Emerging onto the music scene as the victor of DSTV’s Maisha Super Star in 2015, Phy swiftly dominated Kenya’s music charts with timeless singles like “Ruka” and “Taabu” (Taboo). Recognized as a rising star, she was showcased on CNN’s “African Voices” and is now poised as Kenya’s prospective music sensation. With two accomplished albums, namely “Phylosophy” and “Biography,” she solidified her place in the industry.

Phy’s global presence has been solidified through captivating performances at prestigious events such as the World Youth Forum in Russia, the Reeperbahn Festival in Germany, and the United Nations SDG Conference, also held in Germany. Notably, she had the privilege of performing for Pope Francis at The Economy of Francesco in Italy. A co-founding member of Nyado, an international collective uniting creatives and change-makers from diverse corners of the globe, Phy continues to make her mark.

Tatu; an EP worth the replay

Phy has been on the scene for a bit of time, she has paid her dues, is a mom now (congratulations!) and is back with a short but sweet album entitled Tatu, an apt name as this EP has three tracks.
As a long-time fan of her music, I am happy with the new albeit short body of work.

The EP entitled Tatu consists of three tracks and was released digitally on streaming platforms. It might be short and sweet but this EP tracks take the listener on a brief journey that fills them with good vibes and puts them in a mellow mood. 

The three tracks on Tatu are;

  • Mama Na Baba
  • Niko Majuu
  • Nyamaza

The general theme for this body of work seems to be her journey as an artist, it’s about acknowledging those who have been around and been there for her all this time. It is about the journey and all the challenges one goes through as a creator, in this EP she shouts out those who held her hand throughout this whole process. 

Mama Na Baba

Why am I crying in the club right now? This song is so sweet my goodness. As you can tell from the title this is a song dedicated to her parents, an ode to them if you will. She mentions the unwavering support she received from her parents as she experienced motherhood, the challenges, the fears and the joys. She sings of her parents’ support in letting her know that even outside her identity as a musician, as an artist she is first and foremost their child. And I think it’s honestly so sweet. When life is not going in the direction and trajectory you wanted or expected it is very easy to doubt yourself, your talent and your purpose in life, having unwavering support in your corner makes all of the difference when facing such challenges. And I would also imagine having someone to help take care of the new human you are now responsible for eases one’s anxieties about taking on new challenges. In this song, she reflects on the difficulties in trying to establish a balance between pursuing your passion as an artist and motherhood, which is something that resonates with many working professionals I am sure.

This song gives me a 2000s Kenyan R&B vibes and makes me realize just how old I am. 

Shout out to Phy’s parents, I love you too!!!

Check out the music video for Mama Na Baba below:

Niko Majuu

The opening line of this song really gets me, not gonna lie.

Sikubebanga sweater, kumbe huku weather ni ngori

It reminds me of one of my favourite sayings, utajua hajui… which loosely translates to you don’t know what you don’t know.
This song is about missing your loved ones, be it your friends, family, kids, acquaintances or even the mama mboga who knows to save for your ngwaces when she gets stock because you never miss out on passing by her stall.
There are times in life when you have to do things you don’t want to do in order to facilitate you doing things you actually want to do. Growing up and taking on responsibilities, or trying to build a better life for yourself can humble you. Many of us think about moving abroad but the reality of moving can be much different from what you expected, and homesickness is a thing we don’t really expound on but I am sure it is a killer. Losing the familiarity you grew up with and around.

Niko Majuu paints a vivid picture, riding on the soothing waves of a lofi beat. It’s more than just a song; it’s a personal journey. From the POV of an African navigating life in the diaspora, it hits right in the feels. It becomes a musical companion, acknowledging the mix of emotions that come with chasing dreams far away from home. This track becomes a validation of the waves of homesickness, the tinge of nostalgia, and the shocks of adjusting to a new culture. It resonates deeply, as a soundtrack for a quest for a better life, not just for yourself but for your loved ones too.

Nyamaza

Mungu nifunze kunyamaza …

A short but concise phrase from the third song of this EP. The loose translation is “God teach me how to be quiet.”  but the intention of that phrase is about minding your own business, a better phrase to use here would be If you don’t have anything nice/good to say then be quiet. In our current era of connectivity and social media is a foreign concept for many. 

Nyamaza sees Phy delving into the timely topic of cyberbullying, using heartfelt vocals in this soulful ballad. The track acts as a powerful reminder to reflect on our intentions, both towards others and ourselves, in this age of social media. It calls for a greater sense of empathy, compassion, and grace, emphasizing the shared humanity that unites us all.

To quote many an African we all need to learn how to face out front.
Just leave people alone, if what someone else is doing or getting up to is not your vibe then keep it moving, as long as they are not actively harming themselves or those around them then let people be, they don’t need your opinion on how or why you would never do that, just scroll past and go engage with people or content you actually like.

This album is a good representation of Phy as an artist. I wish she had provided her fans with physical copies of it so that we could have had album art, correlating images with the music but I understand it’s an EP and not a full-length feature album.

To listen to the album online https://onerpm.link/PHY-TATU you can pick your platform of choice.

Find Phy on social media

Twitter: @phyascomusic

Facebook: Phyasco

Youtube: @phykenya

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