SAUTI SOL UNCHAINED

With the release of our third album around the corner, a bi-weekly meeting to discuss general progress is paramount. This morning we (Sauti Sol) met with our overall management to discuss the way forward. The meeting started in a rather disheartening tone. All our potential corporate sponsors pulled out after the release of Nishike. After months of meetings and presentations, below are their reasons for the sudden change of heart.

  1. ‘Sauti Sol is now too out there’
  2. ‘Sauti Sol has seized to be a brand that associates with family and Kenyan values.’
  3. ‘Sauti Sol is too risky; they show great potential to break up, get into drugs or other vices that don’t represent company values.’
  4. ‘Sauti Sol is not Kenyan enough.’
  5. ‘Sauti Sol has lost more fans than they have gained’

In one particular boardroom during talks involving artists; the mention of our name was met with sarcastic laughter and attention was quickly shifted to other upcoming bands and artists in general.

‘HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.’

With two game changing albums and one EP. After releasing crowd favorites such as Lazizi, Blue Uniform, Soma Kijana, Coming Home, Gentleman, Money Lover, Still the One and now the monster of a viral that is NISHIKE. After writing and producing for the new sensation Elani. 2 Kisima Awards,2  Chat Awards, A Social Media Award, MUSEKE Online Africa Award, 2 Mdundo Music Awards, 1 Chanel O Music Video Award and 3 Nominations of the same, and finally 2014 MTV Africa Award Nomination (Best Group In Africa). WE DON’T MAKE THE CUT? WOW!!!!!!!

I have never heard of such a problem as a musician being too out there. From my school of thought, that has always been a plus. I mean isn’t Sauti Sol a mass product at this point? I totally understand that Nishike alienates us from the bracket of being called a ‘family brand’. What are ‘Kenyan values’? With our kind of leadership and the tainted reflection of our society—Nishike is indeed too appropriate. Too much double standards if you ask me. I refuse to be a secular artist boxed by society to restrict my freedom of expression.  As for Sauti Sol being a risk, kindly note the above accolades and give me any Kenyan group that has shown such consistency within the period we have been on the scene. Numbers don’t lie. Since the release of Nishike we have witnessed colossal increase in numbers across all our social media and interactive platforms. The only fans I’d say we’ve lost are the ones we never had. As for not being Kenyan enough, no comment. SMH.

Kenyans largely suffer from tall poppy syndrome—a  social phenomenon, in which people of genuine merit are resented, attacked, cut down, or criticised because their talents or achievements elevate them above or distinguish them from their peers. So forgive Sauti Sol for taking a two-month intense gym programme, a low carb diet and risking the road less travelled in the attempt to rise above. KOT (Kenyans on Twitter) were salty at Lupita during Shuga and embraced her after the Oscars. To date, some people still hate claiming she’s not Kenyan enough or doesn’t dress in Kenyan designers (who btw didn’t dress her for Shuga’s red carpet). In retrospect, are you waiting for Sauti Sol to win a Grammy to then come on board? Note I am not only fishing for complements; I am very open to constructive criticism because social media is a two-edged sword. Nonetheless, let’s face it – there’s just too much hate on social media. If all that negative influence is carried to the boardroom it directly affects critical decisions that upset a whole industry.

Sauti Sol is unapologetic for our actions, which we feel have done the music industry more good than harm. The truth is nobody ever made history by playing it safe. Playing safe explains why most of our adverts on local TV look the same. If the opportunity cost of getting endorsements is to do that which is NOT game-changing, then it’s a cross we’re willing to carry. We have opened the gates for artists to express themselves freely, including sensually without prejudice. Will it take 10 more Nishikes from 10 other artists for us to embrace publicly what we enjoy in private? I’m sure most of you watch Nishike during your private moments. I mean how else could you explain 500,000 + views in 21 days? I bid farewell to all corporates who have walked away from what we felt would be classic industry changing partnerships, Sauti Sol will continue haunting you by trending and setting trends for your consumers. To our fans, aluta continua. We will always count on you to be ambassadors of the new generation of epic thinkers. Our value will never decrease based on someone’s inability to see our worth.

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Love and Other Drugs

My name is Bienaime, which is French for well loved. Shout-out to my parents for not calling me Pius, SosPeter, Paul etc. I just feel it would have seriously affected my turnover as far as the other gender is concerned. My name is testament to the myth that names beget people, and what you call your child is what it becomes. All my life I have only looked to be loved. I’ve been a performer for as far as I can remember. Growing up a lastborn I always wanted the spotlight (shit!!!! I can’t believe the number of times the letter ‘I’ is already used in this post).

Years later all this has come to pass. (God is Faithful) I have a successful music career with an amazing band of equally blessed individuals. Sauti Sol is a MANBAND, and rightfully so we sell emotions to people, especially women. An emotion that lacks manual or formula, an emotion called love. It has taken me a while to realize that for the longest time I never really understood what I was singing about when I said nikikuwaza usiku silali (when I think of you I can’t sleep). Maybe I was too young for it or I genuinely hadn’t felt this emotion. Kinda like Michael Jackson singing about it at seven years old; but I guess my innocence drove the message home.

My blessing of a name is indeed also my curse. I have this condition commonly known as serial monogamy (coach Kavutha’s diagnosis); where I’m constantly in or transitioning through relationships due to my thirst for constant affection from a woman. I just don’t know how to be single or how to enjoy solitude; and its pissing me off because right about now I feel needy; need to always want to be with another. Nothing sexual by the way, just companionship. (Well, I know you don’t believe me but if you’re going to keep reading my posts you have to trust me) so in the attempt to fall in love I kissed many frogs.

I’ve been in love only once in my 26 years of breath. She was the sweetest thing ever (well of course before I screwed it up big-time with my then cheating /boyish ways) I have since become a man and a lot on that end has changed. We however mended fences and are cool to this date (at least I feel so) our relationship was founded on all the right things. We were friends first, then lovers. We knew each other for around five months until one day I realized I miss her more than usual and the rest is history. She wouldn’t let me touch or kiss her until we were official. And when I eventually did I felt butterflies. Sweet huh!!!!

There after I’ve been in situationships. I call them so because they lack the basic friendship foundation and dive deep into a rollercoaster of emotional steroids. We meet and I start hitting on you on the spot. Then we hang out a couple of times later, do the deed on repeat basis and one day you introduce me as your boyfriend and I don’t mind how it sounds. Then we start to realize we lack common interests. That I fart loudly in my sleep and it pisses you off. Basically we come to the realization that besides great sex we speak different languages of life. I’m a Jazz-head you’re a Trap-head, I talk events you talk people. But at this point we’ve invested so much in it that when one person cuts loose it ends up hurting the other pretty badly.

Unfortunately my career makes it very hard for me to meet genuine people for love interests. I just can’t ask a chic out on a date without her anticipating me to bust a move. Some simply say no because of pre-sets in their mind telling them I’m a hit n run!!! (Your loss) I’ve stopped looking for love in all the wrong places. I’ve taken a step back to re-examine myself and hopefully in my quest for greatness the universe will align me with someone who compliments/completes me. For now, I just want to know your name and maybe sometime we could hook up, hangout just chill. (musicsoulchild).