My brother from Lhokseumawe, Indonesia called me the other night to inquire when he will be on a plane air-bound to Africa. The excitement in his voice was priceless and it just confirmed one fact, Africa is the best continent! And what makes it even better is the array and variety of music that sprouts from our diverse cultures.
If you are a regular here, then by now you should know that we are taking that exquisite journey around the A and today our stop point is Dar es Salaam, Tanzania! Apologies are in order for starting this article on the wrong note, oops, I mean the wrong language 🙂 . Anyway, Shikamoo wenzangu.
Tanzania easily stands out musically simply because it is one of the few countries that have a sound that is globally identified as theirs. Talk bongo flava. Its like Jamaica and reggae music or S. Africa and Kwaito. Bongo has been known to be soothing, romantically sung (mostly), vocally powerful music. And this has enabled the Tanzanian artists to transverse the borders with their music, since everybody loves some good music, especially if it appeals to the heart.
Amidst all the wonderful musicians in Tanzania, there are three hardworking artists namely Aika, Nahreel and Weestar. You may not have heard about Navy Kenzo, but their music will make you wanna dive into the deepest point of Indian Ocean just to be at the fore front of their battlefield. Luckily, their battle field is on stage and so you are spared the trouble of learning how to swim. Land locked countries can I get an Amen? Navy Kenzo as an outfit comprises of Weestar the rapper, Aika who is a rapper/singer and Nahreel, the producer, rapper and singer. Listening to their music, you will rarely identify it to be Tanzanian. It surely sounds like some sound you bump into in the Uptown Nairobi Malls (ooh, I had to bring that up).
Their beats are danceable, bouncy and the lyrics are kept pretty simple for easy sing a long too. Not only are their music club hits, they also have motivational jams like Hold me Back
. As a music junkie, I recommend them for taking this route since it appeals to the masses that make up the urban African youths. To demonstrate how serious they are, Navy goes as far as visiting neighboring countries like Uganda just to shoot their videos. Nahreel does pretty good job on the production side of things too. I specifically love Usinibwage
, good to know that Aika can get lose and shake a bum :).
By observing their social media accounts, its obvious that they have a strong growing fan base in Dar, sporadically spreading to the rest of East Africa, I included. Plus the group recently curtain raised for the Azonto hit maker- Fuse ODG when he performed in Tanzania.But that is not enough, we need to support Navy Kenzo to reach the whole of Africa, get their songs on Channel O and other continental playlists so that the people out there know what treasure is undiscovered in Tanzania. To my Tanzanian brothers and sisters, due to the unfairness of the world, I had to write this in English, since “majority rues”.
Listen to Usinibwage below, dedicate to your loved one and i hope you both dance your trust issues away.