Thursday, March 19, 2015

Music | AK47: Tribute to A talented Singer

Today, the local music fraternity bids farewell to talented dancehall/ragga artiste, Emmanuel Mayanja, aka AK47 aka Akay (Got this name shortly after joining Jeff Kiwa’s Team No Sleep, recently). He has been described in more ways than many of us can remember. Talented, Humble, respectful, jolly, hardworking etc.

As a tribute to his efforts, we’ll be cataloguing the songs he did in his short career.

Presenting: The AK47 Playlist;

(1) Action Packed
(2) Better Dance
(3) Big Up (Ft. Atlas, Chameleone)
(4) Bigambo byabwe
(5) Boda Dance
(6) Champion
(7) Ebaluwa
(8) Go like so
(9) Gweyaliwo (Ft. Bakri Matovu)
(10) Gyal A Bubble (Ft. Diziza)
(11) Kidandali (There is a remix ft. Ziza Bafana as well)
(12) Movie Star (Ft. Chameleone & Atlas)
(13) Musajja Watu (Ft. King Saha)
(14) Ndi Muzibu (Ft. Schwarz)
(15) Ndi Mulokole (Was yet to be released)
(16) Nsabayo Akaseera (Ft. Ganja Nana)
(17) Oliwa (Ft. Witty Witty)
(18) One time Lover (Ft. Jackie Chandiru)
(19) Onemye - There is a remix featuring Pallaso as well
(20) Semusajja Agenda (Also known as Kaleeba, featuring Jose Chameleone. There is a remix of the same, featuring Gravity Omutujju)
(21) She looks so nice (Ft. Kalifa Aganaga)
(22) Story (Ft. Bakri)
(23) Tell em say (Ft. Beenie Gunter)
(24) Tukikolemu
(25) Twazilwanako (Ft. Bakri and Sheebah)
(26) Yoono
(27) You Should Know
(28) Nalongo Wange
(29) Teli Amusinga (Ft. Brenda Birungi)

Travel | Boda Tales

This one imagined I was some random West African and decided to speak to me in English. I played along, just so I could gauge his grasp of the Queen's language.

As is the norm with many a boda-boda rider, we ended up talking many things. They never seem to shut up, these amiable fellows. He  will tell you all the interns your boss has slept with, and which one of them is his favorite. He knows who owns every building in town, and how much they make in a month. 

My boda guy said his name was Nicky. Short for Nicholas. Nicky speaks English with an accent. A boda-boda guy with an accent (Haha). That was a first. Nicky was neat, too. Well tucked-in shirt and polished shoes. Like the ones in that Kiwi advert by David Rudisha. He rivals Fred, my erstwhile go-to boda guy at a former workplace (in neatness, not English).

The two remind me of Sly, my Lagos cab guy. Probably the most bullish man in the world after Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Brig. Kasirye Gwanga. He bore an eternally upturned collar, Eric Cantona style, and was my right-hand guide during my short stay in Lagos.

Throughout our interaction, Sly initially remained cagey on his actual details - full name et al. When he finally opened up, he pronounced his name with an air of importance (of sorts). Sly stood for Sylvester, he said. Sylvester Makari. The only Sylvester Makari you'll find on facebook, he signed off.

Music | Sauti Sol: A Brief Review

They are Kenya's all-male afro-pop singing band, and probably the most versatile music group in East Africa. They don’t release music in quantities. Quality is their thing, as is versatility.

For all their efforts, it's not easy to recall they have been around for quite time. Next year they make 10 years in the industry.

But perhaps their biggest successes have come over the last 4 or 5 years. While one would easily categorize them as Afro-pop, their latest song, Sura Yako would suggest otherwise.

It is done in a rather coastal sound, with a tempo similar to Jose Chameleone's Wale Wale. The latter was accused of reinventing Rumba (or what we commonly call Lingala) in the early days of its release.

From Songs like "Still the one" which was a favorite of many soul and RnB fans, through Nishike, and Sura Yako (a complete antithesis of Still the One), Sauti Sol are on a roll.

With a couple of international accolades under their belt already, only the sky could be their limit.

It's easy to see they could still be around, and killing us (like they say in modern music, these days) with good stuff.

The band formed in Nairobi by vocalists Bien-Aimé Baraza, Willis Chimano and Delvin Mudigi in 2005. Initially an a capella group, guitarist Polycarp Otieno joined before they named themselves Sauti. 

Sauti Sol derives its name from two languages. Sauti (Kiswahili for voice/sound), and Sol, the Spanish equivalent for Sun.