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January 19, 2018

Trendsetter: Sage needs to keep R&B nerds excited


Looking back at 2017, some established names in the R&B music scene, with a special focus on singer Sage Chemutai, failed to make a welcome return. It was back in 2013 (if not earlier), when Sage first grabbed our attention as she teamed up with Octopizzo to deliver the remix of "So Alive". Months later, she did a pretty good job with Jay A on "Dumbala" and its remix.

Sometime in 2016, she released her arresting debut album Expose Yourself. Despite being one of the finest full-length releases by a Kenyan artiste to date, it failed to solidify her place as the genre's vanguard. We would have expected much hype around the project, or maybe a follow-up tape, but instead we haven't seen much of her since.

About one year ago, she dropped the irresistible "Maskini". Her fanbase must have been waiting for her to put her singing and songwriting on full display. Not being the case, her followers had to be patient. Fast-forward three weeks ago, she finally presented us with a musical Christmas gift "Watching You," a long-awaited contemporary R&B tune.

Well, we can all agree that Sage is a talented soul. Her supple voice envelopes real-life events about self-empowerment and romance. One way or another, she knows how to entertain. It doesn't matter whether she shares the spotlight with others, she certainly knows what to do to stand out. The only thing left is dominating playlists and commanding airwaves.

2018 is here and all we can hope for is a new compilation of moody bedroom tunes, effortless romance music and scene-stealing fragility. Sage needs to keep a steady mood for longer and occupy a space where she can keep blessing us with adventurous tracks. She needs to spend time there and she'll realise the different ways her music can influence.

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