We all know Suzanna Owiyo and if you don’t then you know the track “Kisumu 100”, a track she first performed in front of a crowd of 60,000 people at the celebrations of the city of Kisumu in the late 90s/ early 2000s. This is the track that opened her door to stardom, making her relate well with “dwellers” in Kisumu.
She has been making music ever since but nothing has been heard from her for a while. So there have been CORD protests going on and a lot is happening as far as politics is concerned. Tribal lines have divided those who have been misled by a few individuals in a position of power but we’re not going to get into that.
A rude fan tweeted her in an attempt to be funny (rude) but the clap back from Suzanna is what he didn’t see coming. Khaligraph has been known not to take crap from people online and now it seems the next person not to mess with is Suzanna.
The first time I saw 2 Face and got to know of him was on African Queen. A song that I immediately fell in love with and still do to date.
A name change, couple of awards, a couple of thousands (definitely more than a couple) later, he’s going to be performing in Nairobi on June 11th at a concert dubbed “BuckWyld n Breathless”.
He’s not going to be doing this alone. 2Baba will be joined by some of the best in (East) Africa. I’m talking about Vanessa Mdee, Sauti Sol, Dela, Ali Baba, Papa Dennis, Churchill, MC Jesse and Kagwe Mungai.
Sounds like a plan? Well you need to get your advance ticket right NOW for Kshs. 1,500 because at the gate it’ll cost you an extra 500 bob. VIP tickets are Kshs. 5,000.
Once you do that, make sure that you’re ready to have a blast at Carnivore Simba Saloon from 7 p.m. till late.
Khaligraph Jones has come a long way. From being just another dude in the streets of Kayole with nothing but a dream and a talent, to becoming one of the hottest rappers that we have in the game in the 254… maybe even Africa.
Now he wants to help other rappers on the come up who are probably just as talented (or even more) to get their shine.
In an era where I thought cyphers weren’t as cool anymore, Khali is at it with The “Khaligraph Jones Presents” Cypher which he says is supposed to drop today.
This comes round the time HBR announced that we are on the lookout for Freshmen this year. So being an alumnus of the very first pioneer class (2013), is he also in a way campaigning for these rappers? We’ll just wait and see how it goes… and if some of these rappers make the list.
From my understanding Victoria Kimani is quite popular in Nigeria… I think she’s just as popular over here as much as we would love to hate her.
Concerts (shows) are becoming quite a thing. From Gilad Milo to H_Art The Band to Juliani and now Victoria Kimani wants to put up a show and she’s bringing some Nigerian stars with her.
On that performance list is LAX (well known for Caro) and Skales (who worked with Khaligraph and Urban Hype on Champagne).
Other stars to grace the stage are Kristoff, Yvonne Darcq, Gabu and Frasha.
The show goes live this weekend (Saturday June 4th) at Cubano, Greenspan Mall, Donholm.
Gates open at 6 p.m. and tickets are very very affordable. Kshs. 500 will get you an advance ticket Kshs. 1,000 gets you into the VIP. At the gate tickets go up Kshs. 500 extra with regular tickets going for Kshs. 1,000 and Kshs. 1,500 for VIP.
On the decks will be DJ Purpl and DJ Creme and the event will be hosted by Jamal Gadaffi.
Lupita Nyong’o is amongst other American stars who participated in the I Am An Immigrant campaign which seeks to address diversity issues in the US.
The campaign was organized by a non-profit initiative, Welcome.uslaunched, on June 1st 2016 in honor of the Immigrant Heritage Month (June) in the US.
The aim of the campaign is to encourage individuals to just be themselves and encourage others to show support for new Americans.
To start off the campaign, Lupita (who was born in Mexico and raised in the 254), amongst other stars (Akon, Miguel, Tracee Ellis Ross etc), discusses how immigrants have become a part of the United States.
Well, history says that America was kind of built on immigrants. It was built by slaves who weren’t from the States.
Snaps of the celebrities who took part in the campaign were taken by Cary Fukunaga, the Beasts of No Nation director, a descendant of an immigrant.
Kagwe’s launch into the music scene in Kenya was through the release of his EP “It Only Get’s Better” in 2012. Since then he has collaborated with top Kenyan artists such as Rabbit “King Kaka”, Muthoni the Drummer Queen, Fena, Miss Karun (Cosmic Homies) and many more.
He is a multi-talented artist working also as a producer and songwriter. As a producer he has worked on award winning tracks like Nishike by Sauti Sol.
Due to his obvious talent Taurus Musik recently signed Kagwe and are making that official announcement today, May 27th 2016. He becomes the third artist to be signed to Taurus Musik joining Dela and Zambian trio Urban Hype.
Congratulations to Kagwe and all the best to him as he starts on a new journey in a bid to elevate his career.
If you listen to most rappers, they talk about hardship in their music and making it out from the projects where all sots of vices manifested in their youth to living a comfortable lifestyle and crediting their music for it.
Here’s a look at some of the Kenyan ones who have risen above their problems and who can serve as an inspiration to you in one way or another.
It is known that Juliani grew up in Dandora phase 4. He wasn’t book smart but he definitely knew how to put words together so he practiced on his rap and freestyle skills until he got a chance to go to Zanzibar through music for the first time ever. To support his music he sold eggs during the weekdays. His mom sold Chapati and beans in the hood so he always helped prepare dough and boiling the beans the night before.
Right now Juliani is living comfortably off his music and has the backing of corporate.
