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Sauti Sol are too talented, and they get it

Reinvention is a must for the ever-changing group.

In Summary

• Extravaganza does not solve the complex problem of quality music in the industry.

• But it acts as a guide and sets the creative bar high.

Sauti Sol's 'Extravaganza' cover art.
Sauti Sol's 'Extravaganza' cover art.
Image: Courtesy

In January 2019, Sauti Sol made headlines when they released their fourth album Afrikan Sauce, which was simply a compilation of their earlier releases since 2017 as well as a few new tracks we hadn't heard before.

Every track on the project presented great energy, with the band chasing hits with numerous collaborative efforts with various African acts. One thing they guaranteed with the effort was the remarkable quality which ranked them among the best.

In today’s social media-driven music scene, the quality of Kenyan music has been continuously questioned. And for a fact, any artiste willing to earn the utmost respect in the industry has to establish a name on the grounds of pure artistry.

People will stop following you simply on the basis of your celebrity status and start relating with your work even on a very personal level. 

 

Since their outset, Sauti Sol have moved from their acoustic melodies and personal narratives that initially built their discography. They are now driven by their voices, which evince experience and writing that is propped up by concept.

They are no longer your typical artists. Reinvention is a must for the ever-changing group; demonstrating a new creative direction often is definitely a logical decision.

Sauti Sol’s latest track Extravaganza is admittedly a spectacle. Before anything else, you have to appreciate the jubilance displayed in the rhumba-inflected tune.

It is infectious with the lyricism that brings about cohesion, which introduces us to the Sol Generation lineup. It is a track that kicks off with an indelible hook and then proceeds to let all featured acts deliver their exemplary verses.

Bensoul is first to perform, followed by Nviiri the Storyteller. Probably the most surprising and awe-inspiring moment is when Crystal Asige, an artist who was diagnosed with a degenerative eye disease as a teenager, offers her vocals on the third verse. Musical trio Kaskazini showcase their charm just before Sauti Sol close the track in their usual style.

For what it’s worth, there’s nothing flashy about the video, but it captures the true essence of artistry. They don’t need to showcase luxury spaces and cars to excel. No, there’s power in a well-thought-out video.

The video wins on various levels including the costume, the choreography and the casting. Above all, it stays true to the African spirit and amplifies the track’s intended thematic concern.

 

Extravaganza does not solve the complex problem of quality music in the industry, but it acts as a guide and sets the creative bar high. The boys meld their remarkable skills and abilities, we are treated to a setting so well visualised.

And because Sauti Sol understand what it takes, they are starting to transfer the same effect to other artists who share the same vision, a quality that is so evident on this piece of work.