Latest African Jams, 2016

Hey There!

Just before we say good bye to November and hello to December aka the festive season (you have no idea how excited I am for that), I thought I could get you up to speed with the latest African Jams. Because if I don’t, who will?….Without further ado, here is the list.

P.S: The list is too long for me to give my opinion about each of the songs.So how about you check them out then let me know via the comments section or my social media pages which songs you are feeling and which ones you ain’t.Sounds good?…Here we go..

Micasa Sucasa- Khaligraph Jones Ft. Cashy

If you follow my blog you know that I am not a Hip Hop head. But I do know when I listen to good music and this one, is one of those.

 

Omutima- AllanToniks

 

U don’t know- Justine Skye Ft. Wizkid

 

Masheesha-  H_Art The  Band Ft Bensoul

 

Coolest Kid in Africa- Davido Ft. Nasty C

 

Usiende- Gilad & Wendy

 

Muziki- Darassa Ft. Ben Pol

This has got to be one of the illest beats dropped in 2016, and rightfully so. Besides the song being produced by  not one but 3 top Tanzanian producers, ask any girl, Darassa’s voice is the isht!- all day, everyday.

Kcee Ft. Tekno- Tender

 

Vivian Ft. Jose Chameleon- Charm

 

Rich Mavoko Ft. Diamond Platnumz- Kokoro

 

Biko- Lola Rae Ft. Davido

Have you read the YouTube comments on this video?….. So Lola Rae is accused of over using auto tune. However, if you have listened to this girl’s voice as she talks, then you know that she does have a naturally auto- tuned voice (seriously).  Now allow me to love this song in peace…

Love You- Elani

 

Dume Suruali- MwanaFA Ft. Vanessa Mdee

 

It’s about time we had a phenomenal collaboration like this, (Keep ’em coming Vanessa, keep ’em coming). But for real though, are there girls who insult men right on the face because they are financially challenged?……..Lol! Whatever happened to good old love?..I however have to admit that  MwanaFA’s  clap- back got me good…(Nihonge na nunua nini, kwanini yaani, kuna kipi nisicho kijua, ina TV ndani?)…Jamani! I will leave it here.

For my non-Swahili speaking audience; (Why would I bribe, what am I buying and why would I, is there anything that I don’t know? Does it have a TV set inside)….(Ok, I’mma need you to hit up my social media pages for a full translation of what the song means)

Do like that- Korede Bello

 

Feel Good- Navy Kenzo Ft. Wilad

 

Upon Me- Kiss Daniel Ft. Sugarboy

 

Sowemo- Di’ja

 

Also, stalk me on Snap- gram. If I am lip syncing any of these songs, then you know it’s a HIT!

Throw back African Songs that you must listen to

Allow me the honors of taking you down memory lane as we reminisce on the good old days of some of the best throwback African tunes that ever existed.

10. Michael Ross- Yooyo

If there’s a song that was beautifully put together with much thought but effortless excellence, it has to be this one. I have to admit people, I was sprung at the first listen.

9. African Queen

So this is why I respect 2Face (Now Tubaba). At a time when white skinny women were viewed as the epitome of beauty, he changed the conversation, shifting focus to the African woman and the world took notice.

8. Obsessions- Jangu

So this is the main reason that I just did not like these girls; perfect waist lines and amazing moves that only they could pull, making the rest of us look bad. All these then they decided to break up…(rolls eyes) why????

7. Bushoke ft. K-lynn- Nalia Kwa Furaha

I’m still trying to find myself the kind of love talked about on this particular jam…(if at all it exists)…..even the real Gs that I knew back then melted down on this one.

6. Ndihamba Nawe- Mafikizolo

Truth be told, I did not like this song when I first heard it. (Enough of that look- I was young and stupid.) Flash forward 2016 and this has got to be one of the most amazing songs I have listened to in my life. From the melody to the rhythm, I definitely see myself walking down the isle to this song…(well,I might need to find out what it means first before rushing to add it to my wedding playlist….help anyone?)

5. Kweli- Waridi Ft. K- Rupt

Someone explain what happened to Waridi? How do you have such an amazing song then just up and leave for good? Not cool dude, not cool!

4. Maria Salome- Saida Karoli

I am not really sure why Saida Karoli was laughing so hard at the beginning of this song, but I do know that this was a massive tune. And if you have listened to Diamond‘s rendition, then you probably appreciate this song even more- one word; BOMB!

