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HYBRIDITY IN MUSIC: THE FLEE PROJECT & EXTRA MUROS RESIDENCY

The FLEE Project describes itself as “a cultural engineering platform dedicated to the documentation and enhancement of hybrid cultures”. Extra Muros, the first edition of their electronic music residency, together music makers from Europe and Kenya, beginning in Nairobi and snaking its way along the Kenyan coast to Lamu, Kilifi and Mombasa.

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PODCAST: IN TRANSIT

Introducing IN TRANSIT a bi-weekly podcast dedicated to uncovering East Africa’s vibrant creative scene, shedding light on a very promising corner of the world as it transitions into a fully fledged industry.

 
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Artists To Watch: Natasha Ayoo

Natasha Ayoo is a visual director from Nairobi, Kenya, and a great one in the making. Having only been in the game for about 2 years, she is already making waves and leaving a remarkable stamp in the Nairobi scene with her keen eye and love for different aesthetics.

 
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Exclusive: NAD'S DNA

Streetwear brand Nairobi Apparel District, distinctly known for their uniquely customized denim jackets, has quickly become a got-to for the city's fashion enthusiasts. Having established itself as an official street brand approx. 3 years ago, NAD has been able to attract a large following and stellar reputation in Nairobi.

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Artists To Watch: Malkizy

Upcoming rapper Malkizy (aka Malcolm Axel Willmann) opens up about breaking into the music scene, staying true to himself and upcoming projects.

 

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TAIO, KERBY AND KAHVINYA URGE US TO UNITE AND LOVE EACH OTHER ON 'NAIX3'

‘Naix3’ is a raw, urgent and heartfelt call to the youth of Nairobi to stand together in love and unity.

 
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THE POSTSCRIPT TO BEYONCÉ'S LOVE LETTER TO AFRICA

The lack of an East African artist on 'The Gift' may not just be something to cry foul about, but something that gives us room to think about East Africa’s musical positionality, both in terms of strategy, and sound.

 
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JACK ROOSTER REVIVES KENYAN HOUSE MUSIC WITH “NYUMBA” ALBUM

House is a feeling, an uncontrollable desire to jack our body. This is our house and our house music. In this house the keeper is Jack. And the Kenyan Afro-house DJ gives you permission to jack your body with Nyumba.

 
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Turunesh's "Coastal Cider"

Let coastal vibes carry you as Turunesh payes homage to her ancestors, mama Africa and the mystic narrative of the African Woman on her latest project, "Coastal Cider".

 
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KAGWE MUNGAI'S GENRE DEFYING 'SPECTRUM' HAS A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING FOR EVERYONE

With ‘Spectrum’ we see Kagwe experiment with different sounds and techniques and remind us that the best thing about the Kenyan music industry is the variety within it.

 
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Artists To Watch: Mr. Lu

Get to know Mr. Lu, a rapper/producer, all-round creative and self-proclaimed social experiment.

 

THE NEST COLLECTIVE CHALLENGES THE CHURCH WITH ‘HERI’

The video shows scenes in which congregations seems lost in intoxicating trances and belief, as the pastor justifies his reasons for asking and doing what he does to get what he wants and needs.

 

EA WAVE RELEASES NEW SINGLE, "ALANGO", FEATURING MAKADEM

In anticipation of their next album, Kenyan DJ/Producer collective EA Wave have released the first single, “Alango”.

 
Photo: Muthoni Drummer Queen

Photo: Muthoni Drummer Queen

Tangaza picks: videos of 2018

This year has been full of poppin' visuals from East Afria's finest. Here are our top picks.

 
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LET SINGER/SONGWRITER TURUNESH GUIDE YOU TO A PLACE OF FEELING

“The importance of the energy and the sound, that’s what I want people to feel when they listen to my music. I don’t want them to hear that I write really well or that I sound really impressive or insanely unique. What I want people to feel is my presence and my energy.”

 
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Ciano plays the flea market

Ciano Maimba one of Nairobi's rising singer/song-writer's enthralls crowds at K1's infamous flea market. He describes his music as that which embodies human experience, and propagates universal understanding, equality, love, peace and harmony.

 
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Meet EA Wave, The Kenyan DJ/Producer Collective Championing Nairobi's Alternative Music Scene

EA Wave are pioneers of Nu Nairobi, the city’s burgeoning urban, alternative music scene. The collective is rooted in disrupting the current notions of what Kenyan music should sound like and have been at the forefront of paving the way for alternative, eclectic, experimental music in Kenya.

