New Kenyan Music: Nviiri, Bensoul and Willy Paul

Nviiri

Coming up, King Kaka going back to his old roots with his new song, Nviiri with a great tropical house song, and Bensoul with a disappointing follow-up. Seriously, that song is rather disappointing given he began on a high note. I’ll complain more when we get there.

Bensoul featuring Kaskazini – Ile Kitu

You know what? I might as well start with it. From the moment I saw Sauti Sol posting about this new song on their official Instagram page, I knew it was going to be a disappointment. I mean, look at the cover image of the song. It shows part of a peeled tangerine and a peeled banana. The song is obviously about sex. But because Sol Generation is a serious label and doesn’t want to turn down investors, they had to make it PG friendly.

What we end up with is a song where Bensoul sounds like a kid begging for sex. I can’t even imagine how he would be asking for it.

  • Bensoul: Si, you give me that thing
  • Girl: (visibly confused): What thing?
  • Bensoul: You know, that thing.
  • Girl: What are you even talking about?
  • Bensoul: You give it to me so that we do that nini
  • Girl: Are you ok?

The biggest crime isn’t the silly lyrics but how the song is just okay. I’m not okay with that. Remember how I was praising him for releasing Niombee and this is what he follows up with? Unacceptable. Bensoul…

6/10

Red C, Stamminah Gusto, Bestar, Dawizo, Kaydaz – Chezeze

This song is trying so hard to replicate the success of some Gengetone songs but it falls flat on its face. To prove my point, I’m going to review it as if I love Gengetone.

First of all, the vixens in the music video do the bare minimum. It’s funny how the guys talk about ladies doing all sorts of crazy stuff but the ladies in the video are just…there. The only thing that legitimizes this video is that expensive drink Dawizo was holding.

We then have the lyrics which aren’t memorable. They’re not convincing artists to me in my opinion. It almost feels like they are doing this to get noticed. It feels forced and that’s not a good first impression. At least the beats try to save this mess but it isn’t enough. It’s a no for me. 6/10

Swalleh Geffor – Uko Sawa

Sticking with the theme of things feeling forced, we have Swalleh Geffor. While Red C and his crew don’t come off as convincing artists, Swalleh Geffor just lacks any sort of enthusiasm. I was genuinely shocked to realize that the song is actually meant to do rounds in clubs but he performs the song in the laziest way possible. He sounds like he would rather be somewhere else.

Imagine making a song about how beautiful and curvy a girl is but in the most boring way possible. That’s what is happening here. Not to mention the basic beats used in the song. I’m sure anyone could make those beats after a couple of tutorials. This song is the very definition of mediocre. 5/10

Tetu Shani – Pump It

It’s a decent song. That’s it. The song is not bad but it isn’t great either. Yes, it is an RnB song that talks about loving some girl but it never gets you in the feels. This is one of those cases where I feel the song could’ve been better if more time was dedicated to it.

Unfortunately, Tetu has been doing this one song a month challenge and this was song #4. In my opinion, dishing out songs in quick succession doesn’t mean the quality will always be there. 7/10

Cityboy – Body Killer

I have a weird feeling that this song is going to get a lot of attention from high school students. It ticks all the boxes for what those kids like to hear in a high school function. Body Killer has that dancehall vibe reminiscent of my high school days which he might have been going for.

My only problem with the song is that its premise is too basic. I know for sure that not all women want to be dancing and twerking all the time. I’m also sure that CityBoy won’t be doing club songs for the rest of his music career. So, what’s the point in making such songs when guys will still prefer to dance to Joeboy? I just don’t get it. 6/10

Nadia Mukami – Maombi

Before I get to the song, some people have been calling out Nadia for having the same flow in most of her songs and that she should switch things up a bit. Uhm, no. First of all, I’ll call bullshit for Kenyans calling her music repetitive when we are the same people who praise Gengetone, a genre that only talks about one thing. Really guys?

Let’s get to Maombi, a song where she’s grateful to God for her success. She talks about how she overcame the odds and became successful and dismisses any form of hate coming her way. It’s a nice song. Yeah, it’s nice. There is nothing much for me to say about it. Okay, we can talk about her weird makeup on the music video but this is a music blog so…8/10

Spikes Music feat Kidis, Kay S & Ramsoh – Simba

The chorus heavily samples Sister Nancy’s Bam Bam and it doesn’t make the song better. You can even say you would have a better time listening to the original song. Again, the premise here is very simple as they talk about sex and because it is about sex, it is meant to do rounds in clubs. I don’t even think guys who do heavy clubbing will appreciate this song. It’s not what you would call enjoyable.

That’s the main issue I have with most of these ‘club bangers’. They aren’t any good. You would have to get lucky, like the Gengetone guys, if you are to get any hint of viral success. Unfortunately, as soon as your song gets 100k views on YouTube, you are a star. I would call that pity given the kind of view guys like Diamond Platnumz gets.

5/10

Willy Paul featuring Meddy – Uuh Mama

Guess what? I kind of like this song. What is happening? Willy Paul actually made a song that I like. The same guy who made Lamba Nyonyo. Wow. Things do change. Not that he’s saying anything out of the ordinary; just him and the Rwandan feature talking about treating a girl right with some hints of being good in bed too.

The beats are nice and the song just feels well put. I honestly can’t hate it even if I really wanted to. You have to give credit where it is due. Did I even talk about how classy the music video is? Goodness me, Willy Paul has turned me into a follower. 7.5/10

Magix Enga – Sample

Have you noticed in the past two weeks or so that the name Magix Enga has popped up in your screen once or twice? Do not be fooled, he wanted that to happen. Turns out that the Kenyan producer has started his own label. Good for him. I also like how he is able to capture the attention of Kenyans even though one can clearly see he is just doing it for clout. It was just a matter of time before he dropped a song following the “controversies”. A week later, Sample dropped.

