Sauti Sol and Mi Casa hands down are the biggest bands from the continent of Africa they make boy bands look and sound sophisticated hence the more reason we were excited to discover this collaborations.
Christmas day after stuffing our faces and dancing the calories aways I played this song …. the “about to blow taster” that you give to the people before it all become common knowledge on the airwaves.
Chale! fast forward a few months and the video drops the excitment was real that was until I saw the visuals slow motions umbrella shots and dinning table catwalks, to say i expected more would be an unstatement, I am praying that the boys haven’t lost it as the last two videos have been slightly underwhelming .
Kenyan Afro-Soul group Sauti Sol winners of the Best African Act, MTV European Awards 2014 have kept fans waiting for their third LP “Live and Die in Afrika” as they build a large fanbase across Africa and occasionally get POTUS dancing during his visits to the motherland; this week they released their latest video Isabella, this is a return to a more mellow Sauti Sol as their previous single ‘Shake Yo Bam Bam’ heavily sampled “club banger” with an equally flashy visuals from Clarence Peters presented a new side.
Isabella is a simple ballad with heartfelt lyrics accompanied by a piano new audiences can pick up on slight nuances of Nairobian Broken English for example “Mi I wanna have some fun.” The video features footage from their American Tour earlier this year and a parallel story of Isabella as she is taken to dance the night away to none other than Sauti Sol at a performance in Vegas. Watch the video below.
Iberia latest video release is of Stranger /Lover this was a stand out track while listening to their album earlier this year. The fine line of being a stranger and lover. The video is simple set against a black background the twins deliver their verses and chorus while masculine hands ruffle their afros.
“There is a very strong Ghanaian,or I should say West African community in London.. a good mixture of British born West Africans that feel strongly connected with their roots, and equally proud to be British. I guess this maybe one of the reasons the Afrobeats sound is so loud in the UK.” Told to OkayAfrica
On my two hour bus journey from work I listen, music keeps me company away from watching video memes that would otherwise have me laughing out loud and I refuse to look crazy on my commute, although it might help brighten dull dragging mornings of zombie faces on their way to and fro work.
Today I choose differently I opt for Represent Radio DJ Neptizzle UltimateAfro Beat Show that has been staring at me for the past week, Mr Silva makes a guest appears talks through his career and his EP set for release. Self-assured and ready to take on all opportunities he has been working hard on a number of EPs fixed for release throughout the year, this first quarter we are presented with ‘Let It Off’ six tracks, clean production with a strong nod to highlife, you can hear the vast influences that Silva blends into his own style, his lyrics are positive and project a spiritual elevation that is rare to find in music. Silva has also captured a simple formula people are not always interested in LPs but are over single releases that linger along and have no home; this EP offers a great foundation.
‘Let it Off ‘offers some fantastic stand out tracks for example the second single B.A.D(Baddest, Achieving Don) with visuals from Kojey Radical a follow up of Like It ft A.I.M of which was accompanied with some super dope visuals another track is a collaboration with Castro Go Gaga, you will have to move when you hear it.
“West African influences on “B.A.D” come within the verses taking inspiration from the language of Ghanaian and West African youth, broken English. By now you should know I really just enjoy blending cultures together in an African way.”
All in all Mista Silva is a breath of fresh air and anyone who can inject a unique sense of style and positive energy has to be celebrated and share with the rest of the world. His latest single ‘Goes Down’ really goes down too (all the puns in the world intended)
Let It Off is available for purchase in all major music outlets.
Johhny Vigeti is one-third of the Kenyan based rap trio Kalamashaka with a little bit of salt, sauce, and some pepper sprayed on top. He’s also regarded as your popular rapper’s popular rapper in Kenya. He’s the author and originator of killer flows and punchlines. Going forward, who doesn’t know the line,
”…Madoggy za mitaa zingine hazikojoi mtaani hapa.”
which when translated from local slang means that dogs from other neighborhoods aren’t allowed to urinate here.