 
Photo: MANE and The Cloak of Mankind

Photo: MANE and The Cloak of Mankind

September's Top picks

Take a look back at some of last months best releases.

 

MUSICALLY VERSATILE AND MULTI-TALENTED, VALLERIE MUTHONI IS READY TO TAKE NAIROBI BY STORM

Singer, rapper, performer, poet and former YouTuber Vallerie Muthoni radiates NuNairobi as she refuses to be tied down by style through creating genre-fluid, head-bopping music.

 
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skype series: meet harawa, the malawian-kenyan artist your playlist needs

With Bryson Tiller-esque influences, Hip-Hop/R&B artist Harawa effortlessly slides between poetic rap verses and crooning vocals to create music that drips in sentimentalism and realness. From the tender ‘Her Freestyle’ to the more upbeat ‘I Love This’ ft Kane, Harawa’s music is a vibe.

 
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WOMEN IN MUSIC AFRICA, A FORUM AIMED AT HIGHLIGHTING AFRICA'S PHENOMENAL FEMALE MUSICIANS

Women In Music Africa Forum, a social media based platform aimed at highlighting the work and achievements of Africa's female musicians whilst fostering an environment for musicians and industry professionals alike to interact, network and grow

 
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EXGXNX GXCXGX EMITS NOTHING BUT POSITIVE VIBRATIONS

DJ, writer, director, curator, and host of The 47 Frequency podcast, Eugene Gecaga is spreading positive vibes one session at a time.

 
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LISTEN TO JINKU AND WANJA WOHORO'S PSYCEDELIC "DUST" EP

Jinku and Wanja Wohoro take us on a cosmic journey on their two-track EP, Dusk. This downtempo, electronic, alternative project is a perfect combination of soul and afro-futurism.

 
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KAMAU Rocked Nairobi at Thrift Social's Bold and Bright Colour-blocking Edition

Brooklyn-based singer, rapper, producer and all-round creative KAMAU gave a transcendental performance at this years first installation of the Thrift Social in Nairobi on Sunday, March 17th.

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RIDING WITH LEWIS HAMILTON: CATCHING UP WITH THE MINDS BEHIND AUGUST'S MOST BADASS RELEASE

From the moment the bass-heavy beat drops at the start of Lewis Hamilton, we know we are in for a ride befitting the title. The track is swaggy, unapologetic, glossy with braggadocio – delightfully audacious.

 
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MUDDAH GIVES HOPE TO THE DREAMERS WITH “MDOGO MDOGO”

Mdogo Mdogo is a perfect listen during the pregame before you and the squad leave for the club. One of the unique Kenyan music videos of 2019, Mdogo Mdogo was directed by Black Ink and edited by the visionary Natasha Ayoo. It weaves in the love of Kenyan fashion and music in one music video. And its visual tricks are made to keep you glued to the screen.

 
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ARTISTS TO WATCH: XENIA MANASSEH

Get to know soulful, Kenyan R&B singer, Xenia Manasseh.

 
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Artists To Watch: Naomisia

Get to know Tanzanian R&B and Bongo Flava singer, Naomisia.

 
Snapshot from Golden Pineapples by Dai

Snapshot from Golden Pineapples by Dai

7 MUSIC VIDEOS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED SO FAR IN 2019

Here is a selection of bomb music videos you may have missed so far in 2019.

 
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Karun On Redefining Herself And Her Sound

Karun candidly discusses her journey since Camp Mulla, discovering herself and the legacy she's hoping to leave behind.

 
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KARUN'S 'GLOW UP' IS ALL ABOUT LOVING YOURSELF AND YOUR GIRLS

Karun successfully proves that not every love song has to be centered around boys

 
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Noel Nderitu Gives Us The Perfect Gift: Love Sessions EP

The alternative Kenyan musician fuses R&B, soul and gospel to create the Noel Nderitu sound. His latest EP gives us a glimpse of his romantic side

 
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KERBY DELIVERS A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON “TRAP”

Kerby shows us how one can love to indulge in bouncy trap songs but at the same time not want to be part of the trap life itself.

 

NOT ENOUGH SAUCE ON SAUTI SOL'S 'AFRIKAN SAUCE' ALBUM

This album is definitely a fantastic place to start cementing their impact on the Kenyan music industry as it showcases the best of everything they have to offer. However, the album feels like receiving a gently worn t-shirt from your sibling. You’ve borrowed it in the past, seen them wear it a couple of times, and now that you have it you appreciate it but you still want something new.

