He’s part of this year’s Jump Off Freshmen class and while all eyes are on all of the young fresh emcees on that list to see how they live up to being the representation of the new nu sound (#NuLife) of music in Nairobi, Steph is definitely putting in work.
This ‘Got The Sauce’ rapper has enjoyed a fast rise to fame (at least in our eyes) and has featured on many a television and radio interviews, one of his most recent features being his epic rap battle with Ignition HBR’s Mike Wachira The King Slayer, where let’s just say, he was slain.
Even so, we know he’s got rap skills having watched him go ham on his weekly freestyle sessions (#FreeSteph Fridays) and we know he’s got a great personality from the insane interviews he gives but one thing we also know, is that he can sing!
It’s probably the one thing that sets him apart from the rest of the freshmen and might be the ‘sauce’ on all of his jams, including most recent release ‘Only One’ featuring singer Wendy Kemunto.
Well, watch Steph Kapela flex his vocal skills in an overly plausible rendition of DJ Khaled’s ‘Wild Thoughts’ in the most recent edition of JamHuri Jam Sessions.
Two months ago, HBR launched a first of its kind radio acoustic talent search called #TheCoverKe which starred 5 artists whose job it was to create innovative and catchy covers to already existing singles for a chance at having Homeboyz music studios produce their first EP for free.
It was during this time that we met and got to know Ben Soul. beating out most of the competition to make it through to the third week, Ben Soul left us with incredible covers to jams like ‘Avicii’s ‘Wake Me Up’ and Nameless’ ‘Coming Home’.
Losing out to Cheruto the week before the finals, Ben Soul stayed positive and went on with his solo career, working behind the scenes with some notable names and only just re-surfacing on a H_art the band single ‘Mashisha’.
Released this past weekend, this interesting single is sure to be a banger and you can now listen and request for it via Homeboyz Radio.
This jam comes after H_art the band lost all the footage to one of their unreleased and highly anticipated videos, a story that you can read about here.
Nonini is currently working on two incredible music projects set for release this week and we caught up with the ‘Genge Godfather’ via a phone call regarding an acoustic rendition to ‘Mchezo Ndio Ganji’ that was recorded by ‘The Cover’ winner Raaay!
Nonini said he loved it and wondered when the next season would be.
This ‘Tudunde’ rapper is currently shooting the video to that Didge collabo (something you can read about here) and as for Raaay! well he is currently working on his first EP with Homeboyz Music studios.
After 5 incredible weeks of the acoustic talent show that saw artists cover songs from genres that included House Music, Afro-beats and Hip Hop, it was down to two artists, Raaay (yes you really spell his name that way) and Cheruto.
Having had about a month to show us how creative they are, Raaay and Cheruto had to battle it out by covering the same song.
We figured, what better way to REALLY get to see how creative and deserving they are than by allowing them to tackle the SAME jam?
They each had about a day to re-arrange and perform beautiful acoustic renditions to Ben E King’s widely sampled and covered jam ‘Stand by me’ which you can bet was quite the challenge.
Speaking on Weekend Breakfast at the grand finale, Cheruto revealed it was especially hard since she had to do the entire arrangement without knowing how Raaay was going to do it.
We put it to a poll after playing it out as part of the show’s ‘Under Cover’ after which Raaay emerged the winner and in case you missed out on the action, here are the covers.
He was a favorite for three straight weeks. Ben Soul who is a singer, song writer and instrumentalist came onto the show with a positive attitude and gave his all in each week’s performance.
Sadly, his first time in the bottom two proved bad luck as he wound up losing to fellow singer and friend Raaay on Episode 4’s hip hop challenge.
The challenge which was judged by Patricia Kihoro, Tallia Oyando and guest judge Corine (representing for Homeboyz Radio’s hip hop family), was probably the toughest yet but also the most rewarding as it gave us a chance to listen to exclusive renditions to jams like Nonini’s ‘Mchezo Ndio Ganji’ (covered by Raaay) and Nyashinski’s ‘Now You Know’ (covered by Bensoul).
