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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Que Penya, Kenya Banga

Well now, Just A Band don' gone and blown themselves up. Did you catch the Makmende craze comin' out of Nairobi? The fiber optic cable has apparently arrived and Africa is on your digital doorstep poised to take over your mind. Check out this cool interview with the Just A Band on CNN, whose members seem somewhat surprised by their own successes:

(via akwaaba)

And now you can purchase their album 82 through Akwaaba Music, who is offering the song Ha-He for free!

As Sean Jacobs said, don't SLEEP on Kenya! Masala has been paying attention, and Get Mziki is always up on the new out of East Africa. Just A Band who is helping to define a new sound through high quality production in Nairobi are part of a collective of Kenyan artists under the name Penya Records.

Penya is a studio based in Nairobi run by repatriated Kenyan rapper Wawesh, whose Mjanja track is one of my favorite rap tracks.

He is contrasting the styles of Ogopa Records and Calif Records, who are doing more digital and synthesized productions, by promoting artists who play instruments like Muthoni the Drummer Queen, Sauti Sol, and Stan. They are doing some real high quality produced music AND videos.

Check their Youtube channel. Here is a nice one by Dela that should work for fans of South African House or UK Funky:

And the dope Kenya-Naija collabo highlighted by Masala:

Sauti Sol General Pype, Sasha P-Mara Hio Hio (Direct Download via Masala)

In related news, I want to point out that my friends at the Sauti Academy have put together a nice blog page where you can see some nice videos of jam sessions from the school and the work that they are doing with Nairobi youth.

Their goal is to train local musicians with real instruments and give them the resources to take their music careers into their own hands. When I was in Nairobi this past December, I hung out with the crew on Christmas, we had one of the funniest and fun jam sessions I've ever been a part of. I was also able to attend one of their workshops in a community outside of Nairobi which was very inspirational.

Check for my homie Insect who will be appearing on some Banana Clipz in the very near future, and if you're headed to Nairobi, or feel like supporting a great program, contact Natalie at Sauti Academy.

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