Who doesn’t know where Octopizzo represents? Namba nane is Kibera just in case you don’t know, one of the biggest slums in the Africa. Octopizzo lost both his parents at a young age and used music as an outlet and his way of rising above the challenges in the hood. Where is he now? You know, where the money is!
3. Khaligraph Jones
Khaligraph Jones grew up in the (say it with me) one nine sixty or simply put, 1960 AKA Kayole which is a lower middle class town in Nairobi. Khaligraph has even said before that he has slept on the floor and I don’t mean on the floor like mattress on the floor. I mean on the floor like cement. Khaligraph has hustled to get to where he is. All respect to him and his grind.
I don’t know much about where Rabbit grew up but I do know that his childhood wasn’t all rosy. His dad was a slave to the bottle which led to the separation of his parents. He spent weekdays with his mom and the weekends with his dad up until he past away when he was in Std. 7. Broken families at whatever age are not a piece of cake and that’s why he makes the list. Saddest thing is, his daughters will probably go through the same thing he did.
Luodollar was once a street kid. He went to high school for two weeks then he dropped out because his mother couldn’t afford fees. He then took up street hawking just to try and survive because he was the man of the family when his dad passed away. He may not be at the top yet, for me he still needs to prove himself by releasing more tracks that are up to par but I think he could very well be on his way there.
The pop star sat down with Elle Magazine South Africa and they talked about lots, including her debut album.
On her collaboration with Khuli Chana, Victoria said that Khuli got the song from her team, loved the vibe of it (All The Way) and recorded it on the same day of the video shoot. Sounds pretty hectic but she goes on to say that their schedules had to be in sync and it worked out pretty well. Victoria feels hat the reception she got on the record is, so far, the best ever since she started releasing music three years ago.
The concept of the video was inspired by the ’90s vibe from Victoria’s childhood with the roller skates and obviously being fashion forward herself, she wanted it to portray fashion and a little bit of art with the glow in the dark tribal paint.
On her album:
The album may be released in the third quarter of the year and is going to be called “Safari”, a summation of her life in a way. Victoria would love to have 12-15 tracks on it but you know at the end of the day these decisions are made by management so there could be more or less.
The features on the album include Sarkodie and (sexy) South African artist Donald. Looks like there are also going to be surprises on this album as there will be an international feature she didn’t name drop, an introduction to new artists and she mentioned that the lead single would be a surprise as well.
On production, there’s lots of Reinhard, a producer from Nigeria who Victoria says they have great musical chemistry. Reinhard produced All The Way.
The album will be released in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria and possibly a couple more because, she says, “That is another way of legitimizing the soul of the record.” Since she has collaborated with different artists, has experimented with different sounds and has fans in different regions in Africa (and the world) she feels the need to take the album to the people on the ground.
The album will of course be available on iTunes as well as hard copies as is the norm.
Mtaa Mentality is Juliani’s debut album which was released in 2011 and according to my source, it was declared that best selling album in Kenya in 2012. If you missed the story on when he wrote most of the ideas down, read here. So the concert is a celebration of this album since it was the album that changed everything for Juliani
Due to his huge success; a rags to riches story, he’ll also be sharing his success story amidst live band performances. He is doing this to reflect on his journey and appreciate the fans and corporates who have supported him through it all.
Mtaa Mentality Concert will be held on Friday 27th of May, a day that he will also be officially launching his entrepreneural project, MyMsanii and the Project Dandora Hip Hop City.
MyMsanii is an online Talent Management platform that gives various talents space to conduct business through bookings, fan interaction and event hosting while Dandora Hip Hop City is an artist hub for developing talent built in the heart of Dandora Phase 4, the place he grew up in.
It is also a place for upcoming artists to get trained on the art and the business behind the art. So basically Dandora Hip Hop City (also called the Ryhme School) is a place for artists interaction and training.
This kind of reminds me of Cassper’s Fill The Dome concert because just like him, there will be no other performers and the event will be held at the National Theater.
You must have seen the headlines “Davido becomes the first African artist to sign with Sony” then just the other day, “Sony signs Alikiba”. The first time I saw the Davido story I thought that there’s no way that could be right because I knew that Kenyan rapper Xtatic had been signed by Sony.
I had had a long conversation with her about this and how Sony hadn’t really done anything for her despite her submitting her album in 2012 on time. Four years later, still nothing. She said that she felt that Sony only focused on established artists. If you missed that story, click here.
Well, Sony has now signed two African artists (Davido and Ali Kiba) but Xtatic said, on her Instagram post that she hopes it’s not a raw deal and it actually helps Ali Kiba grow his brand more. She called out blogs such as The Source for only catching up to the African artists signed by Sony saying that nobody was dropped or deals cancelled and they were still very much signed to Sony, posting a picture of herself, D’banj and Ali Kiba with a Sony official.
Well Juliani dropped in for an interview on HHC for the first time ever and I asked him what his thoughts on this are. He said that as a new artist when an international/ major record label approaches you, you really have no bargaining power. You work with them on their terms since you have little/ no knowledge of how the industry works and because you trust them to grow your brand you take whatever it is they have to offer. He said that Davido and Ali Kiba don’t really need the deal because they’re already big artists and have a huge following but if they took the deal then they had better ground to bargain terms.
His word to Kenyan/ upcoming artists? Artists don’t need these deals. As an independent artist, you have the freedom of deciding the kind of music you want to make and the strategies you’re going to apply to release it.
Just make good music, concentrate on growing your brand more and find ways to really make money off your art without depending on some label.