“Faith” is more of a gospel but without religious bounds. This song is a special dedication to all those going through hard times in their lives”-Mad Ice
Huwa nasikia faraja ya aina yake ninaposikia nyimbo mpya kutoka kwa wasanii ambao kwa utaratibu na heshima yao tunawaita “wakongwe”. Unajua kazi ya muziki sio lelemama. Kama huamini,tizama wasanii waliokuwa wanatamba tulipokuwa tunaingia karne mpya yaani ule usiku wa millenia.
Wengi wao hawasikiki wala hawajulikani wapo wapi. Kwa bahati mbaya zaidi na sisi kama taifa bado hatuna utaratibu wa kuhifadhi kumbukumbu zao wala hata anuani zao. Ni jambo ambalo BASATA wanaweza kufaidika zaidi kama wataliangalia. Ni kwa faida pia ya vizazi vijavyo. Bila shaka watataka kujua mambo kadhaa kuhusu wasanii fulani. Wasanii wawe “wanachama” na kuwepo na utaratibu wa angalau kujua anuani zao na ikiwezekana hata maendeleo yao. Mchango wao katika sanaa uthaminiwe.
Nimegusia hicho nilichogusia hapo juu baada ya kusikiliza wimbo mpya kutoka kwa Juma Nature akiwa amemshirikisha Lady Jaydee. Hawa ni “wakongwe”.Wanajua pilikapilika wazizopitia. Wanajua kupanda daladala kwa “umaarufu”. Wanajua kushinda njaa kwa sababu kazi ya sanaa bado haithaminiki. Wanajua chachu ya kuambiwa “ah, wewe huwezi kabisa”. Na unapoona wamedumu kwa muda mrefu hivi na bado wangali na uwezo wa kuingia studio na kutoka na vitu vizuri, tunapaswa kuwapa heshima yao. We salute them on your behalf. Huu hapa wimbo Kama Jana…Sikiliza
Whenever I struggle with Tanzanian music identity issue, OffSide Trick is one of the Tanzanian duo that I listen to and settle with a broad idea that we actually have “Muziki wa Tanzania”. We probably just need to promote that fleva more. Almost run a global campaign about it through festivals and online radios etc.
Anyway, Offside Trick are based in Zanzibar mostly. Here is their newest Single titled Talaka [Divorce]. Ever witnessed a situation where someone asks for a divorce and just few weeks or months after it is granted they come back running, begging to be forgiven? Listen Up
A few years ago, Professor Jay and I accompanied with his young brother Kolihombi [who backs him up on stage in many performances] and Kibabu[ Rasta]- one of his close buddies who wouldn’t let anyone mess with Professor, were traveling to Iringa for a couple of scheduled shows in Makambako and Mafinga. I remember we left Dar-es-salaam at the wee hours[around 3am] straight from MJ Records where he was recording KamiliGado with Marco Chali.
We needed to get in Iringa early. The promoters had insisted and we had agreed that Professor will be there early enough to make it for a scheduled radio interview at Ebony FM before midday and later on for PA city/town Tour. Apparently, it is a rule of the game in most of the regional shows that people won’t show up for the show if they aren’t sure that the performing artist is in town. Professor and I were the drivers. The only best way to assure them is to get the artist on a car[usually a cargo carrying type of a car] and have him tour the city or town, have some of his songs playing, get the PA announcer busy and an artist waving his hands and smiling to fans like he knows all their first and last names.
I,for one, isn’t a fan of traveling at night let alone driving. On this journey circumstances were different. I was the first one to take the sterling as we departed Dar-es-salaam. To stay awake I asked everyone to stay awake, bring in stories,laughters and cheers. Kolihombi and Kibabu couldn’t handle the darkest hours. They fell asleep. Professor and I stayed awake and kept listening to music and conversing.
I took that opportunity to pop a question to Professor about his future plans as an artist. He had enjoyed fame, has recorded some of the biggest classics hits and had seen almost every part of Tanzania and big chunk of the world because and through his music. What is next in his master plan? Him and I had had that conversation before but probably not in a serious tone like on this early morning hours as we are rolling and exchanging lanes with big trucks coming and going off Morogoro Road.
I remember Professor struggled a bit to answer my question. He is a deep thinker and whenever he senses that this is a serious question, he has a good tendency of giving himself a minute or two before answering. He took his minutes and firmly detailed his idea of opening a studio and mentoring young and upcoming artists. By that time he had just moved to his mansion in Mbezi. With a big plot and a space for studio, Professor’s plans were set. As we kept going, we rumbled through and about this idea for hours. He told me how is planning to do it and literally poured his dreams on me in a way that he had never done before. I agreed with him, offered my support and encouraged him with all my heart.
Fast forward to 2014, I am happy that his dream has finally matured or come to reality. Mwanalizombe Studio is now officially open. But instead of locating it in Mbezi [as he had initially planned] he has decided to first settle somewhere near the city[ probably he has calculated the unending traffic jams of Dar as well]. To start, he has hired one of the very promising young producers called Villy. The studio is located towards the end of Msasani Peninsula close to Capetown Fish Market.
With the experience, witty and industry understanding of Professor Jay, it is almost guaranteed that Mwanalizombe Studios is here to uplift the Tanzanian music industry to a newer level. You can contact Mwanalizombe Studio at +255757919192 and emails firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
A few years ago, Tanzanians weren’t looking to Nigeria for musical inspiration or entertainment . In fact, few Nigerian artists were even known on our east coast of African country than Fela Kuti and somehow King Sunny Ade . And these two were known among older generation folks who had either traveled abroad and come across the wave of Afro Beat that Kuti had mushroomed around the world especially in UK. As for me, the first time I saw anything Fela was through one of my grandpa’s collection.