In the past years, he’s been on a Hiphop Sabbatical due to slightly straying and following a path littered with crime and hard drug abuse. Fortunately, he’s decided to clean up—thanks in part to his superproducer Ken Ring—and has put out a much anticipated 12-track Hiphop & Reggae album project called ‘Mr.Vigeti’ that I’m analyzing on this blog. I will use the term socialite—a celebrated person that spends most of their time attending social functions and events—purely for contrast. Here are my five major rationalizations on why you need look out for this young lion:
Its honest and incredibly tear-jerking.
Spending a weekend with your most revered socialite will leave you with a $15,000 bill. That’s if you’re rich enough to fit this bill on a random 4-day rendezvous’ in Dubai. But not Johnny Vigeti! Just for $0 banging his new album dubbed ‘Mr.Vigeti’ up in your system will leave you tearfully ruminating about your life. As a case in point the track called ‘Mama’ (Swahili for mother) featuring singer Theluji Alicios is an open letter to his mother on the daily struggles he’s undergoing and his path to self-decay and corruption caused by his deep drug abuse and crime in the informal settlements of Dandora. In it he relays his grateful feelings to her for playing her parenting role perfectly well even though he intimates his desire to mend his ways. I found this track to be important because I reckon if you and I want to move forward in our respective establishments then it’s mandatory for us to have an honest re-examination and re-evaluation of our past, perhaps noting the specific concerns we need to resolve.
Compelling personal stories as the new revolution.
Having a revolutionary story line is not always synonymous with an artists’ content bordering around strong political messages and metaphors. It also implies that the artist is letting his fans or other enthusiasts walk with them through the process of personal change by letting them in on their deepest emotions and thoughts. In essence, being truthful and transparent with their fans. And to this end, on the track ‘Siku Moja’ Vigeti vents about being overwhelmed by his drug situation, being in an emotional meltdown which left him extremely distressed to the point of being admitted in a hospital institution. He mashes up of all these revelations with a heavy bass voiced hook that’s supposed to express his confidence with the future.
On the flip side, your dream socialite will suffocate your respiratory system with the i-came-from-the-bottom-now-i-am-at-the-top cliché vibe. Still they never open up to their fans about the disquieting thoughts and blues which they occasionally nurse as a result of their complicated course of life.
Ken Ring’s production is a mini-tour to the Orchestras.
Your choicest ratchets can only bump their posterior ends to monotonous and repetitive Jamaican-Ragga beats. The problem with this format is the fact that when you throw away the visual, the music becomes inconsequential. On the contrary, lending an ear to Ken Ring’s production is like taking a mini-trip to a classical music showcase. The track “Scarface Dream” contains head bobbing instrumentals with heavy snares and layered with some nice strings and violins. Vigeti then jumps in and does the beat justice by delivering solid flows and awesomely attempting to be in synchrony with the snare all through the track. Surprisingly, keeping on the track ‘Cinema Ni Ya Hora’ (Swahili for it’s a horror movie), I didn’t find his hooks that bad. A great way that he deliberately prevented bad hooks from happening on this jam was by using well-seasoned kid rappers known as Wakuu Music and the female R ‘n’ B singer Alicios on the aforementioned jam ‘Mama’.
Let the beat breathe, please.
Inasmuch as spitting venom on instrumentals is exciting and raises the adrenaline for fans, sometimes clogging the beats with too much spit is unnecessary. It hurts the ears while coming across as trashy. And above all it leaves me screaming, “Please let the beat breathe!”. Yes I agree that tracks like ‘Simba’ (Swahili for lion) and ‘Cinema Ni Ya Hora’ demands a thorough walloping of new school emcees through unlimited bullet-like spit, Vigeti however successfully tampers this with easy laid back raps as exemplified by one of my personal best track ‘Mr.Vigeti’.And ah! The pauses in between the guitar note on this track, that’s what I call class. That’s what sets apart an intelligent rapper from other industry noisemakers.
