Electrique Entertainment Records / Sound Mind ; 2013
Electrique DJs are surging on with their quest to drop their forthcoming album The Journey: A Tribe Called Africa. They started off by roping in Fena and Jaaz for their first single Brikichowhich has fared pretty well so far. They launched their second single called Duog Dala and accompanying music video yesterday at Nairobi’s Tree House’s Halloween event. Jaaz Odongo makes a second appearance in this track which features the very talented Afro fusion singer-songwriter Nina Ogot. I must admit after listening to the 90-second teasers of the first three singles set to be on the album, Duog Dala is what gave me the most eargasms. However, the teaser didn’t really prepare me well for the pleasure I’ve derived from listening to the entire five minutes of the full release (still on replay as I write this!).
Where to even begin! The title Duog Dala is the Luo way of saying “Come Back Home”. Nina Ogot sticks to singing in Luo throughout as well. The song can be summarized as a cry out to a lover who has lost his way, distracted by other things and other people. It is not only a plea to return home, it is also a plea to return to the sanity/insanity of true love. The lyrical content is very fluid, in a way that can fit into so many contexts. Nina Ogot (who has dropped a new single this year entitled Aheri ) definitely brought her vocal and song-writing A-Game for this track.
For those who cannot understand the lyrics, Mushking has whipped up a great video concept to back it all up. The vid follows a pregnant Nina dealing with her Governor husband’s not so honourable activities. The storyline is quite solid and fits perfectly with the track itself no to mention the effort put in detail of the props – you may notice that the date on the newspaper splashes is 1st November 2013, coinciding with the date of the public release of the single and video.
Finally, the backbone of what makes this track so awesome is the production. The number of layers to peel back as you listen to this track is pretty amazing, from the soul afro house vibes, some jazzy piano teasers here and there to the guitar work (some of which could easily be used in a slowed down old school Cameroonian makossa track). There were some points of the track which got me thinking “Is this a bit like what you’d expect to hear if in some alternative universe Yvonne Chaka Chaka did a collabo with Sam Fan Thomas?”. The track has a cunning way of evoking memories of African sounds from the past two decades underneath its main afro-house beats. It is a journey back home, in the musical sense as well.
THE BOTTOM LINE
When the time comes to finally decide which is the Best Kenyan Song/Video this year, Duog Dala should be a top contender right away. You just have to give them that.