How do you spend a Sunday afternoon after church?(That is if you go).Do you decide to go out and pig out on fries cooked by transformer oil coupled with drumsticks from Marabou storks.Ok,ignore that. Last Sunday I went to an event by Drumjam Kenya and the theme was “Divas in the Park”.The proceeds were going towards maintenance of the August 7th Memorial Park.
I checked in at 3 pm and turns out I was right on time. The first act was the Karamas a contemporary gospel group made up of 3 girls with heavenly voices. They had such a clean sound and their harmonies were lovely.They did 3 songs but Closer was the stand out track for me, a reggae composition that had all of us singing along especially at the chorus.That was a great way to open the event.
Next up was the very bubbly Serro whose vocals are actually quite impressive.She also had 3 songs -Nioradukania,a song to her mama and Rongai.A brave move by Serro with the first song considering she is not Kikuyu.It basically talks about a guy she has a crush on and he drives her crazy. Out of all the songs I loved Rongai. It should be recorded.This song is also about the no good guy who keeps lying to her and she always finds herself going to his home in Rongai.Now she says enough is enough. The song had a beautiful coastal Swahili sound to it. I loved it plus she sampled the old song ‘Waniua”.Really good.
There was Kalahi who performed Yuko Hayuko ,Stiletto and her hit single ‘Kitunguu’. Yuko hayuko is a song about those guys who are in a relationship but they are not…I loved the soulful vibe it brought,mellowed the mood down really well. ‘Uliza Stilleto’ was inspired by H_ART the Band as a response to tell the guys that we also struggle as girls trying to impress these guys.I loved the dymanism in this song especially with the BGVs in the bridge.Her BGVs were Serro and Afisa they did really well.Where I sat people got so excited when they heard Kitunguu. I think if I committed myself I would know all the words to the song. I didn’t know Kalahi had such good dance moves and what was great about it is that she seemed to really enjoy herself.
Now the whole time I was there I saw these girls spread out everywhere in beautiful headscarves and all black.I thought I had missed the memo 🙂 to dress up but turns out they were all part of the all girl drum band Motra.Their leader was such good energy I found myself smiling just watching her.Considering they had only been practicing for a month they did good and continued performing even when it was raining.
The rain scared some people away but let me tell you Be brought the house down.Again these girls looked like part of the guests and when they started singing I was so blown away.They reminded me of Cecile the dancehall artiste and also sampled some of Rihanna’s lyrics.There is one song that they did whose title escapes me (Lioness Queen?) the songwriting there was amazing.
By the time Swiga came along the rain was pouring steadily but she braved it along with her band and her BGV Phyllis (who actually looks and sounds like Phy,crazy,right?).They had a very Indie vibe to them which is very brave after the reggae vibes we just experienced.
Finally was the Divas Band.Now if you were there with me under a tent the rain pouring on all sides and the cold doing you no favours either this was the time to leave.But these girls were so on fire you just had to stay.Thay had June Gachui on lead vocals and man she killed it on their rendition of Envogue’s ‘What’s it gonna be’.(If you don’t know who they are then you are young:)Yo,how many times do you see a girl playing the bass guitar.I think her name was Ivy.Shout out to you.Now the keyboard at the beginning of the set was so distracting it drowned out everyone and everything else.I was at the sound tent so I could see things from where I was. However I have to give props to the band because you had people dancing in the rain.Now that is how to work the crowd.
I have to give it up to the bands,they did such a good job.I recall the Iklektik band,Divas band and special shout out to the guy on the violin and Amani Baya who was the drummer on Coke Studio Season 3 .For someone that respected to be here shows that you are never too famous to lend a helping hand.
Shout out also to the sound guys.My company for that day told me that he is also the same guy who has done events such as Twatukuza(which by the way I attended in 2014 and the sound was amazing:) and also shows for Safaricom.I loved how attentive he was to everything.
MCeeing is hard. Personally I was not impressed with the MC but that’s just me.Also for people who like to sell stuff at events think about your market.There was a pet supply store promoting their products and someone doing sanitary packs.Erm,no.This was not THAT event.I rest my case.A sidebar to singers .First image is everything,even in a low key event like this.I need to know that you are the artist,so look the part.Second,Can we please get inspiration from other things aside from love and love related things?Ladies,diversify.From the crowd there was a collective sigh anytime we heard “So there was this guy…”.Also do not tell us stories about the song before you sing it,kills the mystery.Just sing it.Look for other fillers aside from talking about your song.Sawa?
All in all this was a good event and I thank you for making my day:)