Friday, 17 November 2017

Coke Studio Africa Stars: Eddy Kenzo, Alikiba, Nandy & Locko Win Big At Afrima Awards – 2017

In yet another milestone, 4 Coke Studio Africa-2017 artists make it among Africa’s top celebrated stars, feted at the just concluded annual All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) held last Sunday 12th November 2017. Coke Studio Africa stars: Eddy Kenzo (Uganda), Alikiba (Tanzania), Nandy (Tanzania) and Locko (Cameroon) were among winners unveiled at a night of music celebration event held at the Eko Hotel Convention Center in Lagos, Nigeria.

Eddy Kenzo’s 2017 was marked by the success of his new album “BIOLOGY” and returning to Coke Studio for a second time, paired alongside Ghanaian artist Bisa Kdei. He had 4 AFRIMA nominations under which he clinched two of biggest awards of the night for ‘Album of the Year’ and ‘Best Male Artiste’ in East Africa. Speaking of his win, he says, “I am so happy and I feel so blessed. This is too much! Winning Album of the year and Best Artiste in East Africa is not easy since we have so a lot of talented artists in East Africa. To win such a big award is a dream come true,” sending to fellow artists: “I am just here to encourage all the youth and new artists to keep their head up, they can make it. We need to win more awards in East Africa.” 

He was nominated alongside another Coke Studio Africa star from Tanzania: Alikiba. “I also congratulate Alikiba and all artists who were nominated in my categories and all East African artists. I am so proud of each of you. May God bless Africa.”
Bongo music royalty, Alikiba, received a nod for Best African Collaboration and Best African R&B and Soul Awards for his smash hit “Aje” that featured Nigerian rapper M.I Abaga. King Kiba also made his second return to Coke Studio was this year paired alongside Nigerian dancehall king Patoranking. Fast rising Tanzanian female singer, Nandy, known for her hit songs “One Day” and “Nagusa Gusa” who made her debut on Coke Studio Africa this year paired alongside Ethiopian songbird Betty G is already leaving a mark in her industry. She won AFRIMA award for Best Female Artiste East Africa.

AFRIMA category of Best Male Artiste in Central Africa included Coke Studio stars: Anselmo Ralph (Angola) and Locko, with Locko receiving the award. The “Superstar” hitmaker made his debut on the show this year performing alongside Tresor from South Africa. Speaking of his win, he says, “I want to give a shout out to all my fans (Lockomotives) for giving me this award. This was the one I was expecting the least and I am now going home with it. I am really happy and I will keep working hard.”

18 Coke Studio Africa artists were among Africa’s top celebrated stars nominated at the 2017 AFRIMA. They included Yemi Alade, Alikiba, AKA, Runtown, Nasty C, Eddy Kenzo, Locko, Anselmo Ralph, Jah Prayzah, Busiswa, Amanda Black, Kiff No Beat, Mafikizolo, Micasa, Bebe Cool, Nyashinski, Olamide and Nandy. This year’s nominee list included 33 categories, 10 regional and 23 genre-based categories, with Coke Studio stars bagging 25 nomination slots in total.

Israel Houghton & New Breed Are In Kenya

Award winning American Christian musician, songwriter, producer and worship leader, Israel Houghton and New Breed are in Kenya.

Israel Houghton is an American Christian music singer, songwriter, producer and worship leader. Houghton is usually credited as Israel & New Breed.

Israel Houghton is a prolific worship leader, musician, songwriter, producer, and recording artist. His music ministry has spanned 25 years. Israel is the recipient of five Grammy Awards, 13 Dove Awards, two Stellar Awards, a Soul Train Music Award, and many more. In 1995, Israel formed New Breed Ministries that gave way to his debut release in 1997, Whisper It Loud.

Since that time, Israel has released 11 solo and group albums, and has consistently been a commercial success with Billboard chart toppers New Season, Power Of One, and Jesus At The Center. He achieved Gold-selling albums with Alive In South Africa and Live From Another Level.

