The controversy over the film ‘Rafiki’ has overshadowed the quality of the delightful songs by mostly female musicians produced for the soundtrack to the movie.
Writer and director Wanuri Kahiu says the music is as powerful as the story of a love affair between two young women which received a glowing reception at the 71st edition of the Cannes Film Festival in May.
“How can you tell a film about Nairobi without having a conversation about the music,” asked Wanuri at an interview on her return from France last week.
“Young Nairobi is so influenced by its choice of music that you can’t take music out of their story,” she says.
Singer, songwriter and actress Patricia Kihoro was recruited as the music supervisor during the making of ‘Rafiki’. She selected the songs to best illustrate the story.
“I knew I wanted the album to comprise only female musicians, specifically Kenyan youth, all below the age of 35,” says Wanuri.
“We used the sounds of Nairobi, the music that we listen to, and that’s why we have an amazing soundtrack,” says Wanuri.
The ‘Rafiki’ album is released on Mouth Watering Records, based in Switzerland, and features a line up of established and upcoming urban artists. The nine songs are a mix of streetwise rhymes, from social and political commentary, to feel-good dance tracks and heartfelt love songs.
The album opens with ‘Suzi Noma’by Muthoni Drummer Queen’s the story of a woman who drops her reliance on a man and starts her own business.
“This song is about us women building our financial security together and manifesting big dreams,” says Muthoni.
One of the highly regarded new generation of Kenyan singers, Chemutai Sage contributes the soulful ‘Heaven.’
Though the Kenya Film Classification Board has banned the possession and distribution of ‘Rafiki’, the soundtrack has been released and is available on iTunes and other digital platforms.
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