Fashion Friday: The Trendiest Hairstyle Of The Week Award Goes To?

Remember the daring multicolored fabric hair-do we featured some time back stating that it wasn’t for the faint heart? (Here’s the link: TREND ALERT: ANKARA BRAIDS) Well, it just found a daring heart.

The daring heart is none other than Kenya’s Hip Hop sensation Muthoni Drummer Queen. She  is no stranger to head turning experiments and as expected her new hair style has captured the attention of most of us.

We first saw the do on sultry Singer Dija at the beginning of the year and we admired it from a distance. Since then none (at least that we know of) has strutted the streets in this trend but looks like the non conformist MDQ has set the stage for us.

















Her previous Brazillian wool hairstyle was quite the work as well, accessorized with Masaai beads.








Her hair clearly has a mind of its own and combined with her artistic mind we just can’t wait to see what she pulls out of the bag next time.

Africa Nouveau Festival Is Back For It’s 2nd Edition!

Described as “The future of festivals on the continent” by Okayafrica, Africa Nouveau Festival founded in Nairobi  is back this year to a fascinating set up away from the city. Back for its 2017 edition under the theme “Afrobubblegum” derived from fun, fierce and fantastical Africans creating art simply for the love of it. The event is this year supported by the ‘British Council’s East Africa Arts’ programme, Planning Systems, Ofgen solar and Goethe-institute.

As Africa Nouveau gears towards unveiling an exhilarating lineup filled with Africa’s cool, new, funky and avant-garde talent, experiences will be key. Festival goers and revelers are guaranteed a fun camping experience at Small World Country Club. They will be treated to a number of fun activities among them Live Music, DJ Stage, Virtual Reality, Wellness areas, Art installations and a Fashion Market.

The 2-day/2-night festival that will this year take place in Athi River at Small World Country Club (10th – 12th November) brings together curators and creators from across Africa to Kenya. Highlighting unique facets of Music, Culi’N’Art, Fashion and Film, Africa Nouveau – 2017 is out to impress and expand beyond its current legacy. Speaking on Africa Nouveau’s return, the CEO and Founder Muthoni Ndonga asserts that she is “completely thrilled!” She says, “It feels great to congregate again. We have the power to decide what our story is, and we think that we are Fun and Fierce and our imagination is simply fantastical.”

Under the ‘British Council’s East Africa Arts’ programme’s skills and networking activities that connect East African and UK festivals with the aim of sharing festival management skills, networking creatives, and showcasing innovative new art by East African and British talent. Muthoni says, “British Council is an instrumental partner in making the general festival experience come together, and very specifically, enabling a special focus on the fashion component and programming this year,” adding, “we are also pleased to have been put in a peer-to-peer learning environment with a festival in the UK, and together, we are working on a long term, mutually re-enforcing relationship to increase collaborations between the UK and East Africa. Finally, we look forward to the skill transfer between Kenyan, Ugandan and UK journalists covering arts and culture also fostered by the British Council.”

Different from its past edition hosted in Nairobi, this year’s festival will be tucked away from the hustle of the city. Muthoni talks on why the festival’s management picked Athi River. “We want to be among the hills and the sky and the earth. We want to be in our true nature and escape the man-made cities and their mania.”

Kenyan Jams To Have Become Record of the Week This Year

Every so often. a brand new single catches the attention of our producers’ very adept music ears and it earns the chance to rule our airwaves as Record of the Week (abbreviated as ROTW).

It’s never a dull moment on the Record of the Week (ROTW) segment of this website, where hits such as Major Lazer’s ‘Run Up’ and Calvin Harris’s ‘Slide’ (both past ROTWs) have lived.

It where you can go to find out what music jams are creating waves on the scene long before the rest of the world catches on.

It’s been 10 months of celebrating big jams and we have found that in all ten months, these were the 4 Kenyan jams that sat at the ROTW table.


Muthoni Drummer Queen’s ‘Kenyan Message’.

Produced by two incredible Swiss producers Jean “Hook” Geissbuhler and Greg “GR!” Escoffey, Kenyan Message addressed Kenya’s current sociopolitical scene in an well shot, 3 minute something visual and the song, which later received a star studded remix, was actually part of Muthoni’s sophomore album.

This track as the first Kenyan track to be ROTW this year, playing on heavy rotation all week back in March. 


Oksyde & Khaligraph Jones ‘Atiyo Matek’

Shot by Chief Rocker Entertainment, this video was the ultimate collaboration between  mentor and mentee. ‘Atiyo Matek’ was recorded at Blu  Ink studios and was later mastered at Swim Records, and was this Jump Off Frehsman’s first stay at ROTW.