The end result? Trash. What a waste good beats. The issue here is Magix himself who seems to have gone great lengths to release a song just to tell people you can’t be sampling his beats.

Quick btw, I did an article about sampling and all that stuff. Make sure to check it out.

Sample was released after he took down Harmonize’s song UNO which apparently samples a song by the Kenyan producer. Last time I checked, nobody cared. That actually explains my opinions about this song. It was unnecessary. The worst part is that he doesn’t even sound that good in the song. If he was signed to another level, this song wouldn’t even get funding for a music video. 4/10

Kaydaz – Bana

One thing you will notice while watching the music video is how expensive it must’ve been to record it. That’s what I call a risky investment because I have no idea who Kaydaz was prior to listening to the song and you better be sure that your music meets the standards of the video you are shooting. Unfortunately, the song is not good.

Can someone tell me what he meant by bananananna? Or whatever he was saying. That’s the best chorus he could come up with? Onomatopoeia? If you didn’t know, this is billed as a club song so making noises to get my attention in the club isn’t doing you any favours?

Again, what’s the point of even trying to make a club hit if it will barely get any recognition. Someone needs to tell these guys to change their approach or stop if it gets worse because it’s not working. 6/10

Fena Gitu – Chai Moto

Turns out that she released an album titled Unleashed and Chai Moto serves as one of the singles. To be honest, the music video is crazy good. Next level editing and directing in my opinion. The song itself discusses the theme of Kenyans loving gossip and how she stays focused to avoid getting distracted by unnecessary rumours.

I actually like how she tackled the theme with some stellar production. She doesn’t say much in the song but the message is delivered loud and clear. I’m now interested in listening to the full album now. Let me hope that I’ll get to review it before the end of the year. 8/10

Masauti feat Skales – Lege

Full disclosure, I did not finish listening to this song. Everything was going well. Masauti did his verse in some beats that remind me of Wasafi records and Lizer Classic. Still, nothing too serious to be considered a deal-breaker. The real deal-breaker came when Skales, a Nigerian artist, decided to say Wamlambez Wamnyonyez. W…T…F

No. Just…no. I’m sorry, if you’re going to try to sound relatable to the locals here, at least try to avoid the cringe while you do that. That was so cringing. Ugh. 6/10

Noti Flow – No Time & Nishike

Noti Flow is someone who I came to know about on social media. She does have quite a following on Instagram and her profile does state that she is a rapper. Problem is that I have never got to hear any of her music until recently.

Let’s start with Nishike which is a bad song. I tried looking for a better way to describe the song but it’s just bad. What I don’t like about her is her inconsistency. One moment she is trying to kill my ears with her auto-tune singing; the next moment she is rapping like Nicki Minaj; and then switches back to Swahili but sounding so unsure of herself. How did she even manage to do that?

Things get worse when we get to the beats which anyone could genuinely make. Last, there is no chemistry between her and that rapper who I didn’t even care to write his name when I was drafting this long article. (Update: His name is Tyler Himself. I won’t even comment about the name). It’s just a mess.

Hope is somewhat restored in No Time with the Dancehall beats but her auto-tune singing brings you back to reality. I didn’t even finish the song because she was dragging the song with that singing. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate her. I just don’t like the kind of music she is putting out. It’s not good. 5/10 for both songs.

King Kaka feat Xenia Manasseh – Dear Stranger

I am aware that I have not been kind to King Kaka on this blog. There was this one time I was positive when he dropped his album a year ago. Everything, however, that he has released after the album dropped is what I have an issue with. Come on, who listens to Kula Vako. Or that song he did with the female rappers. Quite forgettable songs if you ask me.

Dear Stranger is by far the best song he has released this year. That’s saying something. Instead of him reminding us about his achievements or how he wants to have a good time. All we get is him doing some self-introspection and speaking from the heart. As a result, we get to hear him open up about stories we were not aware of. That’s the King Kaka I came to appreciate. Also, Xenia’s chorus is just gorgeous.

If only we could be getting more tracks like these where the music just speaks for itself. Unlike his previous efforts that made me just ask one question all the time: Why? Why on earth would he make such a song? 8/10

Side note: This song is part of some EP which I am yet to see on Apple Music. Once I get to hear it, I will do a review.

Nviiri The Storyteller – Fore

Single #3 from him under Sol Generation and he is doing well for himself. I joked about him doing songs about drug addiction after releasing Pombe Sigara and Overdose. At least he has moved away from drug abuse references and had surprisingly ventured into tropical house music. The result? It is brilliant.

Nviiri talks about wanting his love for a special someone to last forever. Everything from the performance, beats, and the music video scream top-notch. He is slowly climbing the ranks to being one of Kenya’s finest. That makes me really happy. 8.5/10

Boondocks Gang feat Joefes, IPhoolish – Vuvuzela

This is their 1938th song to be released this year alone. Black Market Records sure are exploiting these guys. Unfortunately, it is the same old stuff that they keep talking about. At this rate, they are just finding new ways to describe sex and having a good time. It is getting stale really fast. 5/10

Aren’t you guys tired of listening to the same old stuff? Like seriously. Let me end this post with that question. Isn’t it getting too old now?

Published by Elvis Mwangi

Student of life, Blogger, Audiophile. Lol.