I’ve never been a fan of Bongo music. I’ve liked some tracks from our neighbours but I don’t think there has ever been a time where I have willingly played a bongo track. They are probably one of the most artistic musicians in Africa if not the most creative just like Bombay Sapphire is probably the best gin out there but it might not be the most palatable.
So when I was searching for a track to cover this week, I decided to key in a random search. The result was Tuliza Nyavu. I won’t bother telling you what it means because our interpretations may be very different. I’ll keep my review to the song itself.
When Susumila introduces the track, my first reaction was to laugh because pure Swahili has this funny feel to it. Then I heard Vivonce’s vocals and wow was I impressed. She has a very mellow voice and makes everything sound like Oreos dipped in chocolate. I could listen to her all day and still wake up asking to hear some more.
Her vocals are heard throughout the track in the background and she kills the hook. Susumila goes in with a deep Swahili flow that is reminiscent of the Mwana FA days in Bongo. From the lyrics you can get the drift of the track. It’s basically taking the naysayers to the sword. Susumila has been one of the most consistent artists from the coast. He further cements his position as one of the top artists from the region with this track.
The surprise of the track came in the second verse from Kaa la Moto. Prior to this track I had never heard of him. That proved to be the saving point because I didn’t have any preconceptions as to what he would spit and he didn’t disappoint. He has this cool demeanour around him that makes you believe everything he says. The Swahili makes it more interesting because his flow is effortless. If he was a bird, he would be a chicken because he would be everyone’s favourite.
Kaa brought to the track the balance it needed. He isn’t your ordinary, “I want to bash you in the head rapper” or the “I shower with lavender soap rapper”. He is an intermediate of the two that makes the track more interesting. Immediately after his verse, Vivonce jumps in and belts out that mellow tune once again. I’m telling you this lady can sing my inheritance off me; too bad I have none.
The last verse goes to one artist that has made himself a jack of all tracks this year. King Kaka himself, aka Rabbit. He keeps it 100 and you can tell from the get-go he has something to get off his chest. He goes on a lyrical rant and even brings up the 60% local content issue. He puts it out there that no matter how much you want to put his music down, the fans still got his back.
The track is more than just a song where artists style on a beat. It’s an open letter to different audiences and what the artists feel about the parties. I have played it three times already and I’ll play it one more time to make sure I heard it well. I’ll still not have an affinity towards Bongo music but I won’t write the artists off because time and again they spring up some pleasant surprises. This track is worth the hype.
They make it, I rate it.