Israel is known for injecting contemporary gospel and worship with a blazing energy that has made him among the most influential tastemakers in his field. As a singer, composer, multi-instrumentalist, producer, and worship leader, he has created a canon of songs that have become standards in houses of faith around the globe. Israel has amassed a legion of fans while blasting down musical barriers, and drawing together people of all races, ages, and cultures through worship.

Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez Back to Kissing in Public

The Pope Gets A Lamborghini!!!!

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

VIDEO: Leo DiCaprio Celebrates 43 at Big Birthday Blowout

Leo DiCaprio had an interesting birthday party Saturday night ... in terms of what he fellow celebs chose to get him.

New Music: Vanessa Mdee Releases Bounce

With Money Mondays in the pipeline – there’s no stopping VeeMoney. With 3 Pan-African features released within the past fortnight (IMARA – Frederic Gassita (Gabon), Vitamin U – Roberto (Zambia) and Cassper Nyovest’s Baby Girl (South Africa) which features VeeMoney in the visual as a special appearance). Vanessa continues to reign over the continent with her slew of chart toppers and now this brand new Boy is Mine inspired collabo with two of the baddest vocalists out of Tanzania – Maua Sama and TommyFlava. Bounce samples Wayne Wonder’s Bounce Along and will have you doing exactly that as we gear up for her December album release.

Bounce is produced at BKej Studios (Tanzania) by Breezy, with sultry visuals shot by Justin Campos to accompany this immediate smash. Enjoy Bounce!

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

New Budding Songstress Aceygracey Releases “This Game” New Music Video

Budding songstress from Rongai AceyGracey has released the music video “This Game”. The song was produced by Charmant Miguel of Urban Scorch Records and the video directed by Nezzoh Monts.

This Game is a follow up to AceyGracey’s Nimekutoka.

African Voices Meets Eric Omondi To Learn More About The Business Of Laughter

This week on African Voices, the programme meets comedian Eric Omondi as he describes his journey to success and shares his thoughts on the power of comedy.

Omondi has been entertaining since childhood and making people laugh comes naturally to the young star: “I’ve been into comedy since I was young - I was the family entertainer at the dinner table. I cannot stand people [who are] bored or quiet. I’ll do anything and everything to make you laugh or to get your attention.”

The programme hears how comedy has changed in recent years and that laughter is now serious business. Omondi explains: “Comedy has really evolved. I started doing comedy at weddings, in churches. We would be getting paid through sodas and food. That would be our pay, our contract. Then it moved to very little money. That’s why I think my heroes are the former comedians, the older guys, Vitimbi… because they’re our freedom fighters.”

Omondi’s big break came when he appeared on ‘The Churchill Show’, Kenya’s popular satirical comedy series. After he met the show’s host at a mentorship event in college, Omondi was scheduled to emcee the show but impressed Churchill so much that he was given time on the show as a comedian. Omondi reflects on this time and describes his anticipation for how the audience would react: “I remember, the first time I walked out [on stage], I didn’t know how people would receive me. I came out and people were [slow clapping, thinking] ‘Who the hell is this guy?’ I did my first joke, then my second… and that was it, the rest is history.”

The young comedian’s fame has only grown since then and at the beginning of this year, Omondi appeared on Jimmy Fallon’s ‘Tonight Show’. For Omondi, meeting Fallon was “a dream come true. It shows me that nothing is impossible.”

CNN hears that Omondi is passionate about comedy: “Number one, I love my job. Seeing people enjoying my work – that’s where I get my satisfaction from. When people are happy, I’m happy.” However, it seems Kenyans are a notoriously tough crowd and this keeps Omondi motivated. He explains: “Kenyans are very funny, so it’s very hard to crack them up. It’s a challenge. I thank Kenyans for that, for being a hard rock to crack. It makes you want to work more and more.”

