Music videos are the visual representation of an artists song. Unless you are one of those people who has synesthesia (see sound/ hear colors), this is often the first time we see the artist's interpretation of their work and what they think it means. Some are fun, some are serious, some have nothing whatsoever to do with the music they represent but it is hard to deny that great visuals often help sell music and make for a better experience.
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. Yes, we know East Africa is more than Tanzania and Kenya and that February is a separate month from March but we’re taking baby steps. If you know any cool artists from Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, and Ethiopia, that you think deserve a spot on our list, let us know.
Kainama - Harmonize Feat. Burna Boy
Is there a thing I’m missing out on with bathtubs in East Africa? I only ask because in the Kainama and Kiboko videos there are random bathtubs in the middle of empty rooms with no water and just people in them. If this is the new aesthetic for music videos, I’m not mad at it. Especially if Burna Boy is in one of them and singing in Swahili, which he does in this video. Bringing some of the elements from his ‘On the Low’ video - palm trees, beautiful ladies, and a light haze - and then mixing it with the all-white scenes that a lot of Tanzanian artists like, they give us the perfect video for the East meets West collabo we deserve.
Sana Sana - Wangechi feat. Scar Mkadinali
All the videos on this list are amazing but if we had to pick favorites, this would have to be it. ‘Sana Sana’ by Wangechi and Scar Mkadinali has a futuristic old-school hip-hop vibe to it and they fittingly pay homage to that by borrowing a symbol from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air intro (I won’t tell you about it, so you can be pleasantly surprised). They juxtapose the light nature of the Fresh Prince scene with darker vibes by filming in a red-lit room and an all-black room where they kind of recreate a rap battle and I’m just wow. Even though it was released in Feb, I think this video perfectly represents the potential of the Kenyan music industry and just how much talent and creativity there is.
Kiboko - Masauti feat. Khaligraph Jones
If Duracoat were in the business of music videos, they would make a killing. The color is the first thing that you notice when you watch Masauti’s Kiboko remix video featuring Khaligraph Jone, the scenes with bright yellow,a pale vibrant pink and white mixed with a splash of color, make this video a joy to watch. Add to the fact that the colors seem to have been invented to compliment melanated skin, your eyes will be captivated the entire time. Enos Olik and the editing team are masters at their craft, they take the choreographed scenes and give it a certain oomph by slightly slowing down the movement before the dancers hit you with that BOOM dance move. It definitely does not hurt that they time the tempo of the song to some of the cuts and edits they made.
Lucy - Bensoul
This video screams lights, camera, action, and capital F for ‘Fun’. You would think that because of the lyrics you would have more than one guy trying to win the heart of “Lucy” but this video consists of only Bensoul and “Lucy” dancing in a night club alone, together and at one point in a room filled with mannequins. The song is flames, the outfits in the video are even hotter... don’t even get me started on the dancing, all I’ll say is it’s MUST SEE!
Penzi Sumu - Victoria Gichori
Giving us low-key vintage vibes, Victoria Gichori combines two of my favorite things in a music video; a story line and good music. Told as an almost love story where Gichori visits her friend at an art class and falls in love after laying eyes on the art instructor - don’t worry he does too. As would be expected the video takes us through the motions of their relationship; food, painting, kissing, love and then the hard part, all while Gichori serenely sings in the background. Turns out her friend who is in the class is also interested in the instructor and is not a fan of the two of them canoodling and making jokes behind the canvas during class - I mean you paid money for the class sis, I understand your anger. Her friend decides to take matters into her own hands and ‘seduce’ the