Before the end of June, Dayna Nyange, one of the few female artists in Tanzania pushing waves with male artists, released her latest single, I Do. If you never had it please click here. Now it seems Ms Dayna is getting ready for the video featuring former Big Brother Africa representative for Tanzania in the past episode, Nando.
I once heard[rumors of course]that Dayna and Nando were getting “busy”. I never got any further confirmation. You probably know why.At BC we try to focus on things that matter. We are simply a No Gossip site. While awaiting for I Do video I have a question for you[especially ladies]. Its your wedding day or just shopping for wedding gowns,tuxedos etc. Your husband to be[fiancee] insists that he wants to wear lime-green socks at your wedding to match his tie. Would you let him do that? Lime-green.
MwanaFA [real name Hamis Mwinjuma] is, without a doubt, one of the most successfully and respected Bongo Hip-Hop artist in Tanzania, across East Africa and certainly beyond those borders. If that statement made your eyebrows tilt even a bit, I’d suggest you take one step back and think a little.
His lyrics and songs have inspired new words, idioms etc into the street and classroom dictionaries and thesauruses of Swahili. The grandness of his lyrical abilities staggers even me who was once upon a time considered by my peers and schoolmates to be a walking Swahili dictionary. He can rhyme quickly, confidently and cleanly while making sense of every word that come out of his mouth.
Recently I approached him with an idea I have wrestled with for a while. How about re-releasing some of the biggest hits from the time when Bongo Fleva/ Bongo Hip-Hop was starting to see the white-blue sky.
The motivation is to flaunt the standards of the past and give today’s generation a renewed chance to hear not only the “old school” stuff all over again but to gain a hindsight of the stories behind. He didn’t hesitate even for a second. He agreed and here we are. Let’s Go!
Like a ship starting a long journey across the world, in 2000s what we now know as Bongo Fleva/Bongo Hip-Hop had just left the harbor. Its destination wasn’t known. Regardless, some bold minded fellas had decided to slow down the Congolese music influx that had dominated Tanzania’s music scene for years. The likes of Sikinde and Msondo had also lost their mojo among younger audience. The youth needed something different to entertain themselves and make one of those postcard-perfect days.
Tanzania’s youth, like many youth across the globe, had also failed to resist a time capsule of American culture. American Rappers/ Artists etc were becoming more popular among Tanzania’s youth than their own President. Times were changing…and changing at high speed. President Mwinyi had allowed the influx of foreign culture. The country became an opportunity society.
For the first time, people could watch television in their living rooms. Entertainment channels like MTV, BET, and CFI etc were now accessible at the comfort of an arm length holding remote controls. Those are the days when it was cool to walk around holding James Hardley Chase novels, magazines such as Ebony, Yo Rap etc with video cassettes tapes for movies that we hardly understood.
As the new decade was getting into the groove, Hamis Mwinjuma whom we now know as MwanaFA’s career was also starting to take shape. It wasn’t an easy. He was a struggling artist. He was broke. The penetrating tropical sun of cities such as Dar-es-salaam was unleashing its ultimate “burning” power even in his pockets. His only wealth, was his songwriting abilities, vision and confidence that he was/is a good songwriter and therefore his breakthrough was on the way.
He had chosen a difficult-to-cope with stage name. Mwanafalsafa [A Philosopher] had to act like one. He had to write like one. I am sure the pressure of living his name was as high as the feeling you get from the first attempt to jump out of plane [in a parachute]. He spent countless hours writing and contemplating. There were many days of gray unrest and discontent. He was eager to establish a pattern of excellence as far as Bongo Fleva/Bongo Hip Hop was concerned.
His breakthrough came in 2002. Towards end of 2001, upon reflections, writing, deleting, editing etc, and fusing of intelligence and imagination, MwanaFA had penned down Ingekuwa Vipi. He clearly remembers where he was when he started writing Ingekuwa Vipi, “I was at home. As you can imagine, I was broke and trying hard to figure out how to move forward. I used to stay home a lot at that time. It was the safest place to be”, he tells me with a broad smile that never existed during those trying times.
It occurred that as soon as he had almost finished writing it, Jay Moe [who was to be featured on the track, popped in for a quick visit. MwanaFA let him listen to the lyrics while boom boxing their hands. The lyrics blew his mind. He wanted to be part of it. Success begins with a great idea. Jay Moe saw this as a great idea. It was.