 
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7 reasons why MUZE club is the best thing to happen to Nairobi

MUZE is exactly what Nairobi nightlife needs in this sea of the same old clubs playing the same old music. Even their theme is #DanceDifferent. And as one of my DJ friends shouted above the loud music during one of the premiere nights “This is home now.”

 
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THE TOP 5 MUSIC VIDEOS OF THE MONTH

With March coming to an end, we wanted to highlight some pretty cool East African videos (in no particular order) that we’ve seen this month.

 
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A SIT DOWN WITH THE HUSTLER QUEEN, DJ COCO EM

DJ Coco Em's star is fast rising. Her headlining set for Boiler Room's True Music Africa tour in Nairobi last year, thrust her into the global spotlight. A number of high profile international gigs have since followed and she closed out the phenomenal year by playing at the first Afropunk Fest in Jo'burg on new years eve.

 

LEONARD MAMBO MBOTELA GIVES HIS STAMP OF APPROVAL ON BLINKY BILL’S LATEST VIDEO FOR ‘MUNGU HALALI’

The much anticipated video from Blinky Bill’s project ‘Everyone’s Just Winging It and Other Fly Tales’ finally dropped last week on Valentine’s day to much appraisal. The video gives us a look into the world and life of Bill Selanga, and how far he has come.

 
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A FITTING TRIBUTE CONCERT FOR KENYAN LEGEND AYUB OGADA

This wasn’t just any ordinary concert. It was a celebration of the life and legacy of one man, Job Seda, popularly known as Ayub Ogada. The Kenyan musician was barely recognized in his own country until his death on February 1st 2019. Other than playing Kothbiro on repeat in our houses and radio stations, we needed something more to remember him by.

 
From  playkemusic365 , artwork by  Kevin Provoke

From playkemusic365, artwork by Kevin Provoke

WHY YOU NEED TO FOLLOW #PLAYKEMUSIC ON INSTAGRAM

#PlayKEMusic has been trending topic on Kenyan social media and was sparked by concern over the lack of support Kenyans give their musicians and artist. In response, Nairobi-based sound, mix & master engineer Jaaz Odongo created @playkemusic365, an Instagram page promoting talent from across the country for 365 days, leaving no genre behind.

 
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IMI CREATES SPACES WHERE VULNERABILITY AND SELF-DISCOVERY ARE WELCOME AND ENCOURAGED

“I don’t wanna be the biggest superstar in the world. I just want to make something beautiful.” With heartfelt lyrics, soothing vocals that drip honey, and intricate guitar playing, 23-year-old singer/songwriter, guitarist and producer Imi is doing just that.

 
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RU.BY TEASES ‘HEY THERE’ EP WITH A SWEET, SHORT FILM

RU.BY prefaces her upcoming EP “Hey There” with a mesmerizing short film.

 
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WHAT YOU MISSED AT BLINKY BILL LIVE AT MUZE CLUB

Blinky Bill brought the house down as he headlined the official launch of MUZE Club, Nairobi's hottest new club..

 
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10 Years of Blankets and Wine and Revolutionary Kenyan Music

Last November, Blankets & Wine celebrated 10 years of showcasing the best of both international and local talent.

 
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The Soulful Benga of Udulele

John Udulele is an afroeclectic, folk singer-songwriter whose evolution as a musician has been steeped in Benga culture.

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Exclusive: METAMORPHISIZED IS ARAKNIDA

ARAKNIDA has established itself as one of Kenya’s major streetwear brands, from reflective tees, to deconstructed pants, hand painted denim to print hoodies, ARAKNIDA is metamorphosing

 
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Exclusive: MWAMI DROPS THE VIDEO TO HIS INFECTIOUS DEBUT SINGLE "REKTLESS"

Left-of-field, Ugandan electronic artist Mwami has dropped the visuals to his infectious debut single “rektless”, released this past April. Directed by Space Gray and Mwami, the song’s music video aptly captures its edgy and dizzyingly enticing energy.

 
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STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT ETHIC ENTERTAINMENT'S 'FIGA'

Ethic Entertainment hearkens back to a time when the Kenyan airwaves were ruled by groups like Deux Vultures, Kleptomaniacs, the Ogopa artistes, and many more. Let’s not stop a groups growth and bag because they do not fit into a fictional mold of what we believe the Kenyan music industry should look and sound like.

 
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‘MURASTA’ IS COMING AND URBAN MUGITHI STAR AYROSH IS READY

Get ready for the release of Afro-fusion artist Ayrosh's debut album, Murasta.

