Djs/Producers, Interview, Music

EA WAVE gives us their 2 Cents

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.

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Music

TIDES EP

Half Baked is the mastermind behind this outstanding project that goes by the title ‘TIDES’. With the help of Brian Bett and Sichangi, it is a wonderfully crafted 10 track EP that presents us with a full bag of exquisite electronic sounds…

1. Crystal Clear
Pure class with that intro. Positive vibes are already flowing and the track focuses our attention fully into the project to ensure we don’t miss a sound. Nice twist to the vocals also.

2. Lucid Dream
Lucid dream takes us to wonderland where we can’t help it but have happy thoughts. It is a great follow up from the first track. Amazing work on the drums as well.

3. Tides
The beat play here is very cool. The track has a very rich collection of sounds and a bass line that’s as good. The ending is also very well thought out.

4. Skrrrt
The title explains everything. The track is as interesting as they come with its eccentric sounds.

5. Hold On

6. Strolin
We’re surely strolling here – on a journey through the woods in a distant land and the beautiful sounds are our guiding forces. Spot on with the title. Great collaboration indeed.

7. Sailors Promise
Nuru’s amazing voice is on this one and she is as mesmerizing as ever. Her vocals are a great addition in the track; surely a refreshing point in the project.

8. E.T (Bonus Track)

9. Katana
I love the fact that it portrays perfectly the fact that it is the penultimate track of the EP and this goes to show the skill involved.

10. Feels (Bonus Track)
A toast to the last track of the project; an absolutely amazing intro which clearly indicates the stage we’re at in the EP. Though if feels like something is missing; it ended too soon.

Verdict

8/10

Half Baked’s skillful play with electronic sounds is on display on the EP and he really outdid himself on it. He’s really good with the intros and sticking to the theme. I greatly admire the fact that he presents a lot of uniqueness in his productions and that’s a great plus as it proves his creativity and authenticity. You can keep an eye on him here.

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EP Review, Music

Hold On EP by Sichangi

Today we take a look at an amazing piece of work by Sichangi from Nairobi, Kenya titled “Hold On”. The extended play came out last month and it is a project that has managed to push my boundaries as you will soon find out…

  1. I Don’t Wanna Give Up

The intro makes for quite the opening remarks; it’s a really good one. The beats are on some other eccentric level and the track provides for a warm welcome into the project. I’m already falling in love just with this one.

  1. And After That ft Kahvinya & Harawa

Amazing vocals by Kahvinya kick in from right on and for sure my judgment on the whole EP might be biased by now.  Harawa’s rap is very ok as well and adds more flavor to the track. And the sound of the birds is just pure ecstasy.

  1. Hold On ft Aroni

Wow! Can this EP get any better? Hands down to Sichangi, and Aroni with the vocals; surely a match made in heaven. I have never been prouder of my country. The world class quality exhibited on this track is mind blowing. Those sounds will make your dreams come true Hold On ft Aroni It goes without saying that this is my best track (There were actually more positive words than I could say here).

  1. Im Calling You ft Half Baked

There’s just no turning back. I like the fact that Sichangi keeps up with the energy with the help of Half Baked on the track and this continues to build up the excitement levels. This is what music is. I’m in too deep now and I love that I’m lost; lost in sounds…

  1. Sincerely Yours// Chemistry remix

The chemistry remix adds an interesting twist to the song. That far dubstep feel is quite good and it makes the track a welcome addition into the project. The vocals are amazing as well.

  1. 40 Thieves (Bonus Track)

It’s quite the bonus that we receive here. The dubstep feel is nearer now and it adds spice to the ending of the EP. Going by the previous track, it shows the smooth transition from one track to the next and the wonderful organization of the whole project.

Verdict

10/10

Sichangi will just have to go as TK’s 2 Cents and TK artist of the month. I never thought I’d really give anyone a 10 but today just happens to be that day and surely Sichangi deserves it with “Hold On”. His manipulation of sounds is on another level. He has very intriguing intros and he truly is on a class of his own. Those collaborations couldn’t have been better suited.  He truly is the future.

We need to hear more of this in our local stations – the local content law comes to mind here. We have to keep promoting such excellent works from our local artists. We salute you sir for putting Kenya on the map. You can find Sichangi on SoundCloud to hear more of what he has to offer.

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EP Review, Music

“The Afro Experiment”

I came across this one of a kind E.P (THE AFRO EXPERIMENT) by Kenyan artist Karama not so far back, and it was the first project that actually made me think of doing reviews. I’ve finally gotten to finishing up on its review and it is with great pleasure that I can now share…

  1. Time ft.Nuru

As you bump your head to the intro you’re soon introduced to the soothing sounds of Nuru that set the pace for the beautiful melodies that form the track. The thought provoking spoken word here is also quite insightful.

  1. Tutamlea

I absolutely love the clarinet on this one. It has a jazzy feeling and it is a track that can be best enjoyed by the beach. I can picture a group of people jamming to this; quite groovy.

  1. Mzinyi

The African tribal vibes are an instant hit- it is dancing time for sure. We are introduced to an eventful journey across the great lands and the best thing is to sit back and enjoy the ride. It ends too suddenly though.

  1. S.A.I.N.T.S

We’re travelling on this one. We’re taken to a magical island with the psychedelic tunes on play but I would surely have loved to hear vocals here.

  1. Enchatica

 I really love the intro. This is personally my best track on the E.P. The quality showcased here is just world-class. The ending is also as good. You’ll have to take a listen to know whether you’ll agree with me. Enchatica (Original Mix)

Verdict

9/10

The Afro Experiment is telling enough of the amazing talent that’s right here in Kenya. It shows the promise that Art holds for the future of the country if only we can put more resources into it.

Karama did an outstanding job on this one with the amazing arrangement, highly engaging fusion of sounds and wonderful collaborations. The incorporation of African sounds in the project is a great plus as it adds to the authenticity. We surely need more of this. This experiment was a huge success… You can find Karama on SoundCloud to enjoy more of his sounds.

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Mix Review, Music

‘CONTRAILS’ by Q-Wreck

Today we shall delve into a mix that was recently put up by a Kenyan house DJ known as Q-Wreck. Going by its title, the deep house mix offers quite an array of soothing sounds that leave a trail of ultimate relaxation.  CONTRAILS 

Things are set in motion in just the right way with the opening track raising the curiosity of where it all leads to. The play button is on and we hit the runway slowly but surely; and once we take off, you find your hands already in the air as you enter Q-Wreck’s world…

As time goes by you become immersed into the beautiful sounds and you are taken into your own magical world. Memories and thoughts start streaming in and that’s how you know you’re in the inner circle…

Halfway through the mix the momentum is still maintained and the DJ really keeps up with the amazing tracks he hits us with. There is no turning back now and we have to sit in for the last half hour to hear what more is in store for us. The buildup is amazing and it signifies the importance of that particular time in the mix. We continue getting lost…

As we prepare for landing we remember that we’re still on earth and we enjoy it while it lasts. We jam in those last minutes and at the end of the one hour exploration that is ‘CONTRAILS’, we are satisfied and grateful.

Verdict

8/10

Q-Wreck did some great work on this mix and he deserves his due credit. His selection of tracks was perfect and the transition from one track to the next was quite fluid. He surely is a true reflection of the amazing talent that we have right here in Kenya and we can only wait to see what more he has to offer. Follow Q-Wreck here to listen to more of his mixes.

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