Last year at around October,a girlfriend of mine I had not seen in months called and told me she wanted us to hook up,she had the perfect gig,Wamathai spoken word.I agreed albeit half halfheartedly-am not a poetry person.We went and the poetry turned out to be really awesome,but the highlight of the day was Elani’s performance.Before October 12,I had never heard of them.They had performed at other gigs like Blankets and Wines but for reasons I will save for another post I do not go to that gig. Am a sucker for good music and I really had alot of fun listening to them.First of their performance was really lively,it was superb for lack of a better word.They connected with the audience really well,giving a brief explanation of each song before they sang it,then proceeded to sing it in perfect harmony.The band was unbelievable,kwanza this guy with the electric guitar-what?
They announced at the end of the show that they would be releasing their album later in December.Were you just about to ask if I went?What do you mean? Of course I went,I had already fallen in love with them.That concert was the best I have ever gone to.I was completely wowed.This guys are fun,when they get on stage,you feel like you know them .Wambui is the mellow voiced and obviously the life of the party crowd mover,Brian is the cool one with magic moves and cool vocals and Maureen is the kinda quiet one with her unimaginable ability to hit high notes,you know,Jennifer Hudson style? The ticket came with the album,I told the chic I was with that I would obviously overplay it,and that is what I have been doing since I got it what is surprising is that I have not gotten tired of it,I mean,who would? I gave it out for a week,I had separation anxiety!This songs are beautifully written in perfect Swahili,they are real,you will relate in all of them as they talk of stuff we deal with everyday,breakups,first loves,the naivety of being a teen in high school,partying and even the hustles and rigours of an artist trying to break into the biz.Here is a list of the songs.
This is the ultimate break up song,if you just got dumped,this is the song that you will be playing while you hug your pillow tight.Its catchy with awesome beats,you will love it even if you have not been dumped.Here is my favorite line in it;
“…hasira ni hasra/pesa ndio kitu sina/jukumu ni lazima/tabibu wangu amenitoroka/tabibu wangu ameniwacha mii hoi hoi /.
This is among my top three favorites.The words speak to me directly,I think because am in a new relationship and we are at the honeymoon stage.It is just breath taking.We put it on repeat when we are together.It is just the right amount of mush.The lines I love the most;
”Kuna wengi walafi/fimbo zao haziui mbali/wengi wao wajidai…/baby take me/nitembee nawe/am going kookoo coz I love you./am going kookoo na siji shuku coz I love you/…We’ ni ua la kishua /malaika/nakuita/
Oh and the electric guitar on this song,out of this world.The drums remind me of Florence and the machine’s Dog Days are over.
My significant other’s favorite song is this one.It comes on and he forgets me for 3 minutes and 51 seconds.I love it to,I don’t know if am right but I think it talks about the hustles one goes through before they make it in the cut throat entertainment industry.I get that from this lines..
“watu wa baridi/waja wakirihi/tamaa mimi sifi/ninajua nitagunduliwa kwa sanaa hii/..mapenzi sio mali/usichoke kula ugali/woi woi my dear usijali mwisho sisi basi tuta jivinjari natukunywe chai/…hivi punde maisha yangu yatabadilika mi’ natarajia/baada ya dhiki wajua ni faraja/sikudhani/
This song is for when you are in love and you are missing someone.I especially loved it when Elani opened their show on Thursday at Choices with it.Their harmony is just epic,total mind blown!I play it alot when am at work it has rubbed off on some of my colleagues!My lines in it…
“Natafuta sukari nichanganye asali/ asali sukari sukari asali utamu halisi ni wewe pekee/we’ uko wapi /nibembeleze kwani mie ndie wako/we’ uko wapi/nichangamkie/kwani mie ndiye wako/
When they did this song at Choices and at the album launch,they sang a verse from Justin Timberlake’s Mirrors..I teared up!I dig that jam!Then they would involve the crowd,I loved that performance kabisa!
This is a sad song.At the album launch Brian said that he wrote it when he was going through a tough time.They had just received news that his parents had been involved in an accident and one person had died,no one knew who it was.He did not say whether his parents were hurt but the song speaks volumes of what he and his siblings must have been going through,It goes a little like this…
“Nimeketi kwenye corner/moyoni sina super ya gari la moyo wangu/ndungu zangu wangu wanalia/kuomba tunaomba/hizi enzi za majonzi/picha zako zanituliza/sauti yako nayo naisikia nataka mie/nikupe maua/niweza kupepruka/nifike kwa jua/nipate kukuona/
The first time I heard it,I teared up.It reminded me of all the loved ones I have lost over the years-My mum,my dad,my brother,my aunt,my uncle,my cousin recently a friend.It is a very moving song,its beats and the guitar are just epic.At the launch they sang it with a verse from Fix You by Coldplay,simply put-AMAZING!
Now this is my number one song in the album,its so idyllic.It is about love.Its about the determination people need to have to keep their fire burning and choosing to turn a deaf ear to what people may say about their love and relationship.Haters gon hate,and people always talk so why not tell the one you are with…
“…kama una masikio skiza/usije ukapuliza gunia/na wenye roho nyepesi wata sengenya/hawata tu ombea/na mi’ nishakupenda wewe kwa wazazi nikupeleke/wewe/…Nime amua nikupende/watu wasitenganishe/niwe wako milele/Juu mi’nishakupenda wewe/kwa wazazi nikupeleke/mi’ nishakupenda wewe.”
7.Barua Ya Dunia.
This is the name of the album.A beautifully written song that is a letter to the world.It talks to the world telling it to kinda watch this space.It is perfect as an album title because Elani is the band the entire world needs to look out for.
“usinilenge juu siku moja nitakulenga pia/usinicheke juu siku moja nitakucheka pia/bobea bobea/ngojea nitabobea pia”
This one takes me back to my high school days.I bet it will do the same to you too.It talks about the naivety of being “in love” when you are sixteen,how you believed when you were told that you were loved,how you probably thought you would end up with your high school sweetheart.It is such a cool song.It goes a little like this…
“Rauka jamaa kumekucha/miaka kumi na sita kidato cha kwanza/pokea salamu siku mpya/Insider za kwanza zasifiwa Boma/kaipokea tetesi mwaja shuleni weekendi/barua uliyoituma nimeshasoma/na sijaweza kupumua moyo wangu waridhika/..hapo zamani kajua ningeku oa/hapo zamani ukiambiwa unapendwa wa amini/ukipendwa una imani/.
Every time there is an inflation or a shortage of maize and hakuna unga you will see demonstrations people telling the government that they can touch everything else in terms of taxation but not unga,.This song talks about maize and its importance to the common mwanachi.
“wananchi wanataka kula ugali nyumbani/raia wanataka unga ya ugali nyumbani”
This is the song I like to listen when I have money,when am happy and when I just want to let loose.It is the best 2014 party song.Its catchy,you hear it and you just want to dance.Am sure you have already heard it,its getting played at all the local urban radio stations.
“kama wewe unajipenda/mikono juu kama umemea/sahau shida ka’umesota/leo tupige makelele/kona to kona tukiimba/
This is the album you HAVE to own.It has everything you need to hear in music.This is the band you GOTTA watch out for.You need to follow them on twitter(@elanimuziki) and like their page on Facebook(Elani) to know where they will be performing because trust me,their shows are not something you can afford to miss,Please don’t ask me to lend you my copy of the album,and no I will not give it to you uweke kwa flash disk,contact them on Facebook and get it for a very reasonable fee!