What followed was going to Mawingu Studio to meet DJ/Producer Bonny Luv. At that time, Tanzania had very few established producers let alone studios. His choices were limited. Lucky for him, he had recorded some other tracks before with Bonny Luv. It wasn’t difficult to convince him to take on the project and that Jay Moe was going to be featured. Bonny understood and loved the lyrics as well.
Now, contrary to what many people believe today, Ingekuwa Vipi was not MwanaFA’s first studio recorded song. He had done it before. He just hadn’t penetrated the airwaves the way he did with this one. Ingekuwa Vipi was the first song he released on the radio. He had recorded 4 songs before.
He, therefore, had to hide the nerves inside with frequent smiles as he spent countless hours with Bonny Luv perfecting what would turn out to be his “breakthrough” song. He watched the clock as it edged toward “freedom”.
“We recorded and left Bonny Luv to mix etc”, He tells me as I attentively admire his recollections of events and struggles that he had to go through before “making it”
Those were no days like today. Softwares and technologies weren’t like today where you can e-mail the song to thousands or even million people in a second. Clouds FM was one the few radio stations championing most of grassroots movement of Bongo Fleva/Bongo Hip-Hop. Radio One was another entity but was more selective of what went into air etc. MwanaFA had to take to the radio stations the CD with hand-written [using marker pen] “Ingekuwa Vipi” on top.
On 2nd February 2002, Ingekuwa Vipi premiered during Bongo Fleva session, which was hosted by DJ Steve B. On the same day, MwanaFA remembers, Balozi Dolla Soul, Inspekta Haruni and Luteni Kalama and Imam Abbas had dropped their singles. Before the end of that session, Ingekuwa Vipi had captured the airwaves not once but twice.
He says, “Jeff, I felt like I had just inhaled the cleanest, crispest air I have ever breathed” In the first week since its release, Ijumaa newspaper reported that Ingekuwa Vipi had played 72 times in different radio stations. A record. To him, salvation was getting through the day.
Success in the airwaves meant Mwanafalsafa was now becoming popular but also with an opportunity to make money. He remembers his first show was for Embassy and was coordinated by Jimmy Kabwe, a veteran DJ who has recently re-joined Clouds Media Group after years of roaming in other stations. The event was held at The Leaders Club. He pocketed TZS 50,000/=. That was a lot of money then. He took the smile to the bank. The wind was suddenly sweet. The sun was warm over the country flowers. Life was getting better and sweeter.
His success was almost cut short though. The group Walume Ndago decided to challenge his song. It was almost an underground battle of Nine Miles. They released a counter titled Ingekuwa Poa [It’d be Just Alright]
When I asked Mwanafalsafa how did the counter song sink with him, he calmly said, “Not very well Jeff. See, at that time I was a newcomer into the game. I had no experience at all of being “crucified” like that. I thought was a huge injustice towards me”.
Lucky for him, someone else defended him. Another group released a counter over Walume Ndago’s counter. That neutralized the whole experience. MwanaFA had started his long journey into stardom. He had broken out of the lineup. Here is your chance to Listen And Download Ingekuwa Vipi.
Earlier today, I needed to grab a little comfort. Whenever that happens [for whatever reasons of lately it happens more often], there are more than 29 things I could think of or grab to experience the world in different colors. It’s not a so refined day. You are almost caught with pants off. You know that feeling, right?
So I need to grab something at price I can afford to enjoy. It turned out; all I had to do was to open my e-mails. Miriam Chemmoss had written. As you know, I have interviewed Miriam before [click here to read that interview if you haven’t]. She is an artist and one writer I admire and wish she had time to write more often [Miriam would you mind guest-blogging for us even once a month please?]
Even though her first paragraph reminded me about my new-featured beef with Germans, I made it through and concentrated on the juicy part of Miriam’s email. Music. If you think music deliver more power than the toughest [through it’s message and uniting power], have you ever thought about what could be coming out of Live Performances? You become not just bigger but a giant, right?
Miriam does Live Performances. I know this is a fast escaping skill from many artists of today. Yes, you have your DJ…does that make your performances “Live”. Performance anxiety? Well…Miriam had one…in Pentagon City. See below what Miriam shared and watch her Live Performance…Enjoy….You can also invade Miriam’s Privacy by Clicking Here [don't tell her I exposed her]
Many years ago, I sort of felt like Brazil during it’s 7-1 whopping by Germany during the World Cup. I was hired to sing at a military function in Pentagon City. While singing the national anthem at the opening of the event, a cellphone rang somewhere in the audience and for about 5 seconds (but what felt like an eternity) I froze and forgot the lyrics.
