Jack Rooster: DJ delivers his first studio album NYUMBA

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The result of a master refining his style over five years.

Almost a decade later, Jack Rooster is finally inviting us to his house. With focus more on the storyline, NYUMBA is a latte of funky basslines, prominent chords, and smooth guitar licks. From the get-go, you are made aware that we’re here for the groove. Fasten your seatbelt and prepare to have a good time. Rooster and a motorcade’s worth of supporting vocalists deliver an impressive album. The result of a master refining his style over five years.

An introspective and fun album

The album is bookend by some of its best and most interesting songs. Complicated plays a creatively vital and emotionally charged track with as much confusion, vulnerability, as mixed signals. The seventh track, House Movement is an open letter from the perspective of a middle child.

While the album appears introspective, it balances the thoughtfulness with well played out fun tracks. The most popular tune in the album, Wamlambez is the crescendo of the album. It interpolates popular Decimal Records release, “Drinx Na Mayenx”. The most counter-culture song in the album with mordant lyrics, it nonetheless captures an entire mood of the city in which Jack Rooster was born in.

Counter-culture ideas

We first hear of Jack’s counter-culture ideas on the second Africa Disco: “Kivela serereka..” Featuring the Decimators, Jack is giving the focal vibe of the whole album. Seven tracks later he narrates the daily life of a Rasta with acid-funk basslines. Songstress Terrianne Iraki crooning on the hook creates a soulful patch against the retro gangsta lyrics by Konkodi & Brian Nadra.

While it has been rightly argued that this is not the first Afro House album from Kenya, we can agree that Jack Rooster has managed to create a masterful album with Nyumba. The production is beautiful and the diverse features have all delivered. By giving his voice in the tracks, Jack Rooster is saying that he sees himself as DJ, producer, and artist.

Jack Rooster will be debut his album today at Afro Social. Physical CDs will be available for Ksh 500, entry is free!

This article was last updated on 21.06.2019


DJ Fita is a Kenyan DJ, music producer and music journalist. He is the founder of Sound Safari.

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