Hello everyone,so quick intro.This is The Bar,a collective of 3 individuals passionate about African music.In recent times we have noticed immense talent springing up and so many new trends in our music industry.Artists from within the continent are collaborating to come up with new sounds,raising the standards of how we do events,investing in production of their music and using tools such as social media to market themselves and their craft.
We could not have been alive at a more perfect time than this!There is so much good happening but a lot more room for improvement.The Bar after very many meetings then decided to start small with this blog which will critique music past and present.We shall talk about the production quality,the shelf life of the song,the story that is weaved together, what an artiste should improve on and what they should keep doing.Our focus at the moment shall be on music from Kenya(which by the way has a lot going on!).If you had given up on your people or just have no idea where to start,we got you covered.
As the team we wanted to work our way backwards meaning we look at new music released in 2015 from now until January. The song currently doing rounds on the Kenyan inter webs is Sauti Sol’s Isabella.Here are our thoughts:Enjoy,comment and share!
It is a Friday afternoon and I am browsing on Facebook .A friend of mine has uploaded the video to ‘Isabella’ on their feed.I am excited.About a week ago the lyric video( done by a friend of mine Norman Kinyash ofJee Media KE) was already whetting our appetites for the visual feast that we would be treated to.The boys have managed to pull another fast one on us after releasing the club banger ‘Shake yo Bam Bam’ which is still garnering mixed reviews.If you haven’t yet heard the song check out the video on their channel.Anyway back to ‘Isabella’.Let me start with the audio.
The song begins and you are instantly drawn in.From Bien’s verse you are walked through a journey of young love,that of reckless abandonment.The best thing about it is all you have to do to take yourself into the world of this song is close your eyes and literally let the words and the instruments take you there.
When it comes to the chorus the phrase ‘YOLO'(YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE) features prominently.I feel like a lesser musician would have called the song YOLO which would have greatly watered down the masterpiece that is the song,so I am glad they did not take that route.The songwriting is impeccable,it is a simple well told love story.
Now let’s talk arrangement.The words fail me.You can hear the violin,the piano,even a flute.This is the kind of song that you can cover so many different ways,the kind of song an orchestra can perform.This is a secret that I think Sauti Sol should share with other musicians in Kenya.Take time to compose a song or if you can’t do it yourself pay someone to do it for you.Thank me later.(‘Hayo ni mapepo’and their ilk this goes out to you.)
The video was done by One Four Studios Film.First of all,amazing picture quality.They managed to make us want to rob a bank and go to Vegas.It managed to bring my fantasy of the video to life of a couple spending a night on the town with Sauti Sol’s ballad as the perfect soundtrack for date night.
As a writer they satisfied my need for a beginning middle and end to the story.They got amazing actors and I could not help but have a warm fuzzy feeling as I watched it.The boys looked good as always and whoever did wardrobe and makeup for this video should be given a big thumbs up.
Overall these boys continually make me feel proud to be Kenyan by staying true to their roots and flying our flag high.Stay winning.Oh and you know you have made it when people abroad are covering your song.
Check out more of their music on their channel-Sauti Sol