Melodia Mobi; 2013
Dir. Enos Olik
The hustle has started paying off for Coola Gang. After a concerted effort to showcase their skills via numerous viral cyphers, controversial singles and vids that mainstream media failed to pay enough attention to, the rap duo signed a huge record deal with Melodia Mobi. The deal has enhanced their capabilities with the genre they love best (hip hop) and also extended their creative freedom to explore with other genres as well. As a result, their second single under Melodi Mobi called Kata Kiuno has taken a slight deviation from Kapella and Cool Kid’s signature style with ver interesting results.
Produced by Jack&TheBeats, Kata Kiuno is a an easy-going afrobeats party song, obviously. It is not your standard afrobeats tune though. Naija beats and azonto usually have a heavy influence on afrobeats track being produced in any part of the continent. What makes Kata Kiuno distinctly different is that the production does not struggle to align itself with the urban sounds of West Africa but instead looks inwards to our own Kenyan sounds and influences. A keen listener will detect influences from Kenyan tradtional dance drummers and a bit of kapuka peeping from underneath the main beat. Irrespective of how deliberate or uninentional the track’s influences are, this approach is the way to go if Kenyans want to cut a distinctive niche for themselves in the very competitive world of afrobeats instead of borrowing all the damn time!
Lyrically, the duo take it much easier this time and drop some soft verses appropriate for the party song feel. The addictive hook is also handled well by Renee while the inclusion of the Danganya Toto Jinga children’s song at the bridge will bring back good memories for many and makes the track all the more enjoyable. The music video directed by Enos Olik of CJP Films is as action-packed as would be expected from scenes at club dance floors when Kata Kiuno gets played. All in all, the track has all the ingredients to make it an instant club hit across the continent.
I definitely like the progression with which Coola Gang are developing as well-rounded entertainers who can not only display skilfull lyricism on demand but also help us unwind on weekends with great party songs as well.