A month ago I learnt that there are now two forms of the ‘Odi Dance’. There is the ‘Odi’ dance ‘ile ya kawaida’ (the one we are used to) and then there is the ‘Odi Odi’ dance which is otherwise known as the ‘Odi with a Swag’.
Having been introduced to us by Sauti Sol and Nyashiski from their jam ‘Short and Sweet’, this dance quickly caught on, becoming a viral sensation but how did it all come about?
We hosted Choreographer Oscar Mwalo, who helped put that dance together and who also revealed that the ‘Odi Odi’ dance was in fact created as an homage to its predecessor the ‘Odi’ dance, but was made to be a bit ‘cooler’ so as to appeal to the ‘uptown’ crowd.
It certainly worked!
Here’s a short video of our time with Oscar at HBR and of us learning the dance move, all of which coincidentally was filmed on Madaraka day (or as we called it ‘254 Day).
For one of these dance moves, it was unlikely that a lot of thought went into it and for others, it was merely a ‘remix’ to an already popular move. Either way, here are five dance moves that Kenya has managed to teach the world.
5. The Kemboi.
Like I said, it’s clear that not much thought went into this one although who cares! The man had just won Gold!
Kemboi’s waist shaking celebratory dance went viral back in 2011 with there being instances of him doing it a couple of times in the years that followed, including that one time he even got to teach his world famous dance to our Deputy President William Ruto!
4. The Lipala.
This dance is a traditional Kenyan staple at functions like weddings and was made incredibly famous by Sauti Sol’s music video to their 2014 smash single ‘Sura Yako’.
After garnering six million hits, Sauti Sol took the ‘Lipala’ a notch higher by teaching it to our President Uhuru Kenyatta and former US president Barack Obama during his trip to the 254 a couple years back.
3. The original ‘Odi’ dance.
Made famous by artist Timeless Noel, you may (or may not) know this but according to YouTuber Justin Bradford,…
The term “odi” is a slang in short for ‘ ordinary ‘ thus ODI DANCE is all about celebrating and giving hope to everyone who thinks he/she is just an ordinary person.
With over two million views on YouTube, this is obviously no longer an ‘ordinary’ dance move but one that has become so viral that other stars (like Wyre in Mimi Na Ye ) have adopted the dance.
What you’ve got to love though, is watching the many clips online of foreigners attempting (and even succeeding at) the move.
2. The Bazokizo.
Co-created by dance choreographer, dancer and artist Bruz Newton, the Bazokizo spread well beyond the confines of the Gospel industry for which the accompanying jam was meant and quickly became an internet sensation with corporates, influencers and even the Kenyan rugby team all doing the Bazokizo!
1 The ‘Odi Odi Dance’
Identified as the ‘swagger-fied’ version of the ‘original Odi’, the Odi Odi dance emerged thanks to dance choreographer Aggie The Dance Queen who also famously dances the ‘Odi Odi’ dance in the music video to Sauti Sol’s ‘Short and Sweet’ single, as the girl in the stripped jumpsuit.
Aggie has since gone on to have a BBC interview and has probably had to wear that iconic jumpsuit multiple times for show during TV interviews and on stage while performing it.
Sauti Sol announced that they will be dropping collabos every month till November and they sure have stayed true to their word.
Their new track “Rewind” featuring Khaligraph Jones is awesome, no doubt. The accompanying video is what stood out though. It brings to life the lyrics to the song where the artists tell us about the struggles they had to go through to make it and how they wish they could rewind it all.
Here’re some of the throwback pics featured on the music video (kweli watu hutoka mbali)
Khali and his boyz
Sauti Sol throwback
Back when Polycarp would play guitar with his shirt off lol
They even had the pleasure to meet president Uhuru and former president Obama!
The road to success for many African musicians is linear and quite predictable: garner a cult-level following in your home country by releasing a string of hit songs, reach out to other successful stars on the continent to stretch your fan base, get nominated for a MOBO/EMA and eventually put out a mediocre collab with Rick Ross (I’m looking at you Diamond and P-Square).
