"African Gypsy" by Ghanaian/Romanian artist, WANLOV THE KUBOLOR.
I was somewhat indisposed on this day. I had been on set in front of cameras for most of the day and I was so exhausted I could barely think. A huge party involving Neyo the previous night may also have been a part of this. 😆
My friend Wanuri, who was kindly nursing me back to health, and also lives close to where I was shooting that day, kindly offered to step in. Enjoy her pick for the day. She has wonderful taste.
"Panyizzo is seriously hung over today. (Editors note, Patricia is tired from working hard). So, I’m taking over--- hehehe. Welcome to today—I have the pleasure (absolute, immense, overwhelming) pleasure of putting up my all time favourite half Ghanian musical spiritual husband, Wanlov the Kubolor. This dude is everything. The way he thinks, moves, wears skirts and walks barefoot. He was also my guide to Ghana when I went and now whenever I think of Ghana it is Wanlov stripped. Wanlov is also the co-star of one of my favourite modern African-born movies “Coz ov Money”.
“African Gypsy” is the epitome of Wanlov’s energy. This song makes me smile, shake my shoulders in a rather epileptic manner and even tap a foot all the while exclaiming, 'I love this guy!'
So if you are feeling frisky, getting tipsy, living brisky then this is the song for you. I thank the wonderful Phiona Okumu for introducing me to this man’s music (Hey Phi!!!).
Ok, she’s awake-ish. Handing back the reigns. Thanks for entertaining my Thursday vibe.
“Mangulet” by Kenyan Singer, Andrew Wambua.
This song is perfect if you’re in the mood for a good time tonight, or any other night. Or morning. Anytime really. It’ll give you a good vibe, regardless of whatever you might be going through.
Mangulet, is the name of a girl that Wambua is singing to in Kikamba. In English, the name is Margaret. :-D
There’s a couple of places in the song where the beat drops and my heart explodes.
Andrew teaches at the Sauti Academy in Nairobi, and judging by everyone who passes through there, he and the team are doing a great job.
"Pale Pale" by Kenyan artist, Trina Mungai.
This is a song about a serendipitous connection between two people. The girl doesn't know what to make of the chemistry any more, and is wondering if she should take the attraction a step further, and how to do it while keeping her cool.
This is the kind of song I would listen to if faced with the same dilemma. It's pulsating beats would definitely get me in the mood to throw caution to the wind and make the first move. Trina's voice is sultry enough to make me feel like a femme fatale, out on the town ready to stake a claim on my ultimate prize.
Trina is one of the lovely background vocalists on Coke Studio Africa, and an artist in her own right. She's gorgeous, and watching her perform on stage is a lovely treat as she is quirky, hilarious and hugely entertaining. And of course, massively talented.
The song was produced by the masterful Jaaz Odongo.
"Ginger Me Slowly", by Ugandan/Rwandese artist, Somi.
Here you go.
"Somi, believe it or not, has a background in Anthropology graduating from the University of Illinois. She later went to the Tisch School of Arts for a Masters in Performance Arts, her true calling.
I met Somi during my first trip to the US, 6 years ago. Though I have always loved and admired African Artists, those that have made headlines outside of the African continent have always made me tip my hat that much more. So my admiration for Somi was tenfold considering the headway she’d been making.
Her master in jazz vocals shines through particularly in her hit single ‘Ingele’ and only gets better in the albums that followed. Names such as Hugh masekela, Angelique Kidjo and Common featured in Somi’s career more so after her big signing to Sony music in 2003.
An absolute African gem, the ever so talented songstress Somi continues to rise through the ranks. We wish her all the success with future endeavours and promise to keep a close eye on her exciting career. From her new album ‘The lagos Music salon’, I now present ‘Ginger me Slowly’.
“Helena” by Kenyan Band, Third Hand Music.
Today, however, this song has taken residence in my mind, and is playing so loud I can't hear my own thoughts. It’s written for a girl, Helena, by a gentleman who has the same, age old story. "I love you but I have nothing to give you except my love, and in this case, a song.” It’s emotive, but gentle, and slowly swells as it goes along. Starts with an acoustic guitar but as it progresses, certain elements make their way in. Strings, piano, then a gentle beat, some shakers, harmonies. It’s beautiful. It’s entirely in Swahili, with some wonderfully nostalgic words at the tail end, so make sure to listen to the whole song.
If you are enjoying today’s gloomy weather like I am, then this is perfect. If you aren’t, then this will warm you right up.
3HM are a band of three guys, Ken- Albert Orwa, Collins Collo Kemboi and Ikole Mwikamba Chara, based in Nairobi and describing their music as alternative.
“Go Go Girl” by South African singer, Ayanda Jiya.
No, this is not a song about gogo dancing.
This is an ode to self discovery and renewal. It celebrates and cheers on a young woman, letting her know that the negativity that she carries from all the hurt and pain from her past just needs to be let go.
It’s about a woman who has gone through life and it’s trials only to come out of the other side with a renewed sense of self, acknowledging that she/you deserve the happiness that you seek. The self discovery that she went through illuminated the fact that the beliefs she had before were misguided, and that she is not alone.
Ayanda reiterates that you just need to get your happy on. You deserve to dance all night long because you are worth so much more than you believe of yourself.
“Never Let Me Go” by DRC born artist, Tresor.
If it does sound vaguely familiar, as if you’ve heard a similar sound by someone different, then you are probably picking out elements of the band Beatenburg. Often when I’m singing along to this, I find myself drifting into the band’s “Remember You (Pluto)” track. I found out that this particular song was co-written by Beatenburg’s lead singer, Matthew Field.
Tresor was born in the DRC and is currently based in South Africa.
You can also listen to the songs on Afrocentral, on HBR 103.5fm/hbr.co.ke every Sunday from 11am to 1pm EAT. This is my personal curation of African Musicians that I love and adore and I hope you get to discover one or two artists that you may have not known before this.
Make sure to keep up with the series daily on my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #100DaysOfAfricanMusic across all the platforms.