Blankets and Wine has been around for 8years and has incomparably built an international platform for independent acts to showcase the beauty of their music. With most of the headliners being internationally acclaimed foreign acts, Muthoni Drama Queen (Founder) has always curated a picturesque concert exprience by developing a simple yet business-savvy model of her own that both benefits her as a Kenyan musician, impartially extends a hand to other Kenyan acts and still keeps the quality and trust of the fete intact.

You can’t deny the level of attention, exposure and network that comes with rocking the Blankets and Wine stage. International audience, music bloggers’ haven, industry players come out to relax and network , the glitz and glamour is just unavoidable. BnW stayed low for a while but the festival sprung back when they flew in the soulful Aloe Blacc for a night of stellar performances by MDQ, Just A Band and Mayonde. The festival was very monumental to JAB, one last Nairobi festival before they took a break, Mayonde was filling up the airwaves with her versatile sound, BnW was the perfect time for her to create her space. MDQ was back to business!

Blankets and Wine recruited young crooner Jarel and singer Sage for the just concluded Estelle Edition.


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Jarel took to the stage late in the evening and true his magic, stirred the festival with his urban sound, cleverly switching genres to create a groove that got the carnival in a party mood from the onset. Jarel brought out femcee Wangechi before they both jumped on  Timworks banger ‘Stand Up’ .  Jarel was one the featured acts on The Nest’s Legacy project that saw young artists pay homage to Kenya’s pioneering pop artists. Jarel released ‘Somewhere in America’ Jarel refix just days before BnW giving a tease of what he had up his sleeve.

Sage on the hand completed her comeback to the music scene with a superb show case. She  took the revelers on a honest and colorful trip of her emotions sprinkling love all over the festival. The BnW showcase came days after she released the first visual ‘Maskini’ off her latest Album ‘Expose Yourself’.

I don’t know if the releases were intentional but they obviously sparked interest giving the revelers something to look forward to as the days went by. Additionally, MDQ, Sage and Jarel took part in BnW curated activities that further engrossed them into the festival.

MDQ’s performance was breathtaking! Whether you were all about the Pop , a Hip Hop head or just a soulful spirit MDQ had something for you. The whole festival went wild when she went ham on the drums once again reminding her fans of her versatility and mastery. Muthoni currently has a video out ‘Make It Right’ with rock group The Rambling Wheels, the visual is the perfect description of MDQ ‘s imagination and bravery to venture into different realms of music.

In a continent where opening for foreign acts has always been characterized by egocentric conversations, MDQ’s model is one of the one most successful and ingenious musical exploits in the Kenyan scene. It’s profitable, rewarding and has shown an invaluable support for Kenya’s independent acts.



Photography via Blankets and Wine