Amidst the alcohol infused cacophony of the Nairobi flea market. I suddenly stop my mindless IG scrolling and sit up rapt, my ears peaking to a familiar tune. It's my mothers' song. I haven't heard it in forever! That timeless, soft rock classic, "How deep is your Love".
To this mellifluous, countertenor cover of the Bee Gees 1977 hit, images unfold of a little child in different states of curiosity, magic and play. Melody fades to applause. Misty eyed I look up, my eyes zooming to center stage.
Perched on a stool with a guitar about his neck, is this gifted music man. He sports short locks and has on a royal blue shirt and a pair of white jeans. His name is Ciano Maimba. He has been entertaining this boisterous crowd for close to an hour. He now has my undivided attention.
I listen through his next song that once again ends in exuberant applause. He then softly announces that he will now invite his band to perform with him through the last half of the show. Change of dinner plans, I'm sitting put through this one!
This next set consists of music from his latest collaborative project with producer M³ titled "Serve Chilled" released earlier this year. The E.P. doesn't align with any specific genre and to label it alternative doesn't quite do it justice. The now captive audience is immersed in a diversity of sounds that ranges from deep soul, bluesy jazz and light rock.
Each song is a unique gem with a subject that echos in sequence life's key experiences - innocence, the coming of age, love, hardship and triumph, collectively mirroring the evolution and transformation of self. Ciano’s airy, feather touch, masterfully threads them together into dazzling sonic jewelry.
New to the Nairobi music scene, this was my introduction to Ciano Maimba an increasingly popular acoustic singer/songwriter. He describes his music as that which embodies human experience, and propagates universal understanding, equality, love, peace and harmony. Please do check him out. You will not be disappointed.