 
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SERRO RELEASES “YA DUNIA”, THE SONG WE ALL NEEDED TO HEAR

This third single off Serro's upcoming debut album KUWE is a special one. It reveals the untold story of Kenyan musicians and how social media hype doesn’t always translate to monetary success in real life. It’s the life of a struggling artist and Serro uses herself as an example.

 
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H.I.M DELIVERS A BREATH OF FRESH AIR ON HIS LIFE SO FAR TAPE

Tanzanian hip-hop artist H.I.M put forth a prject that embodies his life's journey so far. We are bombarded with lyrics and beats that aim to purely impress, and his message of love, pride and truth.

 
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HOW BENSOUL ROSE TO THE TOP WITH HIS FIRST SINGLE LUCY

There is a reason why he is called Papa Soul. You first heard him in Masheesha, the 2016 party hit with H_art The Band. He then poured out his soul in his original love ballad Ntala Nawe during Jamhuri Jam Sessions on YouTube. Fast forward to 2019, he was revealed as the first signed artist of Sol Generation Records.

 
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Artists To Watch: Bahati Bookings

Get to know Bahati Bookings, the three comrades who are something like fresh mint and lavender to the music scene here in Nairobi offering fresh melodic sounds, funky flows and lyrics to match.

 
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LISTEN TO VALLERIE MUTHONI'S LATEST OFFERING, 'PISCES SZN'

This EP is a not so subtle reminder that Vallerie Muthoni is a definite one-to-watch from Nu Nairobi’s burgeoning music scene.

 
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STRICTLY SILK: MORE THAN JUST A LADIES NIGHT

StrictlySilk is Nairobi’s first-ever girls only dance party. Exclusively for women and exclusively by women. Bringing everyone together to eat, drink, dance, and be merry, the event features 6 electric performers on the DJ decks: Ziggie, DJ Coco-Em, Shishi, DJ Vidza, DJ Ca$hy, and DJ Miss RAY.

 
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WANJA WOHORO'S EMPOWERING 'MATRIARCH' EXPLORES WOMANHOOD, HERITAGE, SELF-GROWTH AND LOVE

Wanja Wohoro’s debut album has added a gorgeous standard for the Kenyan artist. This album is testament to the fact that vulnerability is strength. She manages to leave a piece of herself in each and every song, yet there is still a universality to it all: heritage is beautiful; being a woman is something to be celebrated.

 
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IF YOU HAVEN'T LISTENED TO UKWELI'S NEW, MESMERIZING SINGLES YET, YOU'RE SERIOUSLY MISSING OUT.

It's been a week since Kenyan producer, photographer, filmmaker and member of DJ/producer collective East African Wave, Ukweli, released some new music and I'm nowhere near being over it. 'How Long' feat. Kiwango and 'Roses' feat. Karun are two soul-touching songs that are guaranteed to have you in your feels.

 
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SAUTI SOL TEAM UP WITH NYASHINKI ON LATEST TRACK "SHORT & SWEET

Sauti Sol, East Africa's top band, are back again with yet another stellar track. The Afro-pop band teamed up with fellow A-list, Kenyan artist Nyashinski on their latest single "Short & Sweet".

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Taio Triiiper On His Career, Aspirations, Kenya's Music Industry and Superpowers

Matthew Wakhungu, aka Taio Triiiper, came into the limelight as a member of Camp Mulla. Since then, his career has evolved, taking on various shapes and forms.

 
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Nadunda by Swahili Ally is a must-listen-to modern fusion of East and West African music .

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SKYPE SERIES: A CONVERSATION WITH PRODUCER M3 ON CREATING FEEL GOOD MUSIC

M3's cleanly produced music will take you on a wonderfully unpredictable sonic journey.

 
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The Hype Fest with Mr. Eazi In Pictures

Nigerian-Ghanian superstar Mr. Eazi electrified Nairobi at the inaugural Hype Fest.

 
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East Africa's Epic House Music Tour

With 3 back-to-back-to-back shows across Kenya, Uganda & Rwanda starting 31st May through 2nd June 2018, Mashariki Music & Madorasindahouse [MIDH] the world's largest Afro-House YouTube channel, are putting East Africa's burgeoning House Music scene on the map.

 
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6 EAST AFRICAN RAPPERS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT THIS WEEK

East Africa's hip-hop/rap scene is poppin' and has been for a minute. There are several extremely talented lyricists, storytellers and beat-makers repping Africa's East Coast both from the continent and the diaspora.