So as we watch Sauti Sol’s star rise ever higher by the day, we all know that their big Rick Ross collaboration is coming soon and it therefore begs the question: Which international artist should the group team up with?
There’s no easy answer to that question because Sauti Sol are musically hard to place; going through their discography you will hear elements of Zouk, Blues, Dancehall, and most recently Reggae (if you haven’t heard the incredible Girl Next Door yet, then you are not doing life right). Their versatility lends them the advantage of being able to accommodate the styles and talents of almost anybody in music right now.
But “accommodating” is not what Sauti Sol should aim for!
Time and again African artists seem to flinch under the limelight of American stars, adopting and taking on styles that don’t suit their sound and rarely complement their art. Take for example the aforementioned collaboration between Diamond Platinumz’ and Rick Ross. Essentially a Rap song, Waka works perfectly for Rick Ross who sounds at home on an instrumental that matches his swag and braggadocio, but one that makes Diamond sound like a fish out of water and forces him to take on a persona that sounds unnatural.
Conversely, consider Everytime by Wizkid featuring Future. Way before the ATL trapper even appears on the track, there is no doubt in your mind that you are listening to a Wizkid song. The beats, the tempo and the vibe are all Wizkid staple. He completely owns the track and simply invites Future to join in on the fun.
And going into the new year, as Sauti Sol roll out their brand new album Afrikan Sauce and continue garnering global attention, it would be great to see them escape the trap of settling for a big name rapper and instead seek out artists who will match their own unique versatility.
Like Ty Dolla Sign!
Boasting collaborations with artists as diverse as Major Lazer, Lupe Fiasco and Africa’s own Mr Eazi, Ty Dolla is a master in musical camouflage; the kind of artist who has no interest in stealing your shine, but does a fantastic job of simply adding gloss to your music.
That is the kind of feature Sauti Sol should reach for because after all, as great as it is to have your name tagged alongside a big international act on a song, it should mean even more for that song to be yours.
It was a long awaited collabo that Kenyan music group Sauti Sol teased via a series of tantalizing pics on social media.
Alluding to a time when singer Bien Aime boldly professed his love for Naija songstress Tiwa Savage, this BET nominated crew only just released this Pan-African collaboration, which they chose to title ‘Girl Next Door’.
The video which is incredibly shot, features authentic African city/town-scapes and showcases Tiwa in a both a blonde hairdo and a revealing tank top.
Like most of their music videos, ‘Girl Next Door’ is fast going viral and if you love it as much as we do, then you’ll definitely love hearing it over and over again as this week’s Record of the Week.
Crowned Best Group in Africa and touted as the giants of East African music: Sauti Sol (Kenya) release brand new single MELANIN featuring World Best Patoranking from Nigeria. Co-written by the talented Kenyan songwriter and singer: Nviiri The Storyteller and produced by Sauti Sol, MELANIN, becomes the debut single off of Sauti Sol’s upcoming music project titled AFRIKAN SAUCE LP – set for release over the next 12 months.
The track showcases Sauti Sol’s authentic afro-pop perfectly fused in R&B and Patoranking’s dancehall magic, giving off the best of both worlds. Having maintained friendship for many years, while watching each other grow into continental greats, Sauti Sol and Patoranking unite in “Melanin” to deliver a powerful collaboration with a strong message; celebrating women of color. Africa’s top music video director, Clarence Peters, redefines Afrocentric meets Caribbean vibes in this Lagos shot music video, with rain pouring, slow motion dancing and steamy scenes.
Speaking on the collabo, Patoranking says, “I’ve known Sauti Sol personally for about three years, and I can truly say that we’ve been fans of each other as much as we’ve been friends. I am happy we finally release a track that represents us both in equal measure. We can only go higher! Africa to the World!” For the better part of 2017, Sauti Sol was silently and tirelessly working on the AFRIKAN SAUCE LP across Africa. They say, “We couldn’t be happier to share this news with our fans. Our aim with this LP is to connect Africa through music” revealing, “The LP’s body of work will be a continuation of our LIVE AND DIE IN AFRIKA theme.”