Years later, there was a Naija infusion into East Africa. Things changed. Tanzanians were now dancing to Naija tunes. One of the name we can’t miss to credit for that intrusion is the duo Bracket. Who didn’t feel the Yori Yori? I still remember how a street vendor in Dar-es-salaam introduced me to Yori Yori. He was wiggling,jumping up and down enjoying the tune in his head. I inquired and was told “I am dancing to Yori Yori“. I was into Yori Yori just few hours after that encounter with the young man.
Of course Yori Yori had followed the path that 2Face Idibia had created when he rocked the world with African Queen [still one of few songs from an african artist to soundtrack a North American made major blockbuster movie]
Now Bracket are back. Ape Planet Production has finally dropped the music video for Bracket ‘s latest hit single titled Mama Africa.
Love can be scary. That simply means it can also be dangerous. A movie I was watching the other day suggested that falling in love and out of love can be as deep as a first cut and quite devastating. Then what do you do when you realize you are falling in love or someone is trying to tell you that they want you to fall in love?
A simple plan would be to conquer fear. Let the other part relax and worry not. You got it and you are in control. At least that is what everyone hopes and wishes. It is the love theme from Stereo Feat. Ben Pol in a song titled Usione Hatari. Listen…
Each household has a mirror [ or at least should have]. It is probably the most used asset of yours before or after cellphones [ I am told people nowadays spend 70% of their time during a day holding cellphones]. When I look at mirrors, they sometimes reminds me of Shaka Zulu movies. When whites invaded his land, they gave him a small piece of mirror as a gift. The mirror fascinated Shaka Zulu who was then a feared and powerful soldier and ruler of his people. He couldn’t believe his eyes. He smiled and his very white teeth reflected back at him. It was the best thing he had ever seen.
Years later and far away, MJ(King of Pop) once put all of us at task with his Man In The Mirror. What do you see when you look at the mirror? Do you like what you see? What does it say back to you? Do you wanna change? Be the change or else…
Now Jaguar, a flamboyant artist from Kenya is juggling in the same direction in his new song Kioo. Jaguar who became a household name in East Africa when he released his first hit single Kigeugeu, is still flying in almost same beats and style in this one. Here is the official video
I am not very sure about the details of their hook up or first meeting. What I know is that when the news broke that Diamond was back in studio to do a remix of his hit single Number One with one of Nigerian’s music star, Davido, we all paid attention and patiently waited. By that time, Number One was number one. It was a song to dance to in almost every party- like gathering. It was a street anthem as well. Kids were dancing and singing number one as if they real knew or had their number ones. Well…when you are a kid, your number ones are your parents. Diamond had done it again and his fans were not shy of standing and dancing to the tune.
The same rollacoaster saw Diamond in Nigeria where he also attended P-Square’s Peter wedding. Then ya’all remember the East Africa Michael Jackson tweets. He later made fun of that stint on his IG account. Him mingling with Nigerian stars[ he also met soccer star Adebayor] didn’t go unnoticed. He was/is elevating his music to another level and Nigeria was his first pit stop.
Then here we are. The wait is over and Number One Remix is out and what people like me are eagerly waiting is to see how Ngololo and Skelewu will top Ngololo by itself[ meaning original Number One Vs Remix]. Here are audio and video for Number One Remix
Naturally, if you are an artist [or probably anyone in arts and performance], the biggest challenge ahead of you is how to stay active, loved by fans and remain constantly successful even if not at the same level per se as to when you had your first “hit”. Once you have a hit song and everyone in the streets [including kids] are singing along when it is on air, somehow the pressure starts mounting. What am I gonna come up with? Will fans receive it as well as this one? Those are just some of the questions without answers rumbling in the head.
According to the artists I have interacted with and even the ones I have interviewed, it is a scary experience. It is enough reason to bring about sleepless nights and even an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Fans are always busy looking for the next big thing in the industry. To keep their feet up in the air, is a lifetime challenge.
Since what is now known as “muziki wa kizazi kipya” became a new thing in Tanzania in late 90s and early 2000s, we have seen lots of artists coming on top [or almost top] full of energy and enthusiasm. Then the next thing you know, they are nowhere even to be seen. In the industry they have a name for it….one hit wonders. Unfortunately, such a downfall for artists usually become disastrous because a lot of them never had time to learn any other life-skills that could be used as an alternative route in terms of finances and life in general. As a result, most of them ends up being “regulars” at bars and pubs waiting for any good samaritan[ mostly fans who remember their faces and music] to buy them a drink and food. Life goes on.
The above, of course, is not the case with every artist. Some are able or have been able to withstand the test of time. For years they have remained active and to this day they are still able to sell concerts and have fans on their feet dancing and screaming on top of their lungs. Here are 13 from Tanzania that I have been able to remember. Who else do you think deserves to be on the list? … Did I miss anyone? Use comment tab or e-mail please. The only criteria I used is; must have started music career in late[or even early] 90s towards early 2000s and have remained active since then with at least a hit single in the past two years.
If life was/is a circle, then I think it is fair to say that the circle isn’t complete without regrets. At certain point of your life, you will be disappointed and hurt. No matter what you do to human race, there are fellows that will hurt your feelings to the core. They will see the bad while enjoying the coffee from the very mugs you bought with your sweat. They will walk around telling only the bad while in a real world, you have done so much to uplift them or give them the ground they are now seating on.
Even with all the regrets, what matters is how you handle those regrets and disappointments. I was watching my favorite preacher, Joel Osteen, the other day when his sermon was about remembering the good and forgetting the bad. That is what makes a difference in recycling the circle.
The above sentiment is what is in Mike Tee Feat Juma Nature’s new song Si Uliniona Sina Maana. Yes, some will see huna maana [ I know they can pretend too]. Take a listen from these two legends of Bongo Fleva/Bongo Hip-Hop.