Music: Okenyo – ‘Woman’s World’

“Don’t look down on me” the track opening sample.

1.) File under inspirational and motivational anthems

2.) Play straight after Laura Mvula’s ‘Phenomenal Woman’.

Kenyan, Australian all round dope singer Okenyo released the visuals of her latest single ‘Woman’s World’ and we are hooked, absolutely loving the cool, calm, collected soulful sound and inspirational lyrics with great affirmation. It is indeed a woman’s world.

From the styling by Benjamin Joseph, to choreography and all round feature of beautiful women including the amazing singer Thando.

We look forward to see what is next for Okenyo it is only a matter of time before the rest of the world catches on and starts raving about her and with her.

Watch the official video below:

VIDEO: Ayrosh – ‘Shuga Mami’

Nothing beats a track that truly represents a person and roots with so much ease, rare to find that when we do her at Maarifa we hold em high above the rest. Kenyan artist Ayrosh released a track ‘Shuga Mami’ and it has all the ingredients that we long for soul, R’n’B and a dose of Kikuyu (language from the Gikuyu people of Kenya). The production comes from the talented Mugo of Waithaika Ent the first of more set to come from the pair, we can only hope.

The song has a dope hook to start with and Ayrosh slides between Gikuyu and English with such ease and class. He sings about a love so pure and the visuals just bring it to life with him and his leading lady working out and enjoying each others company. So sit back relax and check out the visuals below.

 

 

Sasabasi – ‘Lakini Bado’

Are we witnessing a resurgence of good Swahili lyricist in the Kenyan music scene?

To say that it is  awesome to have new music from Sasabasi, the artist formally known as Vinticqueezy just proves how music and making it has to be something you  love and have the patience for.

Sasabasi is a talented Kenyan rapper based in Houston TX USA, who we come across a few years ago when he was featured in the song ‘PIGA PICHA’ ft Vyba,K-Teezy, Kaulaz.

After a break Sasabasi has made a return with ‘Lakini Bado’ which means ‘not yet’ in Swahili, produced by Giggz also based in the Houston Tx USA.

The song talks about how there is always something else either in a better sense or worse. How as human beings we are never satisfied; We always strive to reach out to the next goal.  The message behind the song is..  Just keep on pushing #LakiniBado

We are looking forward to see what else he has installed for us throughout the year. Check out the visuals directed by Hefemi & Agano. You can also follow Sasabasi on his  social media accounts.

SASABASI ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Instagram.com/sasabasi
snapchat : sasabasi

 

 

Politics: Kenya Elections 2017

Politics: Kenya Elections 2017

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General elections are scheduled to be held in Kenya on 8 August 2017. Voters will elect the President, his deputy, members of Parliament and devolved government members. It has been five years since Kenyans took to the poling stations and voted for Uhuru Kenyatta, and for the the first four months of 2017 it was interesting to watch the campaign season get into full swing from the large posters endless photoshoots for running MP’s and MCAS, this the  money making season for printing companies and photographers across Kenya, anyone with a dollar and a political dream stood a fair chance.

 

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Uhuru Kenyatta Leader of Jubilee Party.

To the ever so interesting stories on a Friday evening over Tusker

‘So and so has a fundraiser tomorrow for his campaign…..’,

Wait so we are raising money for him to campaign so that we can vote for him? A few Tuskers later and the idea seems logical enough we will do just that.

The Kenyan election require way more than a few words summary to really capture what has gone on from the preliminary elections that seemed to hardly cut anyone out of the race, to the live debates that needed Jesus and his people dem to fully sustain your attention for the whole two or more hours; although it served well to introduce the public to more of the candidates running for the presidential seat considering Rila Odinga had a debate alone as Uhuru Kenyatta was trending on twitter having refused to take part in the debate.

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Opposition leader Raila Odinga ODM Party

Here is a handy breakdown of what citizens are voting for:

  • Six separate ballot papers: For president, national assembly, female representatives, governors, senate and county assemblies
  • 47 parliamentary seats and 16 senate seats reserved for women
  • Eight presidential candidates: President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga are favourites
  • A candidate needs 50% plus one vote for first-round victory
  • More than 14,000 candidates running across the six elections
  • More than 45% of registered voters under 35
  • Some 180,000 security officers on duty nationwide in case of trouble

But we are here today 8/08/2017 and the people decide. The tension at moments can be felt over my Facebook feed, those ‘friends’ who spent the last 5 years hiding their tribalism let it hang out just as equally as those who strive for peace and unification update their wallpapers yes! ‘we are one’.

In the words of Juliani We are one or we are wana?  Because it seems like election season brings about a devil that we let brew and marinate over 5years. So what now?

We watch, we sit and watch and wait and wait to see what will happens over intense prayers, we wait to know who will lead us to Canaan.

The voting is currently underway across Kenya, check back for updates.

 

Sauti Sol x Mi Casa -Tulale Fofoffo

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 .

The song still bangs though.

Maureen Muthoni

@MISSMUSO

 

Video: Sauti Sol – Isabella

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.

Maureen Muthoni

@MISSMUSO

5 Reasons why listening to Mr.Vigeti is better than dating your favorite socialite.

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:

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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’.

L-R: Johnny Vigeti and Ken Ring
  1. 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.

  1. 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

@kevinovitateddy