Musically speaking – Election Music Festival fever grips Kenya


Election Music Festival fever has has gripped the country with Electoral Commission Studios at hand to record DVDs, CDs and all nature of musical extravaganza from political bands playing to entertain millions of Kenyan voters until August 8th 2017.

Sunday saw the Trap Setters Band, also known as Nasa Concerto, introduce its band leader Agwambo popularly known as Rao along with Kamba Band soloist popularly passing as Stevo or Water Melon in political studios. Rao was donning Congolese Soukous maestro Kanda Bongo Man white hat but ten years his senior he lacked the agility of the musician.

The Trap Setters Band started public performances, which will witness whirlwind shows around the country, in a bid to convince Kenyans to vote Rao as best Band Master during a national concert set for August 8th. The National Concert will be replicated live around the entire country in what are known as Polling Theatres.

Soon after certification at Kenyatta International Concert Centre (KICC) the duo was joined by other members of its band, namely Madvd, Weta and Jicho Pevu, to conduct a Road Show along City Hall Way, Haile Selassie, Ladies Road, Jogoo Road towards Donholm and finally settled on its first Live Concert at Jacaranda stadium.

The Jacaranda Live Concert was interrupted by a heavy downpour, which seemed to have been specifically assigned the role of dampening the concert at that particular spot.

Only light showers and passing clouds spread around the neighbouring estates. The sprawling Umoja, Donholm and Buru Buru estates received light showers to clear dust on their otherwise tarmac roads as did most of Eastlands. Rain is usually a good omen when the heavens open shorty after an event but when they disrupt an event, only gods can tell why.

Rao and Stevo at Kenyatta International Concert Centre

The rain however, did not stop the Trap Setters Band performance in a rather low tone to a record crowd, which Stevo said he had never seen gathered at Jacaranda. Needless to say the Band had never performed there before Sunday and Stevo could not have seen the crowd there earlier. Singers at the concert lived to the name of the band as they tried vehemently to set up traps to catch Eastlands voters come August 8th.

The chief composer of Nasa CD, Madvd performed his regular song Nasa Hawa to which the crowd roared back in a chorus Uhuru Must go – adapted from a CD first played during a Live Concert at Uhuru Park in 2003 where Rao released his most popular hit Kibaki Tosha.

At Jacaranda, Trap Setters Band leader Agwambo played out his popular hit Rao na Mpira, which appeared to be out of tune with the crowd that almost drowned his voice several times demanding a more recent tune.

Rao deputy in his family Orange Movement Band Taarab composer, known as the Chemist Joho, and popular for his Mvita LP Uhuru Ememy 001, entertained the crowds to nothing new but appeared to change one of his CD song known as Mombasa has been moved to Naivasha, to a new one recently recorded, which he sang for the first time in the name of Mombasa has been sold to Arabs.

Rao’s favourite vocalist Wakili Orengo was the master of ceremony at the Jacaranda Concert. Sukuti chief composer in Trap Setter Band, popularly known as Weta performed his single Mdu kwa Mdu lyric to the urban audience that seemed to be more concerned about rain than his theatrics.

Monday saw Jubilee Orchestra conductor Uhuru alias Kamwana stage a Live Concert of UhuRuto DVD also trying woo Kenyans to vote him the best National Conductor for the next 5 years.

His background musical theme will be Peace, Peace, Peace, he told Electoral Commission Studios after receiving his public concerts licence – 70 days before the National Festival on August 18.

Kamwana: My theme will be Peace, Peace, Peace and issue-based

Kamwana highlighted the hits his Jubilee Orchestra had recorded over the last four and half years in an album containing hits like Free maternity services, Electricity to thatched homes, SGR Railway, Old age benefits, Examination fees, Mabarabara and promised next year they plan to release a new DVD entitled Free education up to Form Four.

Their live Concert outside KICC suffered a similar share of rain that threatened to interfere with a sea of enthusiastic crowd that insisted the concert proceeds naturally. The Jubilee Orchestra deputy conductor arap Ruto announced they are inviting 40 million Kenyans to become their Music Fan Cub, which he said was better than the rival Trap Setters Band 10 Million Fan Club.

Some Trap Setters Band fans were recorded by media cameras pelting Jubilee Orchestra fans outside City Hall with their traditional stone missiles for reasons they could not explain. Jubilee fans paid them in kind by pulling down and burning Trap Setters Band Nairobi Governor’s concert banners.

arap Ruto described the Trap Setters Band as one that devotes long hours in studios composing fault-finding hits while Jubilee Orchestra concentrates on solution-based melodies. He gave an example of the current Top Ten hit Unga Revolution that he said the Trap Setters Band was questioning why Jubilee Orchestra released its DVD titled 90 Shillings Unga before Trap Setters leader danced his way to State House.