Its time to ONGEA!

Ongea 2016

At the start of a creatives’ career all that matters is getting the foot in the door of things. Imagining that if only we found that one person, then things will change for the better. Because sometimes that’s just how things go. Speaking to the right person and finding them at the right place.

At times creatives people get into the showbiz without knowing half of other things that make an artist. Elani have the privilege of having two advocates amongst them, that’s why they were probably able to speak out in the manner in which they did. Not to suggest that you sign up for law school, but it is important that you also learn more about the trade as a creative, other than just creating content.

What better place to get all this under one roof other than at the ONGEA! – The Eastern Africa Music Summit formerly known as Kenya Music Week. The move to Re-brand from KENYA MUSIC WEEK to ONGEA! is based on the need to ensure increased sustainability and relevance of this very important industry gathering, by opening it up to a larger market.

ONGEA! Summit will take place on Thursday 28th to Sunday 31st January 2016, at Sarit Centre Expo Hall in Westlands, Nairobi. The Summit organized by PHAT! Music & Entertainment Limited, will be a debut of the new brand.

For the people in the entertainment industry and music to be precise the ONGEA! The Eastern Africa Music Summit is the golden opportunity for you. The annual event operates under the three pillars of Trade, learning and showcasing. 58 exhibitors will set up shop from East Africa for stakeholders to interact with other businesses from 12 noon through to 10 p.m. on all four days.

There will be 8 educational workshops by different panel of experts one of them being the Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE). Blogging and Social Media Training at this year’s ONGEA! Music summit from 9am to 12pm on Friday 29th January. The training will be at the showcase area of Sarit Centre Expo Hall. Topics to be tackled during the training include: personal online branding and management, writing skills and readership, understanding Copyright and fair use, Social Media ethics, Among Others.

The training will also touch on copyright in regard to content ownership, originality and authenticity. Participants will also be trained about the use of social media to market their brand. Participants interested in the training can register here by 22nd January, 2016.

The activities lined up for these three days are engaging for any stakeholder in the music industry. There will be 32 performances over the 4 days from artistes such as Makadem, HART the band, ADAWNAGE, Kidum, Wyre, Sally Oyugi, Suzan Kerunen, Ms Okinda, Parking Lot Grass and Cannibal among others. The Sauti Academy will conduct auditions with two scholarships up for grabs. Upcoming artistes will also have a chance to record a free demo of their music with Ageless Entertainment.

Entry to the whole summit is free.

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ONGEA! E.A Music Summit.

 

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For the longest time.

I would have said I remember this like yesterday but I would be lying. I don’t remember the day my first post went live. I just remember being the first and only blogger in my class for the longest time. Even in my school. People were either unbothered or ignorant. I was okay with that.

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For the longest time it was a conversation reviver at least from my point of view but the conversation died as soon as someone would ask what I blog about. I’d want to hang my head in shame but instead I put on a bravado shrug reluctantly saying “anything and everything; that’s why it’s titled Anything Goes under the URL mytinytwocents.blogsot.co.ke.” If they are the disinterested people, they will reply with a definite, “ooh” so you wouldn’t say a word after.

Other’s would prod you and actually challenge you with criticism that makes sense. Most people I spoke to told me to find a niche. Heck, I also wanted to fit into an award category. They don’t have the “Other’s” category so I started looking. Thinking I would just trip and find a niche when I lie face flat on the ground, or open my door in the morning and receive a package with a note “Herein lies your blog niche, use it to your advantage.” Honestly, I don’t like (a) crowded anything.

There’s 7 billion people and if the Chinese start giving birth to more than one child that will be 8 billion, sooner or later. If I wanted a less crowded place I’d have my own planet, but I don’t. So I will strive to find a niche somewhere in this crowd; for a long time. A time so long I look up to find that my blog just turned 5. That’s a big deal. To me.

I am a Journalist by profession. At the beginning of my career my editor kept throwing me into the deep end of assignments and giving me no choice but to swim to the deadline, alive. The newsroom is not my blog. As I swim towards deadlines, I look for niche ideas and scribble them in a fancy Kenya Power notebook I borrowed from my sisters’ trunk because I would later buy my niece an exercise book and cut it into half if she insisted on doodling as she is belted in her car-seat. Forgetting we are definitely not in the 90’s.

I scribble some more in class, in traffic, in those meetings that could have been an email, a phone-call or even a Skype call. Notes I will not look at because every day I have new ideas left right and center. I look at the remaining very few pages of the book and wonder if I will ever find the time to put these grand ideas into life. I take a break from everything and sit at my desk. I have to do this today, I say to myself but deep down I know it is the discipline habit I am trying to cultivate.

I pick my phone to reply to a few messages and return a call. It’s almost dusk. A thousand notifications, Instagram scrolling, Pinterest lurks and screenshots later, the time is half past 9. This is how people die with their brilliant dreams, they don’t just crop up at their deathbeds. Because for the longest time we never boss up and actually do something that draws us closer to the actualization of the dream.

