Kiu - Shugli ·
Motion Image & Sound; 2016
It’s been quite a while since girl band Kiu released new material. Save for a bunch of concert and event performances, getting to perform live versions of Mwanake and Siwezi Mind on Airtel Jam Sessions as well as this glorious Davido cover, it has largely been hush hush on the Kiu front, and for good reasons. The band signed up to Jaaz Odongo’s label Motion Image & Sound in early 2015. They’ve since been hard at work recording their debut album. They’ve just dropped the first single off the album called Shugli.
Shugli is a feel-good track that’s all about getting busy and letting loose on the dancefloor. Snugly settling the track in between dance, Afropop and Afrohouse spiced with a distinctly East African flavour, Jaaz Odongo’s production remains above par. In a couple of verses in a multi-lingual mix of English, Swahili and Luo, the band makes a good case for shaking your assets. They still get to deliver some vocal treats and harmonies underneath the busy-ness of this track.
RLVNT directs the equally busy and well-choreographed music video. Overall, the vid looks great. There are some really well executed moments of light and colour manipulation, especially at the bridge portion of the track where focus is maintained on the girls by dressing them in brighter colours than their dance partners. A very simple method that works wonders visually.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Shugli is perfect as Kiu’s first single off their debut album. Starting things off with a track that deviates from the sound of their previous material is an indication of growth and a willingness to explore more and more possibilities available to them as a band with a great vocal presence. With Jaaz Odongo at the helm of Motion Image & Sound, the band is in good hands.