The AFRIKAN SAUCE LP follows the success of Sauti Sol’s third album LIVE AND DIE IN AFRIKA. The LP is a collaborative project that will feature heavyweight music acts drawn from across the African continent.
AFRIKAN SAUCE LP is rich and diverse with an array of songs and experiences that will take die hard fans of the group back to the roots of Sauti Sol – that warm resonant pop sound fused with traditional Kenyan influences, creating a mélange of rhythms and melodies. In an unprecedented and valiant move Sauti Sol plan to unveil a song off AFRIKAN SAUCE LP each month, for the next 12 months.
Kenya’s top music producer Cedric Kadenyi A.K.A Cedo has parted ways with award-winning boy band Sauti Sol.
Cedo who has been Sauti Sol’s music director for six years shared the news on Instagram captioning:
“I will always remember Ottawa as the city I played the last gig with my bros. It was maaaad fun!! Lakini all @sautisol gigs are simply epic! 🔥🔥🔥 Throughout the 6 years, I have been their music director, we didn’t realize we were making a musical revolution, getting the Kenyan music narrative heard all over the world, we just did what we love to do: make good music. I am honoured to have been associated with the greatness that you guys are. I wish you well and I am so excited to experience your new music! #cedowashere#ceduction#musicdirector#musicproducer
Sauti Sol responded with a bunch of appreciation messages.
Fancy Fingers wrote: “Me I love you man. So much”
Chimano added: “Awwwwwwwwwwww @cedo_producer love you bro! What we’ve been through! Where we’ve been! The gigs we’ve played! The challenges and the epicness that we faced! Yo! We made a mark! #awesome #happiness#soulstyleattitude you are pure greatness! #FACT
While Bien commented: “You’re the best. You took us to a world stage. I can’t wait for the world to hear the stuff you’re doing with Nyash.”
Cedo is now Nyashinski’s music director and we sure can’t wait for the great music they’ll make together.
A week ago, we talked with Rongai affiliated rap crew 125 who revealed that they were working on releasing a collective soon, hinting at an early release of a featured track which we now see was the remix to ‘Mchezo Ni Kwako‘ by Rosa.
Her fame may have spread after her epic rendition to Sauti Sol’s ‘Nishike’ but Rosa (real name Rosaline Akinyi) has quite the history in music, dating back to when she started out at only 14 years old.
Signed to Flag42, Rosa has since released a slew of hits that featured both her vocal prowess as well as her physical appeal.
Re-worked by Dillie, here’s the newly released music video to that collaboration.
About a week ago, Stylez of Code Red posted a picture on his instagram page that showed Kenyan icons The Kansoul, Sauti Sol and Nyashiski chilling together.
The photo was captioned; Late night cooking. #industrytings#gamechanging, which you bet, led us to believe that the crews were all working on a upcoming collaboration.
Not to disappoint a lot of eager fans but from a phone conversation we had with Kansoul rapper Madtraxx, it turns out that while we would all love to believe that the meet up was in fact the beginning of Kenya’s hottest banger yet, it was in truth, just that…. a meet up.
Apparently they were only really hanging out with no other intention in mind and Madtraxx even laughed off Stylez’s insinuation that something was ‘cooking’ saying …
“maybe something was literally cooking. Like food or something”.
That’s right. Sorry to dim your hopes guys but turns out the assumed project isn’t a collaboration we will be hearing soon.
We at least can still jam to Kansoul’s countrywide hit ‘Bablas’ (loosely translated to mean ‘hangover’) which is currently enjoying over a million hits on YouTube, we can oogle over the fact that Nyashinski’s ‘Malaika’ garnered over two million and feel proud over how Sauti Sol keep representing us on a global level.
Still. How epic would a Kansoul, Sauti Sol and Nyashiski collaboration be?