Known for his dynamic African-infused songs, YouTube sensation Alex Boyé will be coming to Peoria for a free concert as part of Peoria’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day events on Tuesday, Jan. 16.
Boyé’s “Africanized” songs have gained over 400 million views on YouTube. Recently named 2017 Artist of the Year and the grand prize winner in a music contest sponsored by Pepsi and Hard Rock Cafe, he performed the halftime show for NFL's Monday Night Football in Miami in December.
Of Nigerian descent, Boyé was raised in London. As a uniquely versatile artist with a style that appeals to all ages, he has shared the stage with artists including Jay-Z, Tim McGraw, George Michael, Missy Elliott, Justin Timberlake, The Beach Boys, and opened for Olivia Newton-John at the world-renowned Royal Albert Hall. Boye’s unique and creative YouTube videos have been featured on Good Morning America and Jimmy Kimmel Live!
In his teens, Boyé was influenced by Motown, particularly Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, James Brown, Jackie Wilson and Otis Redding. Later as the lead singer of the European boy band Awesome, he performed at local dances and small venues until they won a vocal competition on Capitol Radio, London’s largest radio station. Awesome signed to Universal Records Europe and released three singles from their debut album Rumors, which made the Top 10 on various pop charts throughout Europe. The band performed shows alongside numerous superstars, including Bryan Adams, The Backstreet Boys, George Michael, Simon and Garfunkel, and MC Hammer.
“What I’m doing now is taking those big arena type songs I sang with Awesome and mixing them with the joyful vibe of African music,” said Boyé. “The ultimate goal is to make people feel good and give them a few moments of uplift, which as I’ve discovered over the years, can have transforming and even lifesaving potential. I’m glad I finally listened to my mom, and it feels good to be home.”
The free concert will be held at 6 p.m. Peoria Centennial Plaza. Bring a lawn chair or blanket, and food will be available for sale.
In addition to the performance by Alex Boyé, Peoria will host a Unity Walk at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16. Community members are invited to join in a short walk from Peoria City Hall. There will be speakers following the walk.