Sauti Sol in 2016: 5 collabos

Kenyan pop group Sauti Sol has been busy in 2016 collaborating with artists from across Africa. Already, the quartet has worked with South Africa’s Mi Casa, Nigeria’s Yemi Alade and 2Baba, as well as Tanzania’s Ali Kiba. On the home front, Sauti Sol has worked with gospel singer Willy Paul.

Kenyan band Sauti Sol. Photo: Sauti Sol Facebook page
Kenyan band Sauti Sol. Photo: Sauti Sol Facebook page

With collaborations hailed as a sure way for artists to tap into new markets and promote their craft, more African artists are working together across countries and regions. 

Recently, Zimbabwean singer Jah Prayzah and Tanzania’s Diamond Platnumz collaborated on the single ‘Watora Mari’. Diamond Platnumz has also worked with Nigeria's P-Square on the song 'Kidogo'.

Ugandan rapper Navio is reportedly in talks with Nigeria's Wizkid. Wizkid, in turn, may be working again with South Africa's DJ Maphorisa after their 2015 collabo, 'Soweto Baby'.

Sauti Sol was also paired with Congo's Fally Ipupa on the Coke Studio Africa.  There are indications that more collaborations will follow the five released by Sauti Sol in 2016. Nigerian star Patoranking is touted as one of the artist that they band may work with in the near future.  Ahead of what comes next for Sauti Sol, here are five collaborations showcasing the Kenyan band's versatility.

5. ‘Tulale Fofofo’: Sauti Sol and Mi CasaYouTube Views: 400K+

Speculation had been rife about the possibility of a collaboration between Mi Casa and Sauti Sol since 2014. The bands finally got into the studio. The product is the single ‘Tulale Fofofo’. The song has a very South African house-music beat and dominant lyrics in Kiswahili, a widely spoken language in some East African countries. J’Something from Mi Casa even goes on to highlight the infamous "Kama imekubamba wapi nduru?" chant that is synonymous with DJ mixes in Kenya. The song's lyrics were jointly written by Joao da Fonseca and members of Sauti Sol.

4.  ‘Africa’ - Yemi Alade ft. Sauti Sol. YouTube Views: 1million+

After teaming up on the 2015 pan-African show Coke Studio Africa, Yemi Alade and Sauti Sol enhanced their musical partnership when they released ‘Africa’ in July 2016. The single is a song off Yemi Alade’s sophomore album, Mama Africa: The Diary of an African Woman which includes recently released hits like ‘Kom Kom’, and monster hit ‘Na Gode’.  While the song is intended to celebrate the riches and beauty of Africa, critics have not been impressed with the creative input on the video. Although shot in Nigeria, Kenya, United Kingdom and the United States of America; a few critics have said that the video should have done more to show the affluence within Africa. Nevertheless, Yemi Alade delivers an emotive visual reminding viewers that Africa is great.

3. 'Unconditionally Bae’ - Sauti Sol and Ali Kiba. YouTube Views: 3million+

Fans eagerly waited for a collaboration between these two award winning acts from the region. Sauti Sol and Ali Kiba gave them the remarkable ‘Unconditionally Bae’. On the song, the artists sing about the difficulty of finding love in the modern world. Contrary to its sad theme, the artists sing to an upbeat rhythm that will get anyone to her feet . The 7-minute long video includes a complete choreography to the song as a way to get fans dancing.

2. ‘Take it Slow’- Willy Paul Ft. Sauti Sol. YouTube Views: 590K+

'Take it Slow' is a collaboration between Sauti Sol and Kenyan gospel artist Willy Paul.  The song advises people in relationships to take it slow. While it got Kenyans talking about the nature of the collaboration, the single also provided a chance for Sauti Sol's Savara Mudigi to showcase his skills as a producer.  Kenyan producer Teddy B also contributed to the production of the song.

1. Oya Come Make We Go'- 2Baba Ft. Sauti Sol. YouTube Views: 200K+

The latest of Sauti Sol's collaboration is 2Baba's 'Oya Come Make We Go' with a video released on 24 August. While the audio of the single was released four months ago, the video duly brings to live the inspirational and positive lyrics of a song that encourages intercultural learning, self-belief and hard work. The J Sleek-produced single is one for all ages. The video was shot in Kenya in various locations including Lake Magadi in the Great Rift Valley. 2Baba begins the track in his trademark style, riding the beat with an elegance that has defined his music for decades. The hook that follows is mesmerizing in its simplicity.



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