Popular
Photo courtesy of Maya Amolo.

Maya Amolo shares her new single titled "I Know"

Listen to Maya Amolo's New Single 'I Know'

The upcoming Kenyan R&B/Soul singer delivers her new laid-back track.

Upcoming R&B/Soul singer Maya Amolo has just dropped her latest track titled "I Know".

While the New York-based Kenyan singer is still on the come up, her new single shows her immense promise and irrefutable talent.


Her first official release for this year, "I Know" is a track that showcases the artist's diverse vocal ability.

The soft and raspy tones of Amolo's sound coupled with structured melodies, allows her to delve into the complexities of self-love and love for the other in a unique way. The track, as is the case with a lot of Amolo's music, dissects the duality of love as both beautiful and ugly, healing and hurtful.

Amolo's music career started off when she began to collaborate with several producers on the internet to create so-called "sad-gal" tunes including "U Wanna", "Where Tornados Flew", "North Star (part 1&2)" and "Rainy Daze".

While her geographical proximity to one of the world's largest music stages definitely works in her favor, Amolo's fellow artists in Kenya often face a myriad of challenges in getting the connects and resources they need to really blow up.

Internationally acclaimed Kenyan groups such as Sauti Sol aside, OkayAfrica's Alex Roberts addresses some of the challenges facing Kenya's music scene saying:

"The issue with Kenyan music growing influence is somewhat of a catch-22. The very body that's supposed to handover the money doesn't do so, and to deepen the rift, the government simply doesn't support the industry. The money doesn't ever to seem to wind up in the hands of the right people to further the sector. For starters, it is extremely rare that musicians get their seat at the decision making table. Instead things are seemingly passed down from on high, without much thought to if they will actually help."

All we can say right now is that we're definitely excited to hear more from Amolo this year.

Listen to "I Know" below:

I Know www.youtube.com


Listen to "I Know" on Apple Music below:

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.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

How Nigerian Streetwear Brand, Daltimore, is Rising To Celebrity Status

We spoke with founder and creative director David Omigie about expression through clothing and that #BBNaija pic.