Octopizzo ‘TBT’

Quite possibly the biggest banger to have been released from the 254 this year and definitely not Octopizzo’s first stint at ROTW, having featured multiple times since his ‘Ivo, Ivo, Ivo’ release. 

This former ROTW video was shot in USA by iconic director Russ Fraser and has since gone on to garner millions of views. 


Fena ‘Doing Her Thing Though’

Fena is also one Kenyan artist who is definitely no stranger to being featured on ROTW. This singer has had a slew of hits be on ROTW from as long as I can remember since her ‘African King’ single. ‘Doing Her Thing Though’ pays tribute to Kenyan females who are succeeding at their crafts and features name-drops of famous Kenyan women like, Lupita Nyong’o, Huddah Monroe and Edith Kimani.



Exclusive! Steph Kapela Speaks After Label Split Controversy

Arguably one of 2017’s most iconic Jump Off Freshman and Nu Nairobi act, Steph Kapela practically cemented his stay onto the top of the industry with Atwal produced singles like ‘Got The Sauce’.

This young emcee is more than making rounds with radio listeners and avid hip hop fans alike paying careful attention to his steady yet insanely fast growth on the scene and he just granted us his first interview after the shocking rift between himself and long-time studio powerhouse Atwal.

While the news was put out in a somewhat abrasive way, being announced on social media (screenshot below), it was clear that Steph remains calm and positive regarding the rift and describing it as a business disagreement that he has since learnt a great many things from.

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Steph’s response to that post was by also by way of social media where he revealed his respect for Atal Music, describing him as someone with a ‘talent and ear for great production and engineering and who continues to set the bar for the Kenyan music industry.’

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Steph who quickly rose to fame thanks to his impeccable ability to switch from rapping to singing accorded us a phone interview where we talked music, life, performing and even very reluctantly shed a bit of light on this rift.

On music and working with up and coming artists.

Having only recently come up from the ‘underground’ scene, Steph talked about his deliberate intent on working with ‘numskull’ acts  despite having the ability and artistry to ring in collaborations with huge artists, citing a need for there to be a platform for some of the acts to get some spotlight.

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On working with soulful singer Kemunto.

Wendy Kemunto collaborated with Steph on their 4 month old collaboration ‘Only One’ and as revealed by this Jump Off Freshman, the two met at an event where he got to see her sing live, after which they were formally introduced, all of which are details that preceded this jam.

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On what his next chapter will look or sound like.

Steph maintained a tight lip over the reasons behind his leaving Atwal music but talked about being excited for working as an independent artist. As he has so far shown an ability to be diverse by doubling in singing and rapping, Steph steered away from defining his sound, choosing instead to say that we can expect him to keep experimenting on different styles.

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On leaving Atwal Music and what that taught him.

Though silence on both parties have led to our speculation on it being a wildly personal issue between artist and producer, Steph maintains that he is nothing but proud of the good music the two have made but only remarked at how strenuous the rift is turning out to be, mentioning that it has taken on legal form (like lawyers are involved). Without going into any more details about that, Steph talked about singing to the music label at an early stage of his career advising other artists to always be very attentive to issues that may revolve around contracts and keep from being too hasty to sign any deals.

Since the split, Steph has gone on to feature on one of Kenya’s highest ranking collaborations ‘Kenyan Message’ (Remix) by rap icon Muthoni Drummer Queen and shared a stage with his fellow freshmen at Industry Nite’s ‘Major league’ edition.




Fena Gitu Reigns Supreme With ‘Doing Her Thing Tho’! Now Your #ROTW

Catchy lyrics and infectious beats are only the tip of the iceberg when you attempt to describe Fena latest hit single ‘Doing Her Thing Tho’.

From the songstress who had her humble beginnings singing at campus events while still in uni, to dazzling people at small crowd shows with her unique way of transforming already existing jams into her own, Fena does more than deliver with this three minute something single which is really an ode to how tenacious women can be.

Paying homage to others who’ve curved their own path and earned success being great at what they do (featuring exclusive shout outs to Edith Kimani and Victoria Kimani), Fena does what only she does best, which is to give is a tune that is both a great sing (and dance) along.

Little wonder then that this hit takes over from DJ Khaled’s two week run on Record of the Week (first with Drake featured ‘To The Max’ and later with Rihanna and Bryson Tiller featured ‘Wild Thoughts).

