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Dhruv live in London: A journey through heartfelt lyrics and soulful melodies

'London is my favourite city in the world,' explained the singer.

4.0 rating

By Aaron Pandher

British-born, singer-songwriter Dhruv lived up to his word and took us to a place “where no one else goes” at his concert at XOYO London last week. The atmosphere was electric even before the show started, with a diverse crowd eagerly anticipating the performance. XOYO, known for its intimate yet energetic vibe, proved to be the perfect venue for Dhruv’s soulful and emotive music.

Dhruv’s storytelling abilities are not only “vulnerable” but also beautiful and soulful. They offer the balance of exploring complex feelings in a way that feels light and deep at the same time. Whether it be intrusive overthinking on an airplane, falling in love and being broken by it, questioning stability and our own insecurities– Dhruv’s lyrics speak to the sensitive souls, providing an honest yet welcoming mirror. Combined with his vocals that feel effortless and soulful, he grounds his songs in way that feel dreamlike, as if you have escaped to a place/part of a shared journey with him. A true artist is one whose lyrics are able to express the feelings we struggle to articulate into words, and Dhruv does just that. 

He brought out artist Renao as his opening act, who set the tone for the night with his vibrant pop music and R&B jams that sound both nostalgic and fresh. In the words of Renao, “it’s brown boy season”! It was especially heart-warming to see South-Asian representation on this platform. 

As the lights dimmed and Dhruv took to the stage, the audience erupted in applause. His presence was both commanding and approachable, instantly creating a connection with the crowd. Dhruv opened with one of his popular tracks, and personal favourite “moonlight”, setting the tone for an evening filled with heartfelt lyrics and captivating melodies.

With new music on the horizon, he played some classics he had never played before. New songs such as “california” and the emotional song “grieving” made the room go quiet. The themes of growing pains and loss explored in this song, left fans very excited about what’s to come. Throughout the concert Dhruv showcased his versatility– seamlessly transitioning from upbeat anthems to introspective ballads. I went from grooving to being in my feels, wanting to cry in the best way. His vocal performance was flawless, each note delivered with precision and emotion. Songs “how” and “airplane thoughts” resonated deeply, with Dhruv’s rich voice and poignant lyrics creating a powerful and immersive experience.

Dhruv Singing at XOYO London (Image: Supplied)

His most notable performance, was his recent hit “tragedy”. Making his late-night television debut on Jimmy Kimmel late February this year, it’s no doubt this is just the beginning for the global talent. The combination of multiple vocal registers, dynamics and textures, with the jazzy musical accompaniment, highlighted another side to his musical abilities. We were surprised with a dreamy piano intro and pumping drum solo, the live version of this song was truly an experience and audial treat. His band were on top form. He frequently turned back to watch his band mates’ solos, in awe himself, like us as the audience. A special shoutout to Daniel Fresco on the drums, his playing was impassioned and enlivened, elevating all the emotion of the song in powerful musical form.

Having been to his London concert in December 2022, it is nice to see him more comfortable at commanding the stage. He rocked a colourful plaid shirt with wide leg jeans – an ode to his 90s style and love for a good print. 

He ended with his smash hit “double take”, celebrating its five year anniversary with now “a billion streams across platforms”. For all fans, he confirmed the guy he wrote the song about is not longer in his life for good reason, as we wish no more broken hearts for our Dhruv. 

Dhruv’s concerts are always more than just a musical performance; they are a moving experience that highlight his artistry and connection with his fans. You believe everything he sings. When he performs, he is totally present.  

With his new song “speed of light” dropping May 31st and an album soon to follow, Dhruv is set to have us feeling it all this summer.