You know what this means right? The grand finale now stands 6 days away (from today 2nd October) and while the anticipation over who between Raaay and Cheruto takes home the win, here’s a look at Bensoul’s incredible covers from the show.
The Cover: An acoustic music show (that airs on Homeboyz Radio’s Weekend Breakfast Show), showcasing only the most interesting music renditions by talented Kenyan artists.
After an incredible first episode where 5 amazingly talented Kenyan singers showcased their creativity by performing acoustic renditions to 5 big songs, the competition is heating up.
For their first elimination episode which aired last weekend, our 5 artists had to cover massive African songs as part of the week’s challenge and we sadly said goodbye to Gachago who cited a busy schedule and new developments in his career as a cause, of having not had a lot of rehearsal time for that week’s challenge.
We now remain 4 contestants strong and as the grand finale gets closer and closer, these four acts will have to keep impressing us by performing acoustic renditions to some of the hardest singles to cover.
While we wish them all the best, here’s a look at how awesome their African challenge (from episode two) was.
Bensoul: A week ago he wowed the judges by performing an acoustic mash up of ‘Stella’ (an old-school Kenyan song by Freshly Mwamburi and ‘Stella, Stella, Stella’ by STL. This week, this ever soulful singer converted Nameless patriotic anthem ‘Coming Home’ into this 3 minute something work of awesomeness.
Emma Cheruto: Suffice it to say that she is a crowd favorite. Emma who is only 19 years old blew everyone away with her sultry rendition to a Michael Jackson song and this week, tackled a South African house jam called ‘Speed of Sound’ by Da Capo and Tresor, flipping it it 180 degrees so that it now sounds like this.
Raaay! All the judges love saying his name. Raaay was the brave artist who took on H_art the band’s classic single ‘Uliza Kiatu last week and he got even braver this week because what did he cover? 2 Baba and Sauti Sol’s ‘Oya Come Make We Go’ and boy did he do a great job!
Wangui Githu: Not many artists would think to audition for any competition with a Lauryn Hill song but she did and she was awesome. For her African challenge, Wangui took a popular South African single ‘Let You Know’ by deejay & producer Sketchy Bongo and made this beautiful and simple acoustic rendition to it.
They’re all great right? Well only one can win a chance at having their first EP produced entirely at Homeboyz Studios and for this coming week, they will be covering House Music jams.
Going to be very interesting indeed. Catch the LIVE show on my (Rae Kiragu) Weekend Breakfast show, Weekend mornings from 6am to 9am.
It’s the first of its kind radio championed acoustic talent search that stemmed from the popular Weekend Breakfast (#WBWR) show feature ‘Under Cover’.
The Cover (#TheCoverKe) is a 5 week show starring 5 contestants who will battle it out over a series of innovative cover songs for a shot at having their first EP produced exclusively and for free at Homeboyz Music studios.
With the judges being Homeboyz Radio’s very own Patricia Kihoro, Tallia Oyando, Sheila Kwamboka (and the occasional guest judge), the first episode aired this past weekend and was a success.
From bringing iconic artists back to life to performing mash ups of new and old songs, it was a collection of incredible talent and while the audio version should be posted up soon for your listening pleasure, here are the 5 cover songs that kicked off the show.
Michael Jackson ‘Billie Jean’ COVER by Emma Cheruto.
H_art the Band ‘Uliza Kiatu’ COVER by Raaay!
Drake ft Wizkid and Kyla ‘One Dance’ (COVER in Swahili by Gachago)
Mash Up: Freshly Mwamburi’s ‘Stella’ (Old song) and STL’s ‘Stella, Stella, Stella’ by Ben Soul
Lauryn Hill – The X Factor (COVER By Wangui Githu)
What do you think? Do you have a favorite?
Episode two kicks off this next weekend and as this will be the show’s first elimination round, don’t miss it! Catch it LIVE on the weekends on #WBWR (Saturday and Sunday from 6am to 9am).
You should also subscribe to the YouTube channel ‘The Cover Kenya‘ for a more exclusive look at the show and for more exclusive Kenyan acoustic renditions.