Sauti Sol

Politics has taken centre stage in Kenya right now that everyone wants a piece of it. The current division has seen the nation divided into two fronts, NASA and Jubilee, I doubt we still have fence seaters. Artists and celebrities aren’t left behind. It started with Carol Mutoko and Julie Gichuru hosting a Jubilee party dinner fundraising and KOT rained on them for their actions. It ddint take long and Julie Gichuru was at it again going to her social media platform and asking Kenyans to maintain peace during before and after elections. This got her the wrath of KOT again for apparently ‘preaching water and drinking wine’.

Sauti Sol, the most successful group in Kenya and East Africa, decided its their time to make their voice heard by posting this on the social media.

sauti sol two

 

Little did they know Kenyans are a tough lot to raffle.This is a taste of what KOT had in store for the Sol Nation.

sautisol one.png

 

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I AM SWAG Cloth-line is born.

The entertainment industry is one of the lucrative industries in the modern world. It’s basically is a bed rock of billions of dollars and everyone is in competition to cash in on it. Artists, djs, producers and other stakeholders implore various avenues just to maximize on monetary value riding on their fame and success to anchor their business mind.

Cloth-line is emerging as the top most investment for most celebrities, fragrance following suite with the list growing with time.

Kenya too hasn’t been in dark when it has come to this, our very own celebrities burn the midnight oil racing up to launch their own merchandise banking a lot on their fame to get some presence. Truth is there’s little uniqueness and distinction  in all these hyped designs but thanks to the celebrity thirsty populace, they never lack market for them. Such is the motivating factor that results in the birth of cloth-lines immediately one dons the celebrity tag.

Emerging deejay Jaunty has joined the fray with an introduction of his own ‘I Am Swag’ cloth-line. I recently met up with him and conversed about his new venture.  Below is an extract of the interview.

Dj Jaunty clad in one of his fashions yet to be unveiled

Dj Jaunty clad in one of his fashions yet to be unveiled

Derick Boondox: what’s your cloth-line name?

Deejay Jaunty: It’s called I Am Swag cloth-line

DB: Are in partnership with somebody or you are the sole owner?

Deejay Jaunty: I am the founder, brain child behind the entire project and owner too. I am working with a team to help me professionalize it.

DB: The cloth-line business seems to getting crowed by day, why insert yourself into these murky waters?

Deejay Jaunty: I am swag clothing line is something I have had on my mind for a long time; I have always wanted to design and showcase my love for fashion. . I enjoy competition and even though big names and many people are doing it, I rising up above them would show some seriousness in my (cloth) line.

DB: what is the difference between your (cloth) line and the many others that are already there?

My desire to do something that represents freshness and uniqueness. I am coming up with something that it’s not just an imprint but a well-designed and calculated outfit.

DB: If someone out there is interested in your line or maybe would like to get up-close with you how can they reach you?

Deejay jaunty: your find me on Instagram or Facebook as Jaunty King or just e-mail deejayjaunty@gmail.com and I will surely link up with you.

DB: Thank you so much for your time and wishing you the best clothing Nairobi with your new line.

Deejay Jaunty: cheers bro the pleasure is always mine.

THE KENYAN PARADE AT AFRMMA AWARDS

The dust is yet to settle on BET Awards and and our very own SautiSol is at it again. The group has been nominated for the glamorous annual African Muzik Magazine Awards (AFRIMMA). AFRIMMA is a highly anticipated award show celebrating the beauty of African music and artistry with many of the biggest names on the African music roster. The event is on its second year now and slated for October 10th 2015 at The Black Academy of Arts & Letters Dallas Texas in USA. The award show will honor some of the world’s top African musical artists, producers and cultural influencers. The nomination list which consists of 28 categories has artistes drawn from around the rich diverse music terrain of the African continent.

Kenya international group SautiSol

Kenya international group SautiSol

This nomination adds to the many Sauti Sol has enjoyed this year and all other years since they started their career. Other Kenyan artists too have sneaked into this Naija-infested list of nominees. Jaguar, Dj Joe Mfalme, Dj Crème de la Crème, Willy Paul, Octopizzo plus a host of diaspora acts join the list of other Africa’s favorites like Fuse ODG, Wiz Kid, Nigeria’s super producer Don Jazzy, Yemi Alade just but to name a few. Nigerian stars M.I Abaga, Wizkid, Yemi Alade, Davido, Olamide, 2face Idibia, and a lot more are in the running to pick up honors.

