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February 22, 2019

Album Review: Mayonde's 'Project Purple' EP

Title: Project Purple - EP

Artiste: Mayonde

Genre: Pop

Release: August 14



Mayonde opens Project Purple with an uptempo, radio-destined tune, as she shows appreciation for the extensive diversity exhibited by different areas of the capital city. Nairobi - the album's lead single released over a year ago - features a verse from contemporary rap artiste and dancer Stonee Jiwe. Sauti Sol's Nairobi off their 2009 debut album Mwanzo  immediately springs to mind, a clear indication of a generation of local artists who continue to enjoy being part of the city's experience.


The thirty-something beauty has spent her last few year trying to make her name in the entertainment scene. We remember her acting days when she simply went by her name Diana Nduba to when she released her first essential track Isikuti Love. Before that, she was always seen as the modest church girl who was able to push the pop culture through her alternative sound without giving up any of her power. But you know, things happened and now she's slightly more about the party.


In 2017, she featured on two of the biggest celebratory cuts Party Nation and Kama Kawaida and ever since she has been exemplified for her ability to shimmy between genres. With Project Purple, he has a baseline in pop even she expresses her endless love for her lover on Daily. Chini Kwa Chini projects just how far she's willing to go to create feel-good romance tunes.


Mayonde says she can see music in colours and by the time you get to fourth track Kwisha you already have a clear indication of what kind of effort Project Purple is. She is speaking her truth and probably brings out her personal narrative. Tetemesha takes us back to the day where her verse borrows heavily from Kilimanjaro Band's Kata Mwananangu Kata chorus. 


The six-track album closes out with Milele, a joyous track that embraces love over everything else. A guest feature from Kenyan dancehall artist Proff is the last thing you'd expect on a Mayonde compilation, but it actually happens. It's actually quite interesting to see that Mayonde is willing to experiment with different sounds.


Throughout the EP, as is captured in the cover artwork, we witness Mayonde teasing about the new facets of her artistry. She joins the league of  Kenyan artists who've released major music projects this year, but there's a catch to hers: A deeper concept to what actually meets the eye. However, there are moments the EP might come out slightly inconsequential, but she truly proves that she's ready to take over the scene.


Star rating: 3 out of 5

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