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On Our Radar: Jwa Kobra ·

On Our Radar: Jwa Kobra
Bottomline Kenya

Jwa-Who?

Okay let’s talk about Jwa Kobra. I know, I know, a huge majority of you are thinking “Jwa-Who now?” Well, Jwa Kobra also further describes himself as ” the danger, the one who knocks” but I know that does not help satisfy your curiosity. He is a musical artiste with a very unique taste in his preferred sounds. Having lived in Nairobi all of his life, influenced by a wide range of music from the works Curtis Mayfield, Kanye West, Franco, Burial to his all-time favourite producer Timbaland, Jwa Kobra started making music in university as a hobby.

A Certain “Trippiness”

At this point of his musical journey, he has come up with a five track EP entitled KN3T available for immediate listen on his SoundCloud account. The EP is mostly a blend between rhumba and hip hop done in a very strange, minimal and unexpected way. A way to make your ears prick up immediately. Some of the tracks immediately envelope you with a certain trippiness, which Jwa Kobra attributes to the spirit of rhumba which is largley unexplored these days.

“It’s fun to throw a straight loop on and put drums underneath, but why stop there? There’s a trippiness to rhumba, especially with the guitar work and eerie harmonizing. It’s hypnotic, like a spell. (not for nothing they call Franco a sorcerer, right?) I wanted to intensify that, make those emotions underneath more explicit. And to make tracks with some serious low end.”

Case in point is the very first track of the EP, Nrb Raha with some traces of Samba Mapangala all over it (and also probably our fave track in the whole set):

It is followed by Tabu Wangu Nakuota which samples a Franco track Assitou while Naitaka does a 180 and combines Notorious B.I.G’s vocals on Dead Wrong with the infamous Nicole and Muturi booty call for something equally trippy:

While the EP is just a fun showcase of skills and some of the ideas running through Jwa Kobra’s mind, it still provides for interesting laid back listening and certainly gives that musical high in a different way. It certainly made us wonder how more/less awesome some of the tracks would have  souned with an extra layer or two of something else added to them. All-in-all it is one of those sets best consumed in its 18-minute entirety. Listen to the enitre EP below:

Jwa Kobra plans some new releases in December and 2014 including a holiday mix, some remixes and original tracks all of which we look forward to.

THE BOTTOM LINE

We certainly love how Jwa Kobra combines all these different sounds to make a very eclectic but also cohesive final product. That is the type of thing that will get you on our radar any day!

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On Our Radar is our new regular column showcasing up-coming artistes in any and all fields and their lesser known counterparts who deserve some recognition and/or extra exposure as they try to add to the awesomeness of our world. If you are, or know of anyone who deserves to be On Our Radar, drop us an email and let us know.

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