Side B/Ulopa; 2013
Dir. J. Blessing
A month or so after KISS 100’s Kalekye Mumo revealed to the world that she too can sing by releasing her debut single called My Baby, the accompanying music video is finally out. The single has gotten a largely warm reception since being released and the video seems to have been well received the majority of folk who have expressed an opinion on the internets. Well, My Baby has all the standard ingredients of a Kenyan party song, there is no question about that. However after a number of listens, some interesting perspective reveal themselves, sort of. Read on.
The production is handled by Ulopa under his label Side B. There is quite a bit of interplay between the old and new once you “pop the hood” of this track. One of the most interesting things about this beat is how it seems to be influenced by 80s Soukous/Afropop which laid lots emphasis on the trumpets – in fact the overall tempo and feel of this song is like a mix of Samba Mapangala’s Vunja Mifupa and Tshala Muana’s Karibu Yangu camouflaged by some extra cunning beats to put a keen listener off the scent of that old school awesomeness.My mind may be playing tricks on me, but I certainly feel a connection. Kalekye’s lyrics sound like a reply to Kool and The Gang’s Get Down On It when the girl they are talking to finally agrees to get her back up off the wall and get her groove on. Again, maybe my mind is just on an imaginative roll today *shrug*. Kalekye’s hooks are easy enough to memorize on the first listen, a good thing for any song that needs to be sang along to in the clubs.
The video, directed by J. Blessing, is also on a mission to blend the new and the retro. It has two main acts. Firstly, we are taken through a bright sunny scene showing Kalekye out doing the laundry (one of the people whose opinion we sought commented that the first scene makes one feel like that guy in the white suit from the Nuru soap advert will show up any moment and join in the fun). Also, somewhere in the sidelines, we see a girl eyeing some man candy and scheming how to get access to “all that”. The second act is a night party where the girl finally makes her move on Mr. Man Candy while Kalekye performs. Overall the vid is entertaining enough.
This is a good foundation single form Kalekye, and certainly an effort that can be generally appreciated. It’s all wait-and-see for her second single now.