I remember the heydays of ‘Lazizi’ when I sat on that television set awaiting the beat on NTV to hear this new soulful group seduce me with their tune. Then came ‘Blue uniform’, with its video that not so many people have seen, chorus so nice I created a whole compartment in my head for its lyrics. These old Sauti Sol days were lively, refreshing and inspiration. Their inspiration powered me to a point of jotting down a proposal to have a radio show based on Afro fusion music.
When they announced the release of their albums, I already had one in hand ready to sing along during the launches. All the tracks in their album were fantastic, though with the occasional one that sounds a bit misplaced. Either way I would fork the amount needed to get the album. Once, a girl discovered my liking for this music and used it to her advantage. With the tune of ‘Asubuhi’ on her lips, she could get anything she wanted. That was then.
With every release of a new single, I cringe and look to other artists for inspiration. The productions the group branded ‘most celebrated boy’s Afro-fusion group’ and winners of the best group MUSEKE Awards, did back then is floating into oblivion. In my opinion the move to collaborate with P unit for the single Gentleman was where the downfall begun. It was a very viable move from the acquisition of new fans but from my strategic analysis, it signified the deviation of vision.
I write all this after listening to their new release, ‘still the one’. It will get acclamation from some for the fact that it is a Sauti Sol production. My worries come from the almost mediocre and forgettable lyrics, do you even remember what the chorus says? The song is not all bad, the aspect that I liked about it was the throwback moment, the mush up of their various songs into a hook. I respect Sauti Sol and appreciate their kind of music but the patchiness that has mushroomed in their art lately has me questioning, are the afro-fusion kings losing their panache?
By Mahebo Robert
Mahebo has also reviewed Sauti Sol’s 2nd album Sol Filosofia