These six Nairobi-based singers are constantly hitting the right notes.
They’re powerhouse vocalists, at home singing R’n’B, Afro pop, neo soul, electro pop, jazz and even a little hip hop.
Although Dela is mostly an Afro-pop artist (listen to Mafeelings and Third Party Lover), Dela proves she’s a soulful singer to be reckoned with on her standout Swahili cover of Adele’s Hello.
With glowing reviews in Harper’s Bazaar, CNN Africa and even on Perez Hilton, Dela undoubtedly has some serious pipes. The duet Mama Papa with Bien-Aimé Baraza of Sauti Sol brought well-deserved attention for Dela, who went on to release her debut album Paukwa in 2010. She’s recently switched up her image with a musical rebrand with ‘more attitude’. She’s got plans for a sophomore album release in mid-2016 featuring collaborations with artists from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Nigeria.
Ever since she appeared on Just A Band’s beautiful track Have you seen her?, Mayonde – who went by Diana Nduba at the time – caught our attention.
For a while we only heard her on JAB albums and briefly with the group, Chit Chat. She began to cultivate a Soundcloud following in 2013 however, testing the waters with upbeat tracks like Kamares. Two stints as a Coke Studio Africa background vocalist spurred her to make a solid solo effort with Magic in the Air which came out last December. Looks like there’s a mixtape in the making from the artist too.
Piano and guitar player Sage is a unique talent.
Often starting her live performances with a personal intro to her jams (‘I wrote this after a break-up’/ ‘I was going through some tough stuff’) she seems to be gradually penning the ultimate soundtrack for a broken heart. Sage isn’t afraid to admit to making Mistakes or stating I Don’t Really Want To. Thankfully she’s also released some more carefree party jams such as So Alive and Dumbala with local rappers OCTOPIZZO and Jay A respectively. Sage released her album Expose Yourself in late 2015.
Fena is the kind of musician you want to talk to at a party – she’s effortlessly cool, with a smooth alto.
She’s had fans fall in line to praise Africa Massive or want to go Dutch and rap alongside her on They Don’t Know. Fena is keeping quiet about her next musical movements but admits to having two new tracks ready with plans to shoot their videos this year.
Phy is not one to be overlooked. She’s driven, beating the competition to win Kenyan music show Maisha Superstar in 2015.
Her impressive soprano and stage-presence has attracted millions of Kenyan fans. Riding on her success she released her debut album Phylosophy. The single Ruka revealed Phy’s love for hip hop and features Kenyan rappers Rabbit King Kaka and Khaligraph Jones.
The freshman of the bunch, Cece Sagini has a voice not to be ignored.
Cece offers an eclectic mix from Rihanna covers to a hip hop track with rapper OCTOPIZZO. Needless to say, Cece has a personality, coupled with serious vocal chops – she’s sure to go far.