One day I loaded my Nakumatt card and bought my self-hosted domain. It is what I had wanted for the longest time. Finally, I was making progress and I thought this would push me to implement my ideas, but thought block sits at your shoulder. As you stare at the blank screen you wonder wut r werds!!!! I kept seeking perfection and a fresh start but later on thought to myself I should just migrate the old posts and keep the ball rolling.

And it dawns on me, opportunity dances with those already on the dance floor. I have been dancing for 5 years now with very long undeserved breaks in between. I will do what I have waited so long to do, share with you anything share-worthy then we will find a niche as we move along because for now, what is perfection? As Njenga Kahiro put it “Life happens at the pace of life.”

The Kenyan music game-changers.

Music is an independent language that cuts through effortlessly. which can be clustered according to the era it was made in. Despite the sampling, there is no music era that sounds the same as the other simply because time changes and so does music.

The music industry in Kenya alone is growing in leaps and bounds. Resilient artistes are doing their best to stay at the top and those who are new want their voices to be heard or at least get their foot in the door in the entertainment scene. This translates to the emerging of new music styles, genres and the beginning of a new era.

When new music styles come up, some are immediately celebrated, a few are reproached, others are ignored and some don’t get recognition at all while the rest take a very long time to get noticed. It is the music that changes the era that is very rare to come by.

The most celebrated Kenyan boy-band Sauti sol happen to be the most notable game changers in the music  Industry of this age.  Of course they did not pop up yesterday as they have worked their way to domination and with their evident hard work they sure are staying at the top for 9 years now.

They have succeeded in incorporating Swahili, mother tongue and very minimal English into their music and owning their unique fusion of genres without sounding like an obvious bongo track. They might have been deliberate with their choice or it might have been an experiment but it worked efficiently for them.

Their first single “Lazizi” from their debut album “Mwanzo” was definitely a hit, as it got them massive airplay and increased their fan base. It is their second album “Sol Filosofia” that got them bagging accolades from every front including Best Music Video award for their single “Coming Home” at the 2011 Kisima Music Awards.

They are currently riding high on the fame of their third album “Live and die in Afrika” which is yet to be of officially launched. They are currently scheduled to tour Africa having received international recognition.

Camp Mulla might have gone their separate ways but as a group they definitely trail blazed where no other Kenyan artiste had explored. The alternative hip-hop group was even compared to the phenomenal Black Eyed Peas due to their out of the box music style.

Their talent and music was appreciated across the borders as well. They received several nominations including MTV Europe Music Awards for best African act.  Their debut single “party don’t Stop” featuring Collo and “fresh all day” got them a number of Channel O Music Video Awards nominations.

They opened for big acts such as P-Square, Naeto C as well as Flavor during their period of influence. No other group has come close to topping what they pioneered in East Africa. They may not come back any time soon but they sure did win fans that are ever keen for their return.

Enter Elani, the dynamic trio that took the entertainment scene by storm when they first released “Jana Usiku” in September 2013 which received massive airplay. You can tell they are not trying to be like everyone else as they have carved their niche for themselves with their creativity and simplicity.

During their previous interviews they said they want to put Kenya and East Africa on the map and so far they are doing just that. The urban afro group have lived up to their expectation and even surpassed it.

There’s no stopping for them as they have released hit after hit last year alone; “Barua ya Dunia,” “zuzu”  & “Koo koo” which got them a Channel O Awards 2014 nomination for Most Gifted Video. Big things are in store as well as they will feature in the return of Coke studio Africa season 3 alongside prominent acts from all over the continent.

Music promoter and arts marketer Buddha Blaze said “the trend-setters have definitely shown that the Kenyan industry has something different to offer. The opportunity to grow and make an industry as big as that of Nigeria is here.”

Live concerts now thrive on such eclectic styles of music as they offer versatility and better entertainment than the “copy and paste” acts. “What we need are artistes that are there for the passion. Most of those who’ve made it are there for the passion because they are well educated and could be doing something else but they choose to pursue music as an actual career and understand their music as the product and package it well” Blaze added.

Just-A-Band known for the “Ha He” fame, which most of us will remember “Makmende” instead, are among the artistes with originality no one can imitate. Made up of diversely artistic individuals the group has succeeded in fusing genres to come up with an unconventional music style. They are the pioneer Kenyan House/Funk/Disco band and are currently working on a graphic novel born out of their love for animation illustrations.

In the same fashion, STL, Rabbit, Muthoni Drummer Queen, Fena, Xtatic, Octopizzo, Kagwe, Hart the band, Sarabi and the likes have set themselves apart since inception.

The Kenyan music industry is at its finest with artistes constantly giving out content that is better than their last.

This far the love search has brought us.

Just because you are using the incognito window to access the internet doesn’t mean you can hide from Google.  Well, you might be safe from your ever micro-managing boss or your nosy browser history CID but Google analytics is the ultimate internet lie detector whether you clean up your browsing history as much as you breathe or set the computer on fire.

