EA (East African) Wave is a DJ Producer collective based in Nairobi, Kenya. Originally a five member group consisting of Jinku , Nu Fvnk ,Ukweli ,Hiribae , and Mvroe , the recent introduction of Sichangi now makes them a crew of six. They cut across genres with unique and individual styles, each of them making their own waves in the industry. They deejay and produce as a collective, as individuals and everything in between. Their combined energies and creativity are helping fuel a new creative sector wide movement in urban Nairobi. I got the opportunity to ask them a few questions and this is what they had to say;
TK….. Even before we start, I just have to say that you guys are really inspiring a lot of young artists who are trying to push boundaries and we really appreciate that you’ve shown us that it is possible.
EA Wave……Before we start answering questions – Sichangi is now officially the 6th member of the Wave!
TK….So how did this all start? What made you decide to start E.A Wave?
EA Wave……To be particularly honest with you everything was really organic. It came from a place of respect. We were essentially fucking with each other’s music, and when we finally met we did vibe on a human level too. Nu Fvnk was the first, Jinku booked him for two gigs – Future Shorts and Chemistry. Through Fvnk, I met with Ukweli who was my younger cousin’s mutual friend too. Finally, we added Mvroe, Hiribae and Sichangi to the group. The main point is that we all admired each other’s work before we officially met face to face.
TK…..Who/What have been your influences?
EA Wave……That is a hard question to ask, I mean we really do listen to a lot of music as a whole and we are always sharing music with each other. I can confidently say we are each other’s influence. For our Live set, we have been studying Disclosure, Bonobo and Four Tet and learning how they break down their songs for a live performance.
TK…..What impact would you say the internet has had on where you are now?
EA Wave……The internet is fucking everything, I mean what we consume is basically off the internet, how our music moves and reaches people is the internet. We all met on the internet. The internet connects us all.
TK…..What exactly is E.A Wave looking to achieve/accomplish?
EA Wave……I wish we could answer that question, we all have huge ambitions. The first is to basically just have an amazing show that we can travel with. And through gaining more exposure we can now fully integrate EA wave into being a full entertainment package – film, fashion and industrial design. We are 6 people, just imagine the possibilities! It’s hard to quantify. I mean if you asked us if we would be where we are now at the beginning of the year, I would have called you a liar.
TK…..I’ve seen your live performances and I must say you guys are really good together. How often do you practice?
EA Wave……Thank you, we practice at least twice a week now. It’s hard but it’s all about sacrifice, plus the gelling together is basically after many heated practices and arguments, but it’s all out of love to present the best music that can be, at our level.
TK…..You’ve played at quite a number of events including recently at Nyege Nyege festival in Uganda. How was that experience?
EA Wave……It was quite different from the first time we went there, we played a live set at Nyege Nyege a year before and we were definitely ill prepared for that, I think we had one keyboard and a mixer that enabled us to play a sort of mixed live show. But it wasn’t well rounded as we are now, everyone has a role now and we got a whole new set of toys too.
Hiribae – Drummer
Ukweli – Keyboards
Sichangi – Electric guitar
Nu Fvnk – Bass Guitar
Jinku – Ableton programming and song sequencing
Mvroe – Vocalist
And the great thing is that it’s a sort of musical chairs since we switch instruments based on the songs. So our Nyege performance was really about us working hard, we had practice every day for two weeks before that performance. We learnt a lot about communicating as a band on stage, troubleshooting issues with equipment. Every performance is a learning experience.
TK…..Finally, I’d just like to personally thank you guys for putting Kenya on the map through your amazing live performances and the great music that you put out. I wish you all the very best as you take us to new heights.
You can follow EA Wave on Soundcloud to hear more of their sounds.