Blankets April 2017: Highlights

Hey 🙂 It’s Sharon for SWL and we are back, hopefully for a long time. Fingers crossed.

So I went to Blankets this past Sunday as a way to jumpstart our effort here at SWL to cover more local live shows. I was initially meant to troll Nairobi’s most succesful concert series on my own but the gods showed me favour and sent Jayson  of @Jaytakeapic my way.

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We got there in good time, around 2PM, just as people were beginning to trickle in. There was every indication that it would rain, and ultimately make everything a little messy but it didn’t, thankfully.

I won’t bore you with all the shenanigans we got up to, because, well, they were many. What I will do is tell you which artists stood out for me. So this was the line-up:

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This guy

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…were the most intriguing/surprising. Ciano has some piiiiiipes. I know next-to-nothing about him but I’m willing to bet that he was a church singer. There’s a lot of gospel in his style. He has such control over his instrument, something that is becoming a rareity on these music streets. I’m gonna look into his stuff and get back to you with more but he is definitely worth looking out for.

As for Nneka, I had only heard the hype but had never actively sought out her stuff. I was even supposed to get into it the day before, but life happened and I didn’t. Turns out, I’ve been missing out. Nneka is one with her sound. You get a true feeling of the type of person she is when you listen to her sing. She’s also very comfortable on the stage and about her business. Minimal theatrics, not even a call and response…she comes, she sings, she leaves…but you feel every minute of it.

I also really enjoyed Fena’s performance. She was, in my opinion, the crowd favourite and really turned up the excitement. She also brought on Kagwe, Mayonde, MDQ and Blinky to the stage to perform, giving me Missy-Timbaland-Aaliyah-Ginuwine collab vibes of the 90s and noughties. Eager to see if this experiment will pick up, it certainly has the potential to.

Overall the Blankets team are pros through-and-through. Logistically, the concert series is a well-oiled machine and the organizers should be very proud of themselves. I get the feeling events like these are the springboard the local industry needs to really get listeners invested, and I’m hoping that in time we get to see that happen.





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