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The seriousness that was.

Every year google puts out the list of the most googled information according to regions and different categories. I’d like to start with the Love and Relationship segment in Kenya. From the look of things, the men have had a field day with the girl’s right from the beginning of getting the girl only up to engaging. The missing piece of the puzzle for the girls is how to make him stay. Here’s my two cents:

  1. How to date a girl: It is pretty obvious it is the men that look this up. It might be the girls that are doing the research to hint to their boyfriends who do not have a shred of intuition neither are they mind readers. This is a dance around the same bush of investing time and effort in the right person. Begin with friendship and don’t bombard her with too much too soon and make it clear through your actions that you want more than getting into her pants.

 

  1. How to use a condom: Thank goodness people use condoms to begin with or at least they want to know how to. Maybe it is the teenagers looking this one up after Uhuru decided to make condoms available to them. Or perhaps it was someone standing by Waiguru’s condom dispenser at her office. Who knows, people want to stay safe and hopefully the number of unwanted pregnancies will go down.

 

  1. How to get a girlfriend: The world can be sad and lonely at times, you walk around and all you see are happy couples and sadder singles than Mona Lisa’s portrait. With the cold season closely followed by the harsh el-nino rains, someone surely longed for some company. It all boils down to the kind of woman you would like to date, and where you are likely to meet her. Be open and have fun with the chase.

 

  1. How to increase fertility: This one is a mystery to me and a cloudy mist hanging around it. I will not quack my way around this but I hope you grow more fertile next year, all the best in cultivating it.

 

  1. How to start a conversation with a girl: Girls might have problems but it think this one is hardest for the boys. If you are across the room, smile. If she smiles back there is your cue. Start with introductions, likes and dislikes. Be careful not to ask too much she might mistake you for a serial killer. If you have her number, call her and ask to see her. Take her out on a date. Don’t just whatsapp her for a week then ask her to move in!!

 

  1. How to tell a girl you love her: It warms my heart to know that some boy somewhere loved a girl but didn’t know how to tell her. Honestly though, it is not entirely rocket science. Just tell her you love her and you would like for her to be your girlfriend. Or the other way round.

 

  1. How to impress a girl: Too sad if she doesn’t speak with you yet, then this is definitely going to be a game of chess. You can’t buy her anything because you just might freak her out. If you talk, you better be nurturing your art of reading minds. Listen to the things she hints about when you are together and what she marvels at. Pick things from your conversations. Her eyes will glow whenever she talks about some things and right there is your answer.

 

  1. How to talk to a girl: I am glad someone took time to look this up because with the rude approach men take these days, I would be sure to tell you the dating scene is going down the spiral towards a horrendous mess. Be polite, listen, and show interest in knowing more about her without being a dumb bloke!!!

 

  1. How to flirt: There is a thin line between flirting, cockiness and utter nonsense. Don’t be the idiot who erased them. You could easily have yourself going back to the drawing board which could be the Google tab for you or a few book marks.

 

  1. How to make him fall in love with you: If you know anything about love then you know what chemistry is about and no, it is not a mixture made in the lab. It comes naturally. He either loves you or he doesn’t. Love doesn’t sit on the fence. He can’t be tricked or blackmailed into it either. I am hoping with the beginning of a new year there will be more people falling head over heels in love with each other and hopefully propose in the dreamy mountains as the sun rises and that you live happily ever after.

 

This post is the raw version of a published article by myself on The Standard newspaper, Pulse pull-out on Friday December 25th 2015.

 

New Music Alert: Murder She Wrote by Flameezy featuring Luxland

 

unnamedSampling was at its peak in 2015 with artistes coming up with more creative ways to remake their predecessors’ music with a touch of their own sound. Extracted from the 90s Chaka Demus hit song, Murder She Wrote by Flameezy featuring Luxland is produced by Bill Cee under Taj World Records.

 

Tony Adeyin a.k.a Flameezy is a US-based Nigerian Artiste, originally representing Lagos. Luxland is a Cameroonian artiste based in New Jersey. This is the first single of the upcoming project “Taj World Family” – a compilation of artistes from the label Taj World records.

 

The message in MURDER SHE WROTE is about a dude who unconditionally loves his girlfriend despite her promiscuous ways. He still expresses his deep feelings and love for her, while at the same acknowledging the damages or the effect her behavior has towards him.

 

When I first listened to the song, I was mad that someone took their time to sing about this cheat of a woman. Then I realized it’s the same thing most women go through just that men don’t talk about it. The bad boy syndrome. You deserve what you accept, Say no to bullshit.

 

The video was shot in New York, USA and premiered on MTV worldwide on Thursday 17 December. It was directed by Kenya’s very own VJ One who is believed to be one of Africa’s fastest rising music video directors hailing from Kenya.

Watch the video below.