The Remix V/S the Original #Salome

I really tried to refrain myself from doing another Diamond Platinumz post but have you heard the remix to Saida Karoli‘s Maria Salome?……I would be damned if I did not do this post.

While most urban songs from the West are sampled from back in the day (and turn out just fine), we are yet to fully embrace the concept in Africa.

Here is the thing though: You cannot do a remix to a chart- topping song unless you are making it bigger and better than it already was.Diamond might be among the very few artists from Africa that have remixed an old school jam, without stripping off important elements that made the original version lovable. This way, he has been able  to retain an older audience that knew and loved Saida’s Salome, while at the same time attracting a younger audience that may not have necessarily heard the original song’s version….Excellence I tell you….Excellence

And just when I thought Veteran Tanzanian singer Saida Karoli was “dead” (musically speaking), Diamond brings the musical legend back to life, in a manner that I doubt any other artist would have managed to do so.Now here is the icing of the cake- Rayvanny. I have listened to a couple of this Wasafi Records Singer but truth be told, his input on this particular jam has got to be one of his best of his works ever.

Now you tell me….Did Diamond do justice to Salome?

 

 

 

Top 5 Most Underrated African Songs

There are two types songs; those that you listen to and wonder why the hell people like them and the type that you listen to over and over again thinking your mind is going to blow up at some point, considering the number of times you have had to hit the replay button. Nothing as sad as enjoying great music alone, so bare with me as I shove my top five most underrated African songs down your throat. (I’m kidding- you will be thanking me after sampling my list)….Now plug in your head phones, turn up the music and enjoy the ride.

  1. Durotimi- Yemmi Alade

Yemi‘s strong vocals and energy would make me listen to her, whether or not I like the song (this is not to say that I don’t like this song). This girl can sing her way out of any situation, which makes me wonder if music lovers deliberately chose to ignore this one, or if this could just be one of those very few good songs that people just never get to hear about.

2. Malome- Cassper Nyovest Ft. Mahotela Queens

Cassper Nyovest is anything but predictable. And while I still haven’t figured out how he decided to work with the veteran Mahotela Queens for this collaboration, I love the rare afrosound blend with Hip Hop.

3. Christian Bella- Nishike

You haven’t listened to beautiful African music if you haven’t sampled Christian Bella‘s songs. This is the only African artist in this day and age who takes me back to the days of good old Rumba that I got to know of thanks to my dad’s  Vinyl Record collection, (child! That was GOOD music).

4. Zani Challe FT. Patoranking- Single For Tonight

If a mellow voice, beautiful face and a body to die for is a package you would enjoy, then South African born Malawian recording artist Zani Challe is the girl for you. And with Patoranking on this song, I surely don’t understand how this song has less than a million views, four months after its release.

5. Fena Gitu Ft. Kagwe Mungai & Toshi

 

I am yet to discover an artist that makes afrosound sound better than Fena. This song might have been dropped  about 3 years ago, but remains to be a timeless musical piece and a conversation that I love listening to over and over again. (But seriously though…when is the right time to go dutch on a date?)

Drop a comment, let me know if there is any other African tune that you think I should add onto my list.

 

 

3 Recommendations that could help Ugandan artists gain relevance beyond Uganda’s boarders

ugandan-music-image-courtesy-ugblizz-com
Ugandan artists (Image courtesy of ugblizz.com)

I am a frustrated Ugandan Music Lover, tasked with a responsibility that really isn’t mine. While most African artists are investing in strategies that are having them known across the continent, most Ugandan artists have left the discovery of who they are and their music (and especially beyond their country’s boarders) to the very few interested people like myself.

Here are 3 recommendations that could help Ugandan artists gain relevance beyond the Pearl of Africa’s boarders and to catch up with the rest of African music doing oh- so well:

  1. Make relatable music

 

You have probably heard that music is a universal language that does not consider language nor comprehension: as long as it is good, people will listen. IT’S A BIG LIE…..Well…Maybe not entirely but here is the thing, people have to identify with music at whatever minimal level, in order to enjoy it. Be it the song’s message, a familiar beat or a few words that they can sing along to, it has to resonate with them. Take Nigerian AfroPop for example which most artists are doing in Nigerian Pidgin. You may not speak the language nor understand the entire song, but you can at least sing along to a few of the words. Eddy Kenzo may be singing in Luganda, but has made his music relevant outside Uganda through his incorporation of dance with a hint of comedy, which as you watch his music videos, retains your interest as an audience.

  1. Quality lacks substitute

You have no idea how disappointing it is to listen to an amazing audio to a song, only to search for its video then have a major brain freeze and voices in your head telling you how you should start spending your time more wisely because you are getting too old for such games. This is not to say that all Ugandan videos are unappealing (trust me, I have seen some of Sasha Vybz’ work and had to confirm if indeed it was a Ugandan Production) but it is time Ugandan artists start investing in better quality music videos. As an artist, have to have a good audio with an equally good video that your audience can enjoy watching while listening.

  1. Bank on content

I can safely say that Uganda’s Music Industry is amongst the most vibrant in the East African Region. Unfortunately though, this vibrance is more about hype/side shows than actual work. From nudes to cheap publicity stunts by artists, there is simply no dull moment in the Ugandan Music Industry (I use “dull” loosely). So artists are making headlines, but very few are doing so based on their music. Here is the truth: people wake up to equally (or even more) exciting gossip each new day, which means temporary relevance for you as an artist if you cannot keep up with the side shows.  You may therefore want to put in some actual work into your craft as an artist in order to survive the industry long enough.