The TRUE AFRICA 100 is our list of innovators, opinion-formers, game-changers, pioneers, dreamers and mavericks who we feel are shaping the Africa of today.
Bill ‘Blinky’ Sellanga is a Kenyan songwriter, producer and frontman of creative-music collective Just A Band, created whilst the members were studying at Kenyatta University. Their music video Ha-He was the first Kenyan video to go viral, getting publicity across the world. He is a TED fellow and has been involved with Red Bull Academy (the first East African artist to be selected to participate). Bill seeks to push the envelope on music on the continent and globally, he talks creative movements and more.
How is the digital age changing the way you distribute your music?
The band is basically a product of the digital age, it’s been our primary focus when putting out our material and has been a great way reach our audience which in this day and age is people across the world who gravitate towards similar things regardless of borders.
What creative movements coming out of Africa are you most excited by?
I’m pretty excited by the Nairobi alternative-music scene, there are a lot of up-and-coming musicians and producers who have an ear for what’s going on around the world. I played a show in Jinja a few weeks ago at the Nyege Nyege Festival.
There’s a whole movement of creatives and thinkers across the continent that are giving me hope.
The vibe in Uganda is fantastic too. There’s a whole movement of creatives and thinkers across the continent who I’ve bumped into at different forums that are giving me great hope.
Who’s your African of the year and why?
I’d give it to the South African university students who stood their ground and pushed for fees to fall by protesting throughout the country.
Special mention to The Weeknd, who is the first artist to claim the top three slots on Billboard’s Hot Rhythm and Blues songs chart. He is of Ethiopian descent and I love that The Weeknd uses Amharic in some of his music as well.
Follow on Blinky Bill on Twitter @HeyHeyBlinky
Check out more at just-a-band.com
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