I am not a music geek, but lately I have found myself in various agonizing music related debates which end up like a competition that has two peripheral sides. Thanks to two contemporary music bands from Kenya: Sauti Sol and Elani.
Many artist before have brought about tremendous musical sensations such as E-sir, Queen Jane, Osogo the Bird, Tabu Osusa, Kanda Bongo Man, Zuhura Swaleh, among others. However, these two bands seem to have taken the world to their bedroom (by world I mean Kenya and social media). The rise of Wyre, E-sir, Nameless and Redsun led to the rise of international music production in Kenya. But the rise of Elani and Sauti Sol is another story. These two groups are epic. Their success is insurmountable. Their reputation is a force of recon. Everyone is talking about them. Everyone is watching them. And the world has something to watch and talk about.
People are trying to figure out which team they love. They are trying to take sides as if it is not possible to love both. Their hits: Kookoo for Elani and Nishike for Sauti Sol are no more different than the sky is from the earth. Yet people are raking their brains out comparing them. Some “holy johns” are criticizing Nishike as pornographic and are trying to justify why it should not hit the screen market in Kenya as if they do not spend their afternoons watching Nicki Minaj twerk her naked ass on national telly and their evening watching some pornographic material they downloaded.
For Elani, each song they release makes me have some hope I had lost on music come back. It is a band I watch tirelessly and fall in love with every song they release. I hope they keep it together and continue doing what they do best for as long as forever. For Sauti Sol, I love the band. I do. But not every song they write. This song “Nishike”,however, is a definite love.
I love both bands without equating one to the other. I am not going to debate that anymore. They are both great at what they do. They are magnificent in their performances and both represent Nairobi in its different areas of diversity; and its beauty. Comparing and equating them is not fair. We can love both and support them equally.
I hope they do a video together one day….or will it look like a concert?


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