Starred: We feature Kenya’s Tetu Shani and a taste of his ‘Mood Music’
His music is cool, mellow, sultry, soulful and different but certainly stark. The man that is Tetu Shani is a Kenyan artist, with a different kind of music unique to the Kenyan music scene.
He was born sometime in 1985, in Kenya, but has spent much of his childhood and youth abroad, Shani attributes his music influences to the experiences he has had interacting with different cultures from various parts of the world and describes himself as ‘An African Troubadour’
Well, the Troubadour has come back with another great piece, a kind of chemistry that will have you fall in love with his gracious guitar chords and laid back singing. Shani works with the incredible soulstress Mayonde whose sprightly vocals define much of the single, the duo bring out an authentic style, a highlight of melody and compositional lyrics. ‘Chemistry’ is about love-struck individuals professing their love to each other, willing to let loose.
Tetu Shani’s music is rhapsodic, funky, soulful a share of deep house, melody and witty lyrics, the guitar is essentially the defining instrument on his music, a result of simplicity and elegance. His previous tracks such as ‘Jacaranda Tree’ show his creative music compositions that sail through uncharted waters of the Kenyan music artistry, yet retain that richness and evidence of maturity.
His previous release ‘Round and Round’ is an atmospheric track that tells of a man somehow lost, reflective of his life, the track has around three lines that are actually sang all through the over 4 minutes duration, bringing out that moody experience. He worked with likes of Tugi Mlamba on the lead guitar and Thomas Olang’o on the bass and accompanying background vocals from Waithera Chege.
‘An Ode To Pa’ released in 2015, on the other hand is a story of a young man paying homage to the father figure, giving us a glimpse to his relationship with his father.
Tetu Shani is a talented and well-versed musician one can definitely characterize him as a story teller, his music is unpretentious with a level of artistry that is unmatched. It is not the kind you would encounter on the Kenyan radio every single day, but well hidden in the Nairobi underground scene, some describe it as soul, others label it as folk but to Shani it is MOOD MUSIC.