As the world marks a centenary since the sinking of the worldâs most famous ship, Hollywood re-releases the 1997 movie in new tech, write PETER NDORIA and REUTERS
BY KIUNDU WAWERU
Tamasha Beats band is rewriting and rearranging old folk songs, and then performing them in vocally rich four part harmonies.
Like an angel, the song Malaika continues to spread its wings, and enveloping souls of many around the world.
The Swahili song is said to have been composed by Fadhili Williams, and recorded in 1960. But over the decades, other popular musicians have retweeked the song, making it more famous. Notable is the late Miriam Makeba, the German Band, Boney M, Harry Belafonte and Angelique Kidjo among others.
And now, a Kenyan band that is making inroads in town has joined the acclaimed world artistes, and put a stake on Malaika, for after all, it originated here.
In their debut album, Unveiled, Tamasha Beats Band has re-arranged Malaika giving it a new sound but still retaining itâs authenticity.
But then again, this is what this 15 band member set out to do from 2008; rewriting and re-arranging old folk songs, and then performing them "in vocally rich four part harmonies." They term this as neo-afro- traditional genre.
The album Unveiled features re-arrangement of other songs like Tetete, a Luo traditional sacred song, and Ndia Yolile, a nostalgic Kamba folk tune. They seem patriotic, as they have songs from the different Kenyan ethnic groups including a Luhya folk song, Soree and a Gikuyu popular sacred song, Rungu rwa Ihiga.
They also have written own songs, and rendered them to an Afro Fusion beat. One of this is the beautiful Miatu ya Njuki, an Embu song written and composed by Justin Mirichii. The other original number is Linda Kenya, written and composed by Odek Ochungâ.
A capella group
Tamasha Beats Started out as an all-boy A capella Band but the director Odek Ochungâ says that due to the changing e ntertainment industry, they now use instruments. "The fans also demand that we use instruments. However. We still largely do A cappella".