I remember looking at the floor and wanting it to swallow me up:-) As embarrassed as I was, this is the reason I love live music performances. So much of what we experience in our lives is sanitized, but live music is raw, real and full of unpredictable moments.
I also think that music is very much like taking a good shower and singing in the shower is never lost in symbolism. Music washes away the tears, dust and dirt of everyday life. But as great as a taking a shower feels, I think the ultimate experience of water is being in the ocean. That is what a live music show does. It completely submerges your being and its raw energy instantly feeds your spirit.
I hope you like attending live music events because very few things come close. At a live music performance, we are first physically present. We are also usually in great company of people we love or have mutual interests. We can often remember the weather, the sights and some of the smells around us.
We listen to music differently when an artist is sweating and giving their best; pouring their heart out right in front of us. A musician tells us their story and by being in the presence of that story and watching it live, it then becomes part of ours as well.
I quickly recovered from messing up the national anthem and when it was time for me to perform my own music, I gave a performance that had the men and women in military uniform on their feet dancing.
I love performing live and would love to perform at your event and help make it magical. Click here to see a short video of my live performance with the Tinton Groove Band in New York City.
I’m now available for live bookings and if you’d like to book me for your event, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Miriam Lulu Chemmoss
HERE IS THE VIDEO ONCE AGAIN IF YOU MISSED THE LINK ABOVE
Two years after releasing the first video for one of his hit song Valu Valu, Jose Chameleone has released a new video for the same song. Looks like Jose didn’t feel the first video and decided it was time for makeover. Or it could be a strategy to bring back to limelight this classic tune.
Watch the New Video Here
This one reached our inbox few days ago.Surprisingly [with apologies] it wasn’t reviewed and posted on time. Better late than never.We will go with that mere principle for now. As long as the flame is there,ya’ll shall be fine,right?
It is a collaboration between Diva and Bob Junior who once claimed to be The President of Sharobaro Brothers. On the other hand,Diva is Clouds FM presenter who has her own share of controversy from time to time.Well…don’t you all like people who give you something to talk about and even hooked on tablets and smart phones waiting for juicy news? I know you do.Diva is one of such people.She is a celebrity.
The name of the song is Mashallah. Take a listen
Somewhere last year I was hanging around with JCB and his crew which included my boy ScoobyDoo at MwanaliZombe Records. As you can imagine, it was a hard-core crew and vyepesi were passing around. We had a listening session for Drive Slow[ a collaboration between JCB and Professor Jay who also owns MwanaliZombe Records].
Between and about conversation, JCB gave me a little pep-talk about the difference between Bongo Fleva and Hip-Hop. I had known there is a difference. But to hear from JCB was something totally different. I remember him telling us that he actually doesn’t listen or understand much Bongo Fleva. He had,however, mentioned that there is one Diamond Platinumz song that he likes and at times, he would stand up and jam to the tune a bit. A great guy.
I have given you the story above after listening to Sina Muda a new song from JCB Featuring Fid Q and Kalapina.Now, if you know anything about these three artists,you know they mean Hip=Hop. Hawa wote ni wagumu to the core. As you know Fid Q recently won Kilimanjaro Music Awards for Hip Hop. Yes he is a true hip hop star. And together, Hawana Muda. Listen
Three days ago when news that Tanzania’s own Diamond Platinumz has been nominated for BET Music Awards 2014, I was one among thousands [it could be millions] of music fans across African and beyond who felt good and excited. Social Networks went crazy for some hours. Diamond was sort of trending. I congratulated him and had a little chat with him about the nomination. He was flying high and now on world stage…so to say.
Although we can no longer label him as an underdog, we all know that Diamond who is now also known as Dangote [well wishers for him to become as rich as Aliko Dangote-Africa’s richest man], started from the bottom. If Drake’s song “Started From the Bottom” was to have an actual meaning, Diamond’s life could mean business. The story of his life is inspirational from anyone giving up somewhere. You could be from where he came from and still make it. Therefore, his nomination meant INSPIRATIONAL as well. Well done.
I continue to join the music fans and well-wishers to congratulate him on this important nomination and wish him all the best on June 29th.
