#MusicMonday: Introducing Songoma

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Motorbikes better known as “nduthis” have become a significant form of alternative transport in Nairobi so why not make a song about them? The freshest afro-pop boy band in Kenya released quite the relatable next door kind of love story jam.

“We take pride in being the freshest band because we would like to believe that we have come up with a style that hasn’t been explored before. We are three different individuals with unique styles and merged them to come up with Songoma Music.”

The individuals come from different backgrounds and therefore their music is made up of a mixture of languages including English, Swahili, Kirundi and French. This they say is what sets them apart as well. With that, they do not lean towards any particular genre but allow themselves to explore without limits.

Inspired by a real life event, Party kwa nduthi is all about enjoying life’s simple pleasure’s with your favorite person. “You could go to a very fancy place but you are not comfortable, and there are times when you are not at the fanciest of places but the company makes every minute worth it,” they all agree.

From their presentation, you can tell they get along together quite well and are close. The trio met at Sauti Academy; A music school run by Penya Africa, class of 2012. Fess, Mwachari and Abishai albeit doing their solo projects came together in 2013 but they were on and off because of either one of them being unavailable for one reason or another.

Fess was on Tusker Project Fame, he won a recording deal which occupied most of his 2013. Mwachari was onto acting, jewel designing and worked on a couple of projects with Eric wainaina. Abishai worked in a studio, producing tracks including his own. They took it up in 2014 and hit the ground running.

They might appear to have been thrust into the limelight very suddenly but they are not new to showbiz. They started out doing shows together at weddings and events to push their name out there. Around the same time that Abishai was still working in a Studio, he invited Fess and Mwachari to go check the place out. They recorded their first own composition and have never looked back since then.

Produced by MG, the song did not take long to come to life. “We had a studio session but we were to record a different song. On the day before, Fess called to give a song idea. He had a chorus ready and I remember it was very catchy. On the day of the recording Abishai was already convinced that Party Kwa nduthi was a better song so they called me telling me to think of a verse.”

The song must have been written down by fate, even the producer agreed to “Party Kwa Nduthi” being a catchy one. The powerful guitars in the song were also rehearsed in the same day. Armed with their verses, the trio hit the notes right one take at a time and it all fell perfectly together. “We recorded it in a day, in an afternoon actually,” Mwachari attests.

The opening lyrics by Fess are actually the conversation they had with his then date from the phone call and on their way. They had agreed to meet up but the rains happened and they sought other plans. They used a bodaboda also known as “Nduthi” to get to the nearest shopping centre. With the increasing numbers of motorbikes there has been a crop of pimped out ones that have music, umbrellas to entice customers and offer better services. Mwachari and Abishai also re-encountered their experiences on motorbikes in the lyrics that make the song.

“Party kwa nduthi is available for download on Mdundo. We are hoping to release the video soon and a whole lot of shows lined up for us. We are performers and its what we love to do.”

Be sure to catch them as Songoma Music on their social media for more updates.

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An edited version of this article was published on Pulse magazine, a pullout in The Standard  on 12th Feb 2016.

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