On the 6th of December, Monrovia street got loud.
Shinning in the glow of multi-colored neon strobe lights & a massive tonne sound, it was pretty clear that the Ten Cities street party, wasn’t going to be the usual Nairobi clubbing experience.
“Everyone is here tonight” is the only type of conversation that managed to float around the party goers.
It was pretty telling of how tight knit this group of 300 + attendees were – all consisting of the creatives & hipsters of our city from photographer, Emmanuel Jambo to fashion blogger, Velma from 2MNYSIBLINGS to fashion designer Katungulu Mwendwa – just to name a few!
The music impressed and inspired us from 10 pm till the sun almost rose. It began with a mashup of modern day Kenyan anthems, mostly hip hop based beats and rhyme schemes, especially while DJ/producer Kevin Provoke rocked the crowd. But beyond mere DJing, beloved Nairobi MC Buddha Blaze introduced the stellar live performances of Kibera proud rapper Octopizzo, Camp Mulla rapper, Shappaman, soulful artist Fena Gitu and a handful of guest artists from Mombasa who brought live drums, bass and badass melodies to the back alley stage we bum rushed in excitement.
The smell of oriental flavors from the delicious catered food cart filled the air, mingling with the scent of marijuana, tobacco and Tusker, as strangers danced together and couples swayed in each other’s arms. Multicultural skin tones revealed a truly eclectic Nairobi at last. After all, with a profound dedication to explore what transpires when ten metropolitan epicenters meet head on, the Goethe-Institute brought together nearly 50 DJs, producers and musicians from the European cities of Berlin, Bristol, Kyiv, Lisbon and Naples and the African cities of Johannesburg, Cairo, Luanda, Lagos and Nairobi in musical collaboration. Thus, resulting in the magic that is Ten Cities.
[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”5″ gal_title=”Ten Cities Dec 2014″]
Stashed between tall buildings and a ripe full moon, as the night peaked at 2am, we received the real highlight of the night – Just A Band’s performance.
Rocking up in faded jeans, a faux tweed hunting hat, simple sneakers and a graphic hoodie, Blinky Bill avoided all the trappings of his celebrity status by keeping it absolutely real. “We were just going to do a DJ set!” he shouted, grinning mischievously. “But I guess we’re gonna sing a few songs first.”
And oh did he.
Clutching his hat, twisting his body around like a maniac, the crowd of females chanting at the foot of the stage sang along as he swept the microphone through the audience, inviting his fans to send his anthems flying into the Nairobi night air.
And finishing off with a DJ set that fused deep house with tribal breaks, urban tendencies and experimental touches, Just A Band proved to us yet again that not only the musicians themselves, but the listeners alike –
and all who hail from Nairobi for that matter – are ready for something new.