Suzanna, the infectious new single by Sauti Sol, which heralds the group’s fourth studio album, ‘Midnight Train‘ has been unveiled, and fans are absolutely loving it, responding in kind with record-breaking streams and views.
Within less than a week, YouTube views have clocked in at close to a million and a half, a feat that took their 2014 hit ‘Nishike’ close to 9 months to achieve. What’s the recipe of success that the Kenyan afro-pop quartet possess you might ask? In addition to paying homage to the region’s musical history, Polycarp Otieno, Savara Mudigi, Willis Chimano and Bien-Aime Baraza are never shy of tackling pressing societal issues, this time tackling the controversial phenomenon of ‘sponsors’ or ‘blessers’.
‘Suzanna’ features clever irreverent lyrics, coupled with sharp wit, as they poke fun at a woman who is a beneficiary of the champagne life which is sponsored by an older man; evidenced with lines such as – “I see you in London/ silicone in your bum bum/ shaking what your doctor gave you… You change your skin colour/ and your hair is longer now. Then I see you in Paris/ standing next to the Champs Elysees/ looking sexy in a mini skirt”.
SEE ALSO: Sauti Sol Signs with Universal
Band member Polycarp explains: “With this album we try to address social issues that are taking place across the continent and abroad.”
“When we look at social media we realize that you only see what people want you to see and believe about their life or current situation,” Savara adds his voice. “It’s not actually reality. If you peel back the layers sometimes you’ll find a very different picture.”
About the video for Suzanna, Bien says that it’s more of comic relief, judging by how they are styled in the disco ball chic prevalent in the 1970’s, complete with puffy colourful man- blouses, large fros and perms.
The single is also an ode to a period that is largely considered the golden age of Kenyan music in the 70s, swiftly proceeded by the 90s. Double up on how stylish Africans were in bell bottoms and platforms.
“Africans have always been known for their craftsmanship, style and regality,” adds Chimano, who is an African fashion icon in his own right. “Couture is not new to us, it is us. We were it, in terms of fashion, craftsmanship… our hair, our skin.
Asked what else we can expect from their upcoming album, Polycarp says good vibes are set to continue, and it will be a milestone release for the group. “There is a lot of maturity in the album. We have come of age and we express how people should perceive us freely after 11 years as professional singers. Every song speaks to an issue that is relatable to everyone.”
This article contains excerpts from a Universal Music Group Press Release, permitted for use on Nate’s Crest Almanac