We know you’ll be enjoying listening to the ‘Fenomenal’ queen ‘do her thing’ as this week’s biggest banger, from her witty use of childhood chant and game ‘piki piki maua… ah.. ua ah’.

Featuring multiple wardrobe changes here’s the video to that.


This Week’s Record of the Week Unveiled!

It was a great one week of enjoying Calvin Harris’s ‘SLIDE’ as record of the week but this week, it’s Muthoni Drummer Queen’s turn to sit on the throne as HBR’s top track of the week and it’s all thanks to her recent release ‘Kenyan Message’.

Produced by two incredible Swiss producers Jean “Hook” Geissbuhler and Greg “GR!” Escoffey, Kenyan Message addressees Kenya’s current sociopolitical scene in an well shot 3 minute something visual and is actually part of Muthoni’s sophomore album set for release some time in April.

Among the other singles to have been partly released from THAT album is one called MINE which she teased via a 1 minute visual which was shot in the snowy landscapes of Switzerland.

Muthoni’s always had a knack for expertly intertwining real issues with good music and this brand new one is no different.

Have you seen the video to Kenyan Message yet?

Well here you go.

MDQ Releases Most Conscious Music Video Yet (Watch!)

She is the epitome of being a boss lady. Muthoni Drummer Queen still reigns supreme when it comes to event organizing and to rap, the latter of which she proves by meticulously addressing Kenya’s socio political issues including the doctor’s strike in her brand new single ‘Kenayn Message’.

Then jam which samples iconic hip hop jam “The Message” by DJ Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, using the phrase “Don’t push me cause I’m close to the edge, I’m trying not to lose my head.”

Produced and recorded by Jean “Hook” Geissbuhler and Greg “GR!” Escoffey of Switzerland, this three minute thirty six second music video is slowly garnering hundreds of views since being uploaded hours ago and is packed with honest truths about the current situation in Kenya, the most notable being the doctor’s strike, which she depicts by lying down seemingly drowning in a white lab-coat.

‘Kenyan Message’ will be a part of what is going to be Muthoni’s sophomore album set for an early April 2017 release. 


Listen To Blinky Bill’s Star Studded Production ‘I’m Feeling It’ (Audio)

He is one third of Kenyan band ‘Just A Band’. Blinky Bill, both producer and artist just debuted his star studded production ‘I’m Feeling It’ and we’re calling it star studded because wait till you learn about just how many big wigs have graced this project.

First, we know he (Blinky Bill) produced it which is already something given the amount of success that ‘Just a Band’ have had with hit singles like their remake of ‘Probably for lovers’.

Then, for the vocals, this new jam features vocal songstress ‘Mayonde’ who you’ve definitely watched on her overly infectious video to ‘Isikuti Love‘ and the seen on a couple seasons of Coke Studio Africa and Mayonde features on the track alongside Muthoni Drummer Queen.

Suffice it to say the jam would be a hit already but I’m not yet done listing the stars who played a part in the making of this single.

As per the description, the song’s vocals were recorded by Dillie (who’s the producer behind chart topping hits such as Juliani’s ‘Exponetial Potential’, 125’s ‘Can’t Take It’ and practically all of Sage’s music) and the recordings were thereafter mix and mastered by Eric Musyoka who along with producing a good percentage of Kenyan hit songs, was responsible for creating THIS memorable moment.

As if you needed any more convincing that this is a good jam, Mayonde pretty much starts by throwing in a bunch of lyrics from some of our favorite jams including Alain’s ‘Spin Me’.

Check it out:

#iConcertHBR: Who Will Be Performing Alongside Muthoni The Drummer Queen?

The #iConcertHBR will be going doing this Saturday courtesy of HBR and the headline act  is none other than MDQ aka Muthoni Drummer Queen! She’s a singer, rapper, poet, songwriter and amazing performer! You know this if you have attended any Blankets and Wine event.

MDQ’s super fans will get a chance to watch her live but you don’t have to miss #iConcertHBR because you can stream and catch it live from the comfort of your own home with company if you like. Trust me, you DON’T wanna miss this!

Why? Well if you’re a fan of Kenyan Hip Hop, you’re in for a treat! MDQ is bringing the 254 heavyweights to throw down one MASSIVE party! If you’re thinking C2K, you’re definitely right! Rabbit? Check! Kristoff? Check! Xtatic? Check! Kagwe Mungai and Young Noize will also be in the building!!

Who would want to miss such a show? So excited I could barely sit still while writing this. Stay tuned to HBR all day err’day for more information on the #iConcertHBR.