Review

Kamwene is A Striking Album Capturing Swapiano Groove

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On his latest album, Kamwene, Nelix recognizes the power of striking beats and gently tooling strong vocals to capture groove. Kamwene, which translates to “hello” in Hehe Language, is ten tracks deep and runs slightly past one hour six minutes. The music exists in a strict binary of Amapiano-driven beats covered by clear-eyed vocals from a bevvy of collaborators.

As an independent, Nelix has pushed his boundaries in his debut. A stuck difference from his work from four years ago, Kamwene illuminates an artist in his element. He is self-aware enough to recognize the value of working on feedback. “I used to make Amapiano back then in 2017, then I was like okay, this can’t work this way. I needed to add vocals into it” he told Sound Safari in a recent interview, read here.

In addition, each song has a detailed description on Youtube, giving an intimacy of the sound. Meinz and Eleven Vibes, the most featured collaborators are comfortable over a range of beats. This includes the shimmering album title track to the Amapiano-Tech crossover track, ‘Siongei Sana’. Nelix’s jumpy groove bends on warm pianos, giving ‘Deejay’ a sleek nightlife glamour. Of course, it is crucial for the music to be sung in both Kiswahili and English.

Though Nelix is still underground in Tanzania, Kamwene sets him on the path of becoming a genuine force in their country. To sum up, his objective is clear in Kamwene: he is saying hello and waiting for the response at the dancefloor!

djfita

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

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