Dj Creme de la Creme

Dj Creme de la Creme

The un-evenness of artists from East African compared to their West African counterparts shows how our industry is still crawling to catch up. Critical analysis on this award nominee list and the ones we’ve seen before this shows the same faces from Kenya getting nominated every time which is a plus for them but also vindicates our other artists on the style of music the do; too localized to earn airplay beyond our borders or attract a nomination. Truth is artists in Kenya need some serious soul searching and ask themselves what’s not happening right. To be competitive they have to gear up and give the fans quality rather than what they are doing right now. In Nigeria there is an assumption they don’t play Kenya music. I wouldn’t call that discrimination or belittling but an opening to self indictment. What does Victoria Kimani, Sauti Sol,Jaguar,Wyre,Redsan and Octopizzo do right to put them in the map? Legendary producer Tedd Josiah recently asked what the Kenya culture is. Ugandans, Tanzanians, Nigerians and South African stem their roots in their art making it pretty easy to pick out their music. It’s commendable too how they use their native languages intelligently fusing is it with internationally lingua to help them break the fan base something that still is missing in the Kenyan industry. Our artists are still obsessed with photocopying the western act and self proclaiming themselves kings and queens yet sadly even just in Nairobi no one knows them.  Unhealthy competition, beefs and lack of support for each other will forever be our greatest undoing. Music videos are presently the most important ingredient to marketing the music sadly though most of our videos are below par. The storyline, video quality and settings are still a greater headache for most videographers. That doesn’t mean we don’t have better people doing good work in the industry, there are and I salute the likes of Enos Olik,J Blesssing,Ogopa Djs ,Tedd Josiah for raising standards in this area, a sign of hope and good things to come. If we indeed have this industry at heart as most players purport then from the artist to the producer to the promoter to the media and to us the consumers, let’s be patriotic, demand standards and support our artists.

The sassy Victoria Kimani signed to Nigerian record label chocolate city

The sassy Victoria Kimani signed to Nigerian record label chocolate city

Octopizzo-Kibera raised and undisputed Kenya hiphop rapper

Octopizzo-Kibera raised and undisputed Kenya hiphop rapper

The best and interesting categories are Best Gospel artist where the controversial Willy Paul has earned a slot ,on the backdrop of not performing well in the last Groove Awards, and is to compete against  the likes of Uche Agu from Nigeria, Ghanaian No Tribe and  SA’s Ntokozo Mbambo. Octopizzo will battle it out with the African Jay Z Sarkodie from Ghana, AKA of SA and Phyno from Nigeria. Conspicuously and obviously missing in this list is the self declared King, Khalighraph; maybe the threshold is a bit higher for small game. The hype Dj Crème de la Crème and Dj Joe Mfalme fall in the same category and will square it out with other Djs from Nigerian and Ghana. My greatest surprise though is why Wyre the Love child is missing any nomination yet we have to admit his star shines beyond Africa. Rabbit too is currently riding high and a nomination at least would have shown enough recognition to his relevance. The funniest African man, Nigerian Basket Mouth and the boring Ugandan Kansiime will be the Mcs for the night praying she won’t put people to sleep.

To vote all our Kenyan artists go to afrimma.com

Here is the full list of Nominees.

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The truth behind modelling

Today I have decided to shift some focus into another industry that I got some soft spot for, modeling, and explore what it entails and the myths surrounding it. Every basic definition portrays a model to be a person with a role either to promote, display, or advertise commercial products or to serve as a visual aide for people who are creating works of art. The question is, do people aspiring to be models know this? Worldwide modeling is a lucrative industry envied by many young people and many go through thick and thin just to make the cut. Beauty pageant events and fashion modeling runways from Dubai to Paris litter our cable channels attracting the biggest players in the industry and with it promoting biggest products and designs the business sector can offer. Same can be said of back here in our country Kenya, all over the country pageantry and modeling events nowadays take centre stage and are equally used as the main platform to market products and lure clients. The Kenyan modeling industry has its fair share of success having produced the likes of Ajuma, 21year old Malaika Firth who always grace international runways and a copy of determent stemming from the players to the prospective young model candidates.

Kenyan born super model Malaika Firth

Kenyan born super model Malaika Firth

My job as an events manager and having worked with the best modeling experts in our Kenyan industry has exposed me to realities and facts that come with this industry and plenty of challenges it bestows. What I have deduced till now is that most contestants enlist without background knowledge of what modeling entails. The myths that modeling is a quick fix cash earner, modeling is glamorous or models are employed if they look great personality are some of their inspiration not knowing these are just but flowery thoughts. Part of these myths bear some truth though like every other job with the right qualification on the onset the pay is never enticing until you build that portfolio to back up the wage increment. The glamour that come with modeling is earned and that’s necessity since the industry invests more on image to achieve its objectives. Agencies don’t go for the ‘pretty’ face mentality , having a vibrant personality is as important as the good looks a person posses and in international beauty pageant competitions like Miss World, Miss Universe or Miss Tourism personality always acts as the cutting edge in the competition, beauty with no brains in this business in useless.

