EA Wave (East African Wave) is a Nairobi-based group of dynamic beat makers. Together they are galvanising Kenya’s contemporary music scene by leading a new musical movement – #NuNairobi sound.
The five-strong collective, made up of artists, DJs and Producers, cross-pollinates genres in pursuit of true self-expression. Since their formation two years ago, the musical prodigies have been taking steps to bridge the gap between old and new; they champion fresh East African music without letting traditional instruments fall by the wayside.
“There are no gatekeepers here anymore, so now we’re making our own scene,” EA Wave Founder Nu Fvnk tells FACT. And the five are, without doubt, bringing something unique to the table.
Venturing into unknown, genre-defying terrains, the EA Wave crew blend electronic music and traditional African instruments with trip-hop, trap, house and downtempo beats, all emanating from the region they grew up in.
Meet the faces behind the #NuNairobi music movement.
The self-proclaimed “beat enthusiast”, Kelvin Hansen AKA Nu Fvnk, is the founder of EA Wave and his infatuation with music production begun aged just twelve.
“There’s no blueprint for our music here, there’s nothing we’re trying to emulate and that gives you so much freedom,” Hansen tells FACT. “What we’re doing doesn’t exist here yet, but it’s exciting to be in a time where one day it will.”
Keen to invoke spontaneous, organic and alternative soundscapes through his music production, Hiribae has found solace in electronic music.
The soulfulness of his impulsive melodies is strung together with trance-inducing rhythmic beats. “Lord forgive me for my synths!” reads his SoundCloud profile.
EA Wave’s youngest member, Brendern Denousse AKA Ukweli, creates downtempo electronic music that heavily draws upon African percussion, Hip-hop, RnB and Indie rock.
As well as being an audio artist, Ukweli is a visual artist too. His striking photography is used as the artwork for EA Wave releases and his Instagram is filled with his eye-catching work.
Jacob Solomon AKA Jinku – or, rather, ‘Space Monkey’ – fuses trap 808s, afro-house, downtempo beats and an array of quirky instruments to produce unusual musical hybrids. His tribal downtempo and psychedelic music verges on the surreal.
Mvroe is a DJ, songwriter and rapper whose refreshingly unhinged approach to music production defies any specific genre, much like his peers.
Mvroe currently has two singles out: LOVE and FREAKY. Both songs feature in his soon-to-be-released album ‘Let her come over’ in collaboration with Joseph Kiwango, Ukweli and Hiribae.