3. . Magic system- 1er Gou

 

I do not understand a single word, but it sounds good and makes me so proud to be African. Plus, this is one of those songs I think I would bond with my dad over…you feel me?

2. Moss Moss- E- Sir Ft. Brenda

What’s a throw back playlist without E-Sir, right? (God bless his soul). He might be gone, but he remains to be one of the greatest African artists to have lived.

  1. Vulindlela- Brenda Fassie

 

Am I the only one thinking that after Diamond’s rendition of Maria Salome, someone ought to do a rendition of Vulindlela? And not just anyone…I’m thinking along the lines of  Yemmi, Wizkid or Sauti Sol…..get my drift? (people that are musical legends in the making, (just incase we are yet to be on the same page)). Now stop whatever it is that you are doing if you haven’t listened to this jam, get onto it and thank me later.

Any other song you think deserves to be on this throwback list?

Do let me know.

 

 

Rkay; On Matters Music Production

robert-kamanzi-image-courtesy-of-prisk-or-ke
RKay (Image courtesy of prisk.or.ke)

Robert Kamanzi also known as RKay or Mwanabuja is a music producer, singer, song writer,  performer and chairman of the Performers Rights Society of Kenya (PRISK).

Besides having worked with top African artists among them Oliver MtukudziJoh Makini, Chidimna,  and  Blu3,  his productions have received recognition in several awards such as MTV MAMA, Kilimanjaro and the Channel O Music Awards.

I got a chance to talk to him some time back, and this is how our conversation went down.

What does it take to be a good music producer?

You have to be patient because you will be working with artists, who think and do things differently,  as it should be within their territory. Being a producer calls for one to be a guider, as you spend a lot of time with  artists in studio and you get to see them at their most vulnerable moments. Some will break down and you have to encourage them. You also need wisdom that makes you  sensitive enough to notice the emotions and thoughts an artist may be having, know how to handle that and be able to deliver for the best results.

 How do you remain relevant in the industry even after years of being here?

I have never been one to follow trends because if that was so, once a trend is phased out, I would follow. Instead, I ride on my own time which helps to fill the gap that is left in between changing trends. Simply put, I  do timeless music. Also, when it is your gift, you will do it well.At the end of the day, I strive to be the best I can be and the rest will take care of itself.

You work with different artists with different styles of music and different personalities. How do you ensure that they  maintain their individuality while at the same time combining that with your input for the best results?

I take every artist as they are and I am always open to finding out more about their individual personality, and allowing it to contribute to what I have to offer. That said, I love exploring new things. Discovering an artist’s personality is one of the ways that brings out excitement in me. So we end up doing something that is tailored and works for an individual artist.

 How about instances when an artist wants to record a song that you probably do not believe in?

One of the biggest responsibilities of a producer is offering guidance to an artist and having been in the industry for as long as I have been, I have learned a lot. It is my responsibility to share that knowledge with artists. An artist may be good but sometimes their perception of things isn’t correct due to wrong information. Providing guidance based on my knowledge helps an artist have a product that is musically correct; something that can take them further.

For the longest time, you remained unchallenged as a top music producer in the region. Times have however changed and we are now having the emergence of other equally talented producers. What makes you stand out from any other top producer?

When you work well with people, they will always want to keep working with you.  People would rather have a great experience than the greatest skill but with lots of headaches. I try my best to provide the best working environment for my artists, which sets me apart.

Having been in the music industry for over a decade now, what are some of the most notable changes that you have noted in the  industry over the years?

One of the biggest changes has been the growth of infrastructure that has enabled the music industry to flourish. We have also seen laws coming into place to make things more favorable for our artists, in terms of copyright and business. All this have led to maximization of profits in this sector which is slowly becoming attractive to investors. Musicians are now earning from their work, unlike before.

Changes you would like to see in Kenya’s music industry…

We need Kenyans to be more appreciative of our own. Our talent may not be perfect, but it is good enough and we can only get better. As a nation, we need to unlearn the culture of throwing away the baby with the bathing water. If you attend your child’s school parents’ day and it turns out that your neighbor’s child is doing better than your own, don’t cheer for them to a point that you forget about your own child. Instead,encourage your child, go home and try to figure out why the neighbor’s child is doing so well. It could be that they wake up an hour earlier for studying before preparing to go to school. Encourage your child to learn from it, so that tomorrow, they can do better. Appreciation encourages even the one who is struggling to want to do better.

 

P.S: Special thanks to my friends Rael Nabalayo and Ken Bonyo who helped me with the interview…Had it in video format but I lost my audio (darn you technology!)