Refreshing Digital Battle Raps
Nairobi’s rap music industry in the recent few weeks was very much lax, boring and was becoming extremely technical in regards to the usual mechanical bubble gum rap music commercialism. It needed some spicing up and judging by Vigeti’s juiced-up-cum- assertive personality, no chicken would have passed untouched by the cock.On the track ‘Simba’ he leaves Khaligraph Jones, Rabbit Kaka Sungura and Octopizzo gasping for air and adds fuel to the fire by threatening to beat them physically if they ever reply. Lyrically, he also hijacks Octopizzo’s geographical territory on the track ‘Kibera’ by choosing to represent it instead of his own hometown Dandora.And keeping in mind that the track ‘Simba’ is continuing to generate listenership and so much online buzz, the golden question would be: Why did Octopizzo, Khaligraph Jones and Rabbit Kaka Sungura fail to segment Vigeti’s fan demographics by replying to this highly esteemed diss track?
I give it a strong seven!
Overall this record raises my hope with Kenyan music production houses and puts a smile on my face knowing that this format can be effectively reproduced through live bands and instrumentation even on international podiums. Ken Ring is definitely a valuable addition to the culture in relation to veteran production wizards like Blinky Bill, Kevin Provoke, Fancy Fingers, Kanyeria, Big Mic, Eric Musyoka, Kagwe Mungai, Atwal Adwok,Timothy Rimbui, Fadhilee Itulya, Kevin Grands and many more.
My verdict on this project is a strong seven out of ten. I reserve the three because further work could be done with high profile artist collaborations, giving fans a bountiful African oriented influence and delving into other meaningful aesthetics that’s less affected by the unsettled environment that the rapper Vigeti is in.Besides, his fans would desire an increasingly progressive sound and image from him since by now, they are a mature, elite and successful middle class in their late 30’s and early 40’s.
What about you? Have you listen to the album?
Kevin Ovita Teddy Project Coordinator, Wasanii Mtaani/Artists in the Hood
Top five current tunes from amazing artist who just happen to be African.
Wanlov the Kubolor – Never Go Change
Corruption is global and Wanlov presents it so simply and purely in this track accompanied by a black and white video. The song is reminiscent of his single Human, heartfelt music with meaning.
Fantasma – Cat and Mouse
The first time I heard this song I was convinced that I had lost it …. its rare to hear ‘Kiswahili Sanifu’ Pure Kiswahili in music, mostly when you were not anticipating it. The single is accompanied by a video of young ballet dancers who dance within townships, Spoek main aim was to showcase the benefits new skills extended to children living within townships.
Stonebwoy ft DJ Juls – Rudeboi Love
Purely on the strength of the production the next lines can be filled with an in-depth analysis and breakdown of elements that can be picked up but this has to be one of the best collaborations so far in the year, relaxed of the strength of this track Stonebwoy can take the BET INT award not many people within Afrobeats seek to merge a few genres some dub reggae elements shine through.
Burna Boy – Sonke
Anyone who knows me, knows that language is a tool that I greatly admire within music and Burna Boy has also found ways of adding his own swag (that word has been dying out) to his music Sonke does not disappoint, this is definitely one track that will not miss spin on decks this summer.
M.anifest – Forget Dem
Just felt it was nice to share this visual recently M.anifest has realised some fantastic videos but this one stood out mainly because my ultimate #MCM features and I wasn’t expecting it but it was a nice surprise.
Sharing is caring who are you jamming to at the moment.
Considering how much I have been obsessed with this band I have been stuck on how to write about them. So simple they are ‘AMAZING!!’ but for real tho (Wanda’s Voice). Young Fathers have been a blessed addition to my music collection, they throw a lot out to discuss in interviews and music a needed mix from race, identity, sexuality, TRIDENT, culture for once I can say that I found a group of musicians who represented my duality hence the STAN love.
Young Fathers is a POP group from Edinburgh members include Graham Hastings, Kayus Balonke and Alloysious Massaquoi last year they won Album of the Year at the Mercury Prize Awards then set off to finish their second LP White Men Are Black Men Too, and tour. Their previous releases are two EPs Tape 1 and Tape 2 (Of which won SAY AWARD) that was followed with an LP Dead (currently nominated for a SAY AWARD), stand out tracks from Dead include ‘War’ No Way Kayus opening bars Chale, Dip well just about the whole album.
I could go on and on and on but simply check out the music catch them on tour aside from that this week I get to see them alongside another fantastic talent artist Kojey Radical, with my music loving bud Ms Monica this has been in my diary for a sizzling minute, the video below was a the solid decider on wanting to see them live energy is on fleek.