His hair has changed many times throughout the years from a polite hair cut,to the rugged look,to dreadlocks and who knows maybe he will go bald?One thing however that has remained consistent with him is his music.Timeless.Patriotic.Romantic.By now you are probably wondering who this man is…it is none other than the amazing Eric Wainaina.
If you need to senerade your love this song Ritwa Riaku will get you favours from here to the moon.It is suprisingly a very simple love song and when I learnt what the lyrics meant I felt like I was taken back to the world of The River Between(it’s a Kenyan set book) with Waiyaki and Nyambura.I am all about that African love.
The song starts with a beautiful introduction with the saxophone and then enter Eric’s smooth and mellow voice.You can hear the drums and the bass guitar which form a beautiful music bed that complements Eric’s voice.
The BGVs blend so beautifully with the instruments that you notice them without them overpowering the singer.Interesting thing that you don’t notice alot nowadays is that Eric has managed to be the lead singer and still take the lead as BGV.What is so amazing about this is that this was done at a time when creating your own loops was still unheard of…and throughout the song he does not sound different,there is no disconnect between the verse and the chorus.Studio sessions are hard to do and for artists back then especially in Kenya you either had it or you did not.Eric nailed the transitions.
Here in comes my favourite bit of the song,the bridge where he goes,’Oooo,oooo,oooo*2″then he gives way to that beautiful saxophone(Eric,who is that guy?He is such a genius) then back to Eric.Such execution,such finesse.
As the song draws to a close the instruments die down and it closes with Eric’s outro and his beautiful voiice that proves that he is a bonafide singer.
The songwriting is simple,with a clear message.The arrangement is very well done but it has just the right amount of complexity.Eric is the kind of musician that manages to create music and his consistency is something that artists need to observe.
We all know Eric for belting out patriotic songs but at the same time we know him for expressing love in the simplest way possible.Eric will never go out of style and neither will his music.Miss Nyambura here keeps telling me to learn Kikuyu,this song might just be my first attempt at it.
Here are the lyrics
Ndendire kurio ni nyamu mwendwa ngwetereire
I was almost eaten by wild animals waiting for you my love
Waiting for you, waiting for you Waiting for you my love
Ndetaga nyamu cia githaka mwendwa ritwa riaku
I was calling the wild animals your name my love I was calling the wild animals your name my love
Mwendwa ritwa riaku
Your name your name I used to call wild animals your name (repeat)
Ndendire kuhurwo ni anake mwendwa ngwetereire
I was almost beaten by young men waiting for you I was almost beaten by young men waiting for you
Waiting for you,
waiting for you
Waiting for you my love
Your name your name
I used to call wild animals your name
My two cents,