Hundreds of people scream in unison as the first delicate chords of ‘Jasmine’ are played. Phones are whipped out and held high, capturing the moment enigmatic British-Indian artist Jai Paul sings the opening lines “Are you with me, Jasmine? / Can you let me in? / Would you knock me over / Like a bottle of gin?”. It’s been a decade since the world first heard the song. Now, people are hearing it live for the first time as kinetic strobes are shot in every direction; the audience is arrested at the moment as electric mountains are projected onto the visuals. This is history in the making, the highlight and apex of a moment many never thought would come.
As ‘Jasmine’ fades away, a voice softly shimmers singing “Don’t fuck with me / don’t fuck with me”, eliciting a temperature-rising response from the audience. Jai Paul’s falsetto vocals hover lightly over the big drum claps and futuristic synth riffs of ‘BTSTU’ as he sings in the chorus, “I know I’ve been gone a long time, but / I’m back and I want what is mine”, an apt descriptor for a man who changed the sound of pop before disappearing for a decade.