Who can be a model?

To work as a model you need a good appearance and the right ‘look’ for the branch of modeling you wish to go into. You don’t need any formal qualifications.
For fashion modelling, you should be tall and well-proportioned with regular features and healthy skin, teeth and hair. The basic recommendations that you should have the following body measurements, even though they vary:
• females: bust-waist-hip measurements of no more than 34-24-34 inches (86-61-86cms) and height of at least five feet eight inches (1.72m)
• Males: 40-inch (97 to 102cm) chest, 33-inch (84cm) inside leg and height of at least six feet (1.83m).
For other types of modelling you would need to fit in with the look that modelling agencies want. For example, ‘plus size’ modelling agencies may mainly be looking for size 12 to 16 models, although opportunities exist for size 18 and above. Classic model agencies may look for people of all ages, and agencies who supply models with an ‘ordinary appearance’ could take on people of different ages, weights and looks.

On top of that model prospective should posses these sets of skills, interests and qualities; good grooming and willingness to look after yourself, fashion sense and awareness of trends, good coordination, confidence, self-reliance and discipline, a pleasant, professional attitude with good ‘people skills, good time-keeping, patience, stamina and fitness to cope with long, tiring days and travelling and the always controversial one, the ability to cope with criticism and rejection.

Depending with the kind of audition, one would usually start his/her career by sending photographs and details of your measurements to a modelling agency. Many model agencies also employ talent scouts, who go out looking for people with the potential for a modelling career.

You do not need to do a modelling course or have an expensive portfolio of pictures to get onto the books of an agency. Reputable agencies will be able to assess your potential without expensive photos or training. If an agency is interested in you, they should help you to build a portfolio of good photographs.

Fashion model Salim Swaleh

Fashion model Salim Swaleh

You should not have to pay an up-front fee to join an agency, the opposite though happens with most Kenyan agencies, although they may deduct an administration fee when you start to earn money. You should do your research and make sure that you join a reputable agency.
Through my research on all the agencies in Kenya I settled on very few that I have confidence in and their reputation always speak for them. Follow the link modelling agencies and familiarize yourself with their line of opportunities.
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254 New Divas on Fire

In the early 2000 names like Wahu, Amani, Nazizi, the late Lady S, Dama used to spur lots of enthusiasm to Kenyans since these songbirds pelted hits that kept the airwaves busy. The competition they bore was immense and fruitful in such a way that rating who was better wasn’t the question but rather who was releasing another hit soon. Thanks to that we the fans used to get the value of our money when it comes to gigs and airplays. Years went by and with it came new entrants in the game. The likes of Avril, Habida, Xstatic, Sage, Sosoon, the internal STL and Victoria Kimani, were born and took up the mantle from the predecessors with zeal. the same can’t be said of now while we have a number of new artists in the game sieving through for secular feminine artists can be a tedious endeavor.
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The Bahati Question.

Awards are a tool of motivation in any sector of society and our entertainment scene is flowered by plenty of them, some legit while others potray a mockery of this lucractive industry. In Kenya the music industry has had its fair share of the piece dating back to the eras of Kisima Awards,the then hyped Chaguo la Teeniez,the coastal famed Nzumari awards among the many.In present time all these awards if I am not wrong are all dead and burried for various reason i will name in another forum.
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Country of 2 Celebrities?

Kenya entertainment industry has come out to be a tale of two sides of the coin.One part reflects a promising industry while the other dominant side painting the picture of a society enclosed with the who-is-who.Since the birth of what we now see as the modern music industry to the present time artists have faced myriads of challenges some legitimate while others artificial. While growing up the likes of Hardstone,Redsan,Necessary Noize,K-Shaka,Blackduo just to name a few entertained me and gave me the desire to one day be a player of this lucrative industry.As natural history dictates most of the artists faded off creating room to new youthful,vibrant and talented lot the likes of Roufftone, Juacali,E-sir,Nonini,Nameless,Amani just to name a few.The impact played by these artists is immense and kudos to them.
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BET gets A Sol with SAUTISOL

sautisol

BET Awards is America’s biggest black awards.Geting a nomination let alone the award itself is such a big achievement worth putting in your accolade.Our own SautiSol have joined the list D Banj of Nigeria who have been part of the previous nominees and winners. Formed in Nairobi by vocalists Bien-Aimé Baraza, Willis Chimano and Delvin Mudigi in 2005 and later joined by guitarist Polycarp Otieno the group has realised a steady rise in the industry keeping their fans always entertained.
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