Pop stardom: can money buy success?
It is a performance that's part-Enrique Iglesias, part-Eurovision. Emin, a Moscow-based Azerbaijani, is doing his best to rouse the crowd who have come to Bush Hall in West London and he's only being partly successful. Many drift to the bar when he sings in Russian, others are stony-faced and unresponsive when he tries to coax some audience interaction.
If Emin means nothing to you, you're hardly alone. He's tried for years to break into the English-speaking world, but has struggled to develop the sort of fanbase he enjoys in Russia. The 36-year-old father-of-two happens to be the son of the one of the wealthiest men on the planet and, is something of a self-made tycoon in his own right. Consequently, he appears to have thrown enormous money into his bid to be a global sensation.
He's had journalists flown to Moscow, Paris and London this year to generate publicity - a rare, old-school, and expensive approach that the industry largely eschews today. And he appears to have jetted in specially for this showcase too.