Audio

East African Wave: 5 Young Kenyan Producers are Creating the Sounds of #NuNairobi

The five member crew of Ukweli, Nu Fvnk, Jinku, Hiribae and Muroe form Kenya's coolest new collective EA Wave.

EA Wave (East African Wave) is a Kenyan-based creative collective of artists and producers pushing forward what they’re calling a #NuNairobi sound.


The five member crew of producers Ukweli, Nu Fvnk, Jinku, Hiribae and Muroe craft songs that are loosely tied together by the hazy melodies, rumbling bass and 808s being championed by young beat makers across the globe.

Since their inception last year, the collective has produced for Cosmic Homies singer Karun (formerly of Camp Mulla), Jojo Abot, and, in a an unlikely turn of events, even Willow Smith.

Get introduced to the five members of EA Wave below as ringleader Jacob Solomon aka Jinku tells us about his co-conspirators.

Ukweli

Ukweli. Photo by Nu Fvnk, edited by Ukweli.

19-year-old producer Brendern Denousse aka Ukweli creates electronic music based on a collage of varying elements: African percussion, R&B influences, hip-hop, indie rock, and more.

Ukweli's also a visual artist, taking photos and editing the striking artwork that accompanies his and his peers’ releases (see above). You can check out his visual work over at his Instagram and ‘African Renaissance’ Tumblr.

“Ukweli is currently working on several different EPs with the likes of Joseph Kiwango, Karun, and MClaire, as well as his own debut EP,” Jinku tells Okayafrica.

Hear the track he produced for U.S. singer JABS, which ended up getting a feature from Willow Smith.

Nu Fvnk

Nu Fvnk. Photo courtesy of EA Wave.

“I am a flamingo. I'm fuckin beautiful,” reads Nu Fvnk’s Soundcloud bio.

Nu Fvnk “pursued music in the hope of becoming a rapper, but being young in the industry with a limited network forced him to begin making beats for himself. As time went by he found myself more into production without even realizing it, still thinking he would enter the rap game,” Jinku mentions.

The beat maker, along with his EA Wave homies, handled most of the production work on Karun's recent Indigo EP.

Stream "Young Sinatra," a collaboration with Jinku, Trizah and Uganda's DJ Rachael.

Jinku

Jinku on the decks. Photo courtesy of EA Wave.

The Nairobi-based Jinku is the alter ego of graphic designer and artist Jacob Solomon.

“Jinku is a space monkey, who made planet earth his second home, over the years he has become a sponge of different influences ranging from rock, classical music to electronic music,” Solomon tells us about his alter ego.

Jinku recently released his debut Amadeyo EP. Check out his slowed-down remix of Dela's "Mafeelings" below.

Hiribae

Hiribae. Photo courtesy of EA Wave.

Hiribae started out as a trumpet player for his school orchestra, only delving into the depths of music production in recent years.

He’s the most soulful member of the EA Wave collective, often coating his productions with layers of airy synthesizers and smooth trumpet lines.

“Hiribae refers to himself as a creator because he explores various art forms all to convey one message: LOVE,” Jinku tells us.

The producer recently got a nod from Just A Band’s Blinky Bill, when he played Hiribae's “Coffee and Cigarettes” on his RBMA show.

Hear Hiribae's "Last Words," his track for EA Wave's #WaveyWednesdays series.

Muroe

Muroe. Image courtesy of EA Wave.

James Mburu aka Muroe has been DJing since 2012. He eventually branched out into producing and singing his own compositions.

Muroe’s tracks sound more unhinged than those from the rest of his fellow EA Wave crew. Song titles like “Jessica Alba” and the Drake-nodding “Days in the East” hint to the eclectic blend of styles and theme heard on his singles.

His TRVE EP has received accolades from acts like Muthoni the Drummer Queen, Just a Band, Patricia Kihoro and Octopizzo.

Hear "Gvrls," a track Muroe co-produced with Hiribae.

East African Wave. Photo courtesy of EA Wave.

This YouTube Account Is Sharing South African Audiobooks For Free, And We Are Here For It

Listen to audiobooks by Steve Biko, Bessie Head, Credo Mutwa, and more.

Audio Books Masters is a YouTube channel that uploads audio versions of South African books and short stories.

Recent additions include Life by Bessie Head, Crepuscule by Can Themba, Indaba, My Children by Credo Mutwa, among others. South African poet Keorapetse Kgositsile, who passed away three weeks ago, also gets read. You can listen to his poem No Serenity Here. More books you can stream include I Write What I Like by Steve Biko, Africa is my Witness by Credo Mutwa, among others.

