Blinky Bill is posited as Kenyas next great hope, he has managed to defy the ubiquity of Kenyas rave seen by producing tracks that pay homage to both modern and traditional influences. His formula is experimental production merging benga sounds with electronic cuts, this way he has cast a distinct identity for himself.
The visual accompanying the lead single off his debut best describes him. Blinky raps in front of walls filled with murals and kaleidoscopic-al paintings. He even manages to aesthetisize the feeling of living in the largely run down council estates in Nairobi, that is him and his world is simply color filled.
His debut album features a host of mcs and offers a robust 12 tracks. He engages Kenyan heartthrobs like Muthoni drummer queen and Sage in some of the tracks altogether with Zambian Sampa The Great as well as Nnena, the phenomenal lyricist.
The first track off the EP is Lwanda Magere, a song about a hero in a traditional folklore tale amongst the Luo tribe. A listen to it welcomes us into his world of glitched out music that is all over the place, but in a way he still manages to get a hold over everything and still make it sound awesome.
The next track is Atenshan, a dance floor leaning select. Here blinky has a bit of fun with experimentation and even creates some subtly touching moments with lyrics like ‘ I need someone I can face real life with” laced between the bouncy instrumental.
The album is deftly and carefully crafted, every percussion, horn and careless rap is intentional. The whole collage of voices and instruments hopes to create joyful records. The production on songs like Happy, Winner, and Mungu Halali is very energetic but yet minimalist. They’re just so well made and exhilarating to listen to, it feels like he has created an atmospheric bliss. It is surprising to say the least how he creates a track drenched in self reflection on let that go with Zambia’s Sampa Tha Great in such an unpredictable album.
Don’t worry feels generic but Bills to Pay maintains the grit that fills his electric performances and production. A specially intense track on the album is Oh Wah where he highlights and calls out bureaucracy and unnecessary politics in the government.
This remains to be a very comprehensive debut, he has our attention and we can only wait to see where he takes this.
‘Everyone’s just winging it and other fly tales’ was released on the 19th October 2018 on The Garden Nairobi Inc label.