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Blinky Bill in "Mungu Halali" (Youtube/VEVO)

Watch Blinky Bill's New Music Video For 'Mungu Halali'

The talented Kenyan artist releases the video for the gospel-themed fan favorite.

The soulful and groovy "Mungu Halali" has definitely been one of the most popular songs from Blinky Bill's debut album, Everybody's Just Winging It and Other Fly Tales.

The semi-gospel beauty features talented Kenyan singers Sage, Sara Mitaru , Wambura Mitaru and Lisa Oduor-Noah.

The brand new music video for the single sparks a lot of nostalgia, opening with the words of legendary veteran Kenyan media guru, Leonard Mambo Mbotela, "Je huu ni ungwana?" The heartwarming visuals capture the essence of Nairobi—religion, art, family, hustle and more.

In Photos: Blinky Bill & Coco Em Play the 'OkayAfrica Link Up: Nairobi Party'

"A lot of things in my life inspired 'Mungu Halali'. Like the times when you feel you are not really going to make it and then somehow it happens that you pull through. It's a song of thanksgiving. I have just seen the hand of the good Lord in my life even when I thought that I didn't deserve that shot," says Blinky on e-mail.

Check out Blinky Bill's new music video for "Mungu Halali" featuring Sage, Sara Mitaru , Wambura Mitaru and Lisa Oduor-Noah below.

Read: Blinky Bill's New Album Shows That There Are No Limits to His Creativity


Blinky Bill - Mungu Halali www.youtube.com

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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