Audio Book Masters was started by two friends, Bonolo Malevu (24) and Hahangwivhawe Liphadzi (23).

Malevu is a University of Pretoria BA Drama graduate, who is currently doing his LLB. Liphadzi is an LLB graduate, who is completing his LLM this year.

"I found a hobby of narrating books to craft my art skill after reading Credo Mutwa's Indaba, My Children," says Malevu in an email to OkayAfrica. "After reading the prologue, I knew that this book was meant to be converted [to] many different formats such as stage plays, series, movies and audiobooks."

Then came the idea of creating a YouTube channel. That was when Malevu teamed up with Liphadzi.

They both bought themselves high quality recorders, and started reading, recording and uploading.

Authors from the olden days such as RRR Dhlomo and HIE Dhlomo, whose audio versions of their books are available on the channel, are older than 50 years and their copyrights have since expired.

The rest, though, Liphadzi and Malevu say they are trying to get in contact with the publishers, but it's not easy.

"We have contacted the Department of Trade Industry (DTI) regarding this issue," they say. "We have been in contact with various copyright holders and we are still in the negotiation process. However we are finding it difficult to contact certain publishers, and the consistent uploading of their books is to attract their attention."

The two friends say they started the channel to bring books closer to people who otherwise wouldn't have access, and to get people to appreciate literature, especially African authors. "We want to bring such literature to the digital age in the form of storytelling which has been a unique African form of literature," they say. "The channel also helps develop our voices as we are a voice company that offers all kinds of voice services. We also identified how South African authors lack audio books, and found that there is a gap in this market, and this could really create many job opportunities in South Africa."

The two are currently developing stories in indigenous languages for children in English medium schools. "This is drawn from the fact that in such schools, a lot of African students struggle to speak their own native languages. So we approach various schools to sell them such literature. We are freelance voice over artists who also do radio, content production, news reading and radio adverts."

We are so here for this.

Subscribe to Audio Books Masters' YouTube channel and follow them on Twitter.

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Nigerian Actor Sope Aluko On How She Landed a Coveted Role in ​'Black Panther​'

Marvel's Black Panther is already on the brink of being a blockbuster, as it already broke box office records within the first 24 hours of it's pre-sale. Beating Captain America: Civil War's record in 2016, Fandango reports results from a user survey, stating Black Panther was 2018's second most-anticipated movie after Avengers: Infinity War.

One up-and-coming actor who will star alongside Lupita Nyong'o, Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan (to name a few) is Sope Aluko. Come February 16, we'll see the Nigerian-born actor play 'Shaman' in the film. Her previous credits include recurring roles on Netflix's “Bloodline," NBC shows “Law & Order SVU" and “Parks & Recreation" and guest appearances on USA Network's “Burn Notice" and Lifetime's “Army Wives."

Her film credits include supporting roles in feature films including Identity Thief, 96 Minutes, Grass Stains, The Good Lie and more. Raised in the UK, Aluko studied acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA) and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA). Aluko speaks four languages, including her native language, Yoruba, French, and Bahasa, an Indonesian language.

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Music

Femi Kuti Spreads Some Much-Needed Peace In the Video For 'One People One World'

Watch the music video for the first single off Femi Kuti's upcoming EP "One People One World."

Femi Kuti drops the music video for his single "One People One World," the title song from his forthcoming 10th studio album.

The energy boosting music video sees Femi Kuti delivering an electrifying performance in the Kuti family-owned New Afrika Shrine in Lagos.

On the track, the accomplished musician promotes an unwavering message of peace and unity—things that the world could perhaps always use more of, but especially so in today's Trump-dominated political climate. His message of positivity is illustrated with graphics that appear throughout the video, showing various country flags and symbols of love and peace.

"Racism has no place, give hatred no space," Kuti sings atop brassy instrumentals. "Let's settle the differences, it's best to live in peace. Exchange cultural experiences; that's the way it should be," he continues.

"One People One World," (the album) is a plea towards global harmony and solidarity. When you look at what's going on in Africa, Europe and America, it's important to keep the dream of unity alive," the artist told OkayAfrica in November.

"When I was a boy, I listened to funk, highlife, jazz, folk songs, classical music and my father's compositions, so you will hear those things in the music."

"One People, One World" by Femi Kuti and his band, the Positive Force, drops on February 23 via Knitting Factory, and is now available for preorder.

Femi Kuti, 'One People One World' cover.

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