The BET AWARDS is one of the most watched award shows on cable television according to the Nielsen Company. The BET AWARDS franchise remains as the #1 program in cable TV history among African-Americans, and it is BET’s #1 telecast every year.
That simply means, it is a big deal to be nominated for these awards. Then, what does it mean for Tanzania, Tanzanian Music, and Tanzanian Artists and specifically to Diamond Platinumz himself? Here are some of the things I could quickly come up as to what Diamond’s Nomination for BET Awards and What It Means for Himself and Tanzanian Music
- As he has mentioned in a message when interviewed by Blogger, Jestina George, it is an honor for him and definitely for Tanzania. BET Music Awards 2014 includes only 6 Artists or Groups from Africa. Now, if you can seat back a little and imagine how many artists are there in Africa and who would have jubilated for the same nod, you will better understand what I am talking about. It means miles and miles away music from Tanzania[we are still struggling with “Tanzanian Music”] is heard and appreciated.
- It is the golden opportunity for Diamond and other Tanzanian artists, to make that “international” connection with other artists in the world [especially American artists who are without a doubt dominating global music stage]. If Diamond ever had a dream for a “collabo” with American artists, this is his chance to make that dream happen. I am sure his management is already busy looking into all that. For other artists, you cannot only learn from his path, but can also use the same path to push your music forward.
- Recognition at an international platform for Tanzanian music or simply music from Tanzania. As I said above, it means someone who had never heard of any music from Tanzania, will be interested to listen. The curiosity has now built up. They won’t be looking for just Number One but many other tunes from Tanzania. It means more people will know what “Bongo Fleva” genre is or mean.
- Greater coverage for Bongo Fleva. As you know, BET Awards are broadcasted internationally. More people will tune in and hear about Diamond Platinumz, Tanzania, Bongo Fleva etc.
- It shows patience, hard work and faith in God pays. Let’s face it,Diamond works hard [he party hard as well-you know]. He is patient and calculates his moves pretty well. He knows his value as an artist or entertainer and sets standards for himself and encourages the rest to follow his footsteps. Instead of just complaining [well they have a right to] about copyright and less sales, look for other avenues and venues. Music is a global business. Go past the mentality of selling CDs and Tapes on the streets of Kariakoo and Downtown. Market yourself and your brand online and internationally. There is no doubt that Diamond’s collaboration or remix for Number One with Davido played a part in promoting Number One. I am not saying every artist now should look at who to collaborate with in Nigeria.Nah! Africa is big.
- His nomination presents another opportunity to advertise Tanzania as one of world’s best tourism and vacation destination. I hope people from Tourism sectors capitalize on these kinds of platforms through artists and music. Diamond[ I am hoping he won’t miss the Red Carpet experience in LA] will meet a lot of other artists and super-stars. They will want to know where he is from [let’s not forget to some folks Tanzania might as well mean Tasmania]. When they ask him, what if he has business cards with url www.visittanzania.com at the back?Huh?
- Artists don’t be afraid to spend for quality. Number One video cost a little bit more money than usual to make, right? Is that investment paying off? You bet it does. Instead of spending a lot of money trying to be Gucci and Louis V[when you actually can’t afford], save some of that money for bigger projects. Dare to Dream.
- Last but not least, it means you will probably soon be paying more to see Diamond perform. I know that is not something you’d like to hear but it is a fact. Be prepared. He is now BET Awards Nominee…and he might as well win.
The BET Music Awards were announced earlier today with a category International Act:Africa included. The total of 6 artists [or group] were nominated from continental Africa. Here they are and the songs that gave them a nod.
Sarkodie a Rapper from Ghana nominated for his “dance heavy tracks”…probably BET meant for his recent recent collaborations with some of the biggest global and African music brands, notably Fuse ODG, Ice Prince and Banky W.
With or without a little debate, Diamond and Ommy Dimpoz are currently two of Tanzania’s most admired artists and without a doubt successful as far as music career in Tanzania or East Africa is concerned. From the media frenzy they create to some of the hottest performances. Can we talk about their sold-out concerts etc?
Therefore, it is no rocket science kinda of thing to see one of Kenya’s rising stars, Victoria Kimani collaborated with these fellas. It is a win-win situation, right? What came out is Prokoto which is a name describing a new dance craze in East Africa.
‘Prokoto’ follows up Victoria’s successful hits ‘Oya’ featuring M.I Abaga and ‘M’Toto’, and is a heavy beat that is bound to get listeners dancing. Listen,Download and Share below