According to Omondi, comedy is an essential part of society, particularly when times are tough: “Comedy is powerful because it helps us express ourselves… We had the elections in Kenya and tensions were high. To bring humour, it breaks that tension because we laugh at ourselves and how we behave… Comedy is a mirror, it’s about reflecting society.”

Omondi takes this powerful position very seriously and believes he has a unique opportunity at a crucial juncture in history: “I believe Africa is the future. I’m proud to be African at this time in history because everyone is looking to us for new ideas, the next big thing.” African Voices’ is sponsored by Globacom Limited.
‘African Voices’ airs Saturday 4th November at 1730 EAT on CNN International.
The show also airs at the following times:
Sunday 5th November at 0130 EAT, 0530 EAT and 2100 EAT
Monday 6th November at 1130 EAT
Tuesday 7th November at 0630 EAT

Jameson Connects Kenya Secures South Africa’s Nasty C To Perform Alongside Ty Dolla $Ign

The annual Jameson Connects Kenya experience set to take place on December 2nd 2017 at the Uhuru Gardens, Langata Road has secured Nasty C as the second lead act following Ty Dolla $ign who is this year’s headlining act.

Nasty C is an award-winning rapper from Durban, South Africa who has also collaborated with some of the industry’s biggest artists including French Montana, Dj Maphorisa and Major Lazer (Current Hit – Particula).

Best known for his singles "Paranoid", "Or Nah", and "Blasé", as well as his writing contributions to "Loyal", "Post to Be", and "FourFiveSeconds", among others Ty Dolla Sign has multiple critically acclaimed hits and has collaborated with many internationally renowned artists – Future, Wiz Khalifa, Migos, The Weekend, Travis Scott among many others.

“Jameson Connects is a festival that aims to connect consumers through various experiences from music, games, fun, food and fashion. Consumers are given the opportunity to engage with their favourite food vendors, enjoy free haircuts from celebrity barbers, see incredible sneaker displays, watch live sports (EPL and Dubai 7s) compete in foosball competitions to win amazing prizes, turning strangers into friends all through the Irish Whiskey Brand; Jameson” said Esther Muhoro Pernod Ricard Marketing Manager.

Local acts Khaligraph Jones, Kagwe Mungai and The Kansol are also set to perform alongside DJs Jack Rooster, Burn, Bash, Kace, Mellow and DJ Butch Norman at the fourth edition of the Jameson Connects Experience.

In line with its agenda to bring together people for a truly authentic experience, Jameson Connects will this year have pre parties in Mombasa and Eldoret in which experiences expected at the December 2nd festival will be shared to fans, in line with the all-inclusive nature of the brand.

The spirit of Jameson Connects is courtesy of the Jameson family motto ‘Sine Metu’, which means ‘Without Fear’, and has been at the heart of the brand since its creation in 1780.  It appears on every bottle and has inspired Jameson to continuously innovate, collaborate and create truly authentic experiences. 

“We aim to inspire people to let go of their social fears and embrace a real moment to bond and connect with friends, family and strangers alike” added Ms. Muhoro

Top Kenyan Artistes Lit Up Blaze Youth Empowerment Summit In Machakos County

Safaricom (NSE: SCOM) held its fourth regional summit of BLAZE BYOB Season Two on 11th November at Machakos Stadium, Machakos County.

The Summit was pegged on this year’s theme of G.R.I.T (Greatness Requires Internal Toughness) and is aimed at empowering the youth to face their challenges in entrepreneurship and business head on; and persevere through them.

“Young people from Machakos and surrounding areas will get an opportunity to interact with mentors, hear their stories, learn from the journey and get inspiration across their own fields of interest. Additionally, interested youth will get a platform to audition for the BYOB TV show that is set to air early next year,” said Sylvia Mulinge, Director, Consumer Business – Safaricom.

Over 300 participants were pre-screened in the pre-creation camps held at Machakos University Hotel between 20th and 21st of October.

“We are delighted to have selected over 300 business ideas from hundreds of youth who turned up for pre-screening. They will now receive mentorship and training from a team of our able mentors,” said Ms Mulinge.

