed-out projections, DoNormaal also brought out collaborator Raven Matthews for a rendition of Jump or Die highlight “Chocolate Delight,” following Matthews’s performance on the stage earlier that night.

What made DoNormaal’s set particularly striking amidst a wave of local talent spotlighted on Day 2 of Upstream was the artist’s flow, which constantly varies in rhythm and tone, punctuating each track with a different perspective or attitude. Additionally, the ease with which Karefa-Johnson raps emphasizes the power of her imagery and wordplay. She asks the audience to linger on her turns of phrase, the rhythms, her gift of poetic verse.

DoNormaal @ Upstream Music Fest

DoNormaal @ Upstream Music Fest

DoNormaal @ Upstream Music Fest

DoNormaal @ Upstream Music Fest

DoNormaal @ Upstream Music Fest

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  1. Wolftone
    Posted May 15, 2017 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    Accompanied by dj Wolftone to be exact ;)

  2. Someone in the crowd
    Posted May 18, 2017 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    Great set, beautiful, marvelous performance by dono!

    I think she let her friend Son The Rhemic play one song of theirs at the end too.

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