Night Dancers is an annual event, celebrating indie artists, musicians, designers, filmmakers, performers, social entrepreneurs and creative individuals who enrich, grow and challenge Kenyan culture to new levels.
It is 4.00 in the morning on a Sunday in Nairobi back in November 2016 and I am standing at the edge of a creative yard that has become home to the new wave of creatives in Nairobi, The Alchemist Bar in Westlands. It is my first time to experience the event and am blown away,
There is a legit vibe about this event experience. Young Nairobians, who form a big part of the base crowd, speak about these artists on the line up the way an Italian chef may describe pizza making. They are passionate about what they love and how they do it.
There is some magic happening in this city. Night Dancers holds a distinction. It is real. It showcases the unity of these NuNairobi acts drawn from different places around the world. The artists sang from their hearts and where they are musically. Why they had to move from being individuals to being collectives – for instance, EA Wave, Cosmic Homies, Vibe Tribe, Kiumbe and many more.
Caught up with the music inside the massive crowd rocking his signature round hats, was the god-father of this movement, Blinky Bill from Just a Band. He was not the headlining act, but he was here to show support, even as Toya Delazy headlined.
More than 20 acts perform on this night, stacked up in short sets yet quite explosive. Though they have all cultivated lyrical styles all their own, the revival musicians are marked by an unmistakable restraint, seriousness unity and stage theatrics new to the region.
Fast forward to 2017 and a couple of days back, I’m in a strategy meeting for Night Dancers 2017 with Marushka and EA Wave’s Nu Fvnk. Produced by lifestyle media platform ‘Vibe Tribe’, Night Dancers is the annual culmination of the Vibe Tribe Event Series, Featuring various installations and engaging event experiences.
“We will have a fusion of music, film and fashion and far more than I can even describe,” Marushka points out. But even more innovatively, this year features mixed mediums, combined via performances, pop ups, an indie film screening and a mini fashion show from collaborating artists across the contemporary Nairobi community; co-creating an entertaining space for those interested in discovering and sharing new music, art and good vibrations. Indie film screenings, live concert, art installations and a fashion show. Night Dancers is not a night to be missed by any who appreciate brave creativity and bold celebration.
This year, Blinky Bill is set to headline the live event experience alongside acts like EA Wave, Karun, Kato Change and Barak Jacuzzi.