So far 3 regional summits have successfully been held in Meru, Nakuru and Eldoret regions empowering over 25,000 Blazers.  Over Sh2.2M worth of cash has been given in business support to deserving ventures that have demonstrated potential to grow and ingenuity. 
Some of the mentors at the Machakos summit include; Nick Ondu – Fashion Blogger, Tosh Gitonga – Film Director, Jibril Blessing-Producer and videographer, Njugush- Comedian and actor, Abel Mutua- content developer, Wycliffe Waweru- entrepreneur and bicycle manufacturer, Caleb Karuga – Agripreneur as well as Bryan Wanyama of Matwana Matatu Culture. For technology mentorship Blaze is partnering with E-mobilis, an agency delivering the Digital Skills Africa Program in partnership with Google.

Special performances by Nyashinski, King Kaka, Khaligraph, Femi One and Timmy T-Dat at Machakos Stadium.

BLAZE is a sub-brand of Safaricom and was created to give the youth aged 26 years and below products, services and benefits tailored specifically to meet their everyday needs.
A first of its kind platform in Kenya, East and Central Africa, BLAZE was founded on what Kenyan youth say is most important to them: freedom, empowerment and success.

Monday, 13 November 2017

New Music: Booty Language -Skales(NIGERIAN)

Nigerian Artiste Skales Releases 2 New Singles & Announces Plans For East Africa

Top Nigerian afro beats artiste, Skales, known for delivering mega hits like “Temper” and "Shake Body", some of the biggest Nigerian tunes to hit East Africa, is now taking on an East African approach from now on, into 2018. Skales releases two smash hit singles AGOLO and BOOTY LANGUAGEfeaturing Ghanaian rapper Sarkodie in East Africa, as he plans to launch new singles featuring artists from East Africa.

Speaking on his East Side plan Skales says: “I have decided to spread my brand strategically to East Africa because of the love and attention I get from my fans from East Africa. They have made my songs massive in the region,” adding, “Music is also a universal language and the East African sound and culture continues to inspire my music in a lot of ways.”

AGOLO and BOOTY LANGUAGE are off Skales sophomore album ‘The Never Say Never Guy” and have dominated music airplay across Africa since the album dropped earlier on this year. Skales who tags his album as a masterpiece says, “I believe that East African sounds influenced a huge percentage of my album. This is part of the reason why I am setting aside time to venture into East Africa.”

The Chopstix produced AGOLO is a certified afro pop hit with a perfect blend of Yoruba traditional sounds. The single has already sparked traditional dance steps among fans, just like in the video showcasing the streets of Ojota in Lagos, directed by Lucas Reid. In BOOTY LANGUAGESkales delivers smooth rap bars in a steady flow while appreciating the voluptuous curves of the African woman. Skales described the video boasting an urban setting with colorful graffiti displayed in the background director by Teekay as one of his favorites in recent times - asserting its creativity as incredibly commendable.

Cindy Sanyu, Navio, Nyashinski, Avril, Vanessa Mdee and Joh Makini are among artistes from East Africa Skales is currently feeling. He says: “I’m a huge fan of a lot of East African artistes and through my work with them, I hope to unify the African music culture.” Skales promises that he will be coming to East Africa soon. He concludes: I would like my East African fans to know that I got love for you and I appreciate all the support you have shown me and music this far. There is no other continent that is as blessed as we are so let’s believe more in us and empower us.”

With over 200 songs recorded so far with high-flying collaboration with several top acts including Burna Boy, Sarkodie, Eldee, Jeremiah Gyang, Banky W and Knighthouse, Skales continues to enjoy massive success beyond the African music scene. He recently got featured on Major Lazer’s RUN UP – Afrosmash Remix featuring PartyNextDoor, Yung L, Chopstix and Nicki Minaj.

PHOTOS: Blaze Youth Empowerment Summit In Machakos County