By Goethe-Institut with Ogova Ondego
Published October 20, 2012
Three years since Just A Band, one of Kenya’s creative music groups put out a studio album, it is holding a pre-listening party at Goethe-Institut in the Nairobi CBD on Saturday, October 20, 2012 at 8.00 pm.This will precede the official launch of the album titled Sorry For The Delay! on October 27, 2012 at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre.
Just A Band explores various musical directions, such as, but not limited to, jazz, hip-hop, disco and electronica. The band is also notable for its DIY aesthetic. In addition to writing, recording and engineering its music, the band creates its own music videos, packaging and promotional items and establishing a strong web and blog presence, referencing elements from virtual bands like Gorillaz and incorporating anime and animation, illustration and photography in their visual campaigns.
Just A Band released its debut album, Scratch To Reveal, in 2008, accompanied by self-made music videos for the singles Fly, Iwinyo Piny and Hey! The band explored various media for that such as 2D animation for Iwinyo Piny, which was subsequently nominated for the Best African Video Clip at the 2008 Kora Awards, and puppetry for Hey! The band also received a nomination for the Best Urban Fusion Group at the 2008 Kisima Music Awards.
In 2009, Just A Band released its sophomore studio effort, 82. The release of its second single from the album, Ha-He, was accompanied by a music video featuring a character known as “Makmende”. The video subsequently became popular, and has been described as “Kenya’s first viral internet meme”. The band was featured on CNN, The Wall Street Journal and Fast Company as a result.
Since then, Just A Band has travelled to various parts of the world and performed at numerous festivals, like the South by South West (SXSW) Festival in Austin in Texas, the SummerStage in New York, the Moers Jazz Festival in Cologne, and at MusicMeeting in Nijmegen in The Netherlands.
Sorry For The Delay is the name of its third studio album. It’s both an apology to its old fans for having to wait for its new fans to catch up, and a story about travel, dislocation and what home means to those who have left it. Musically, it is as exploratory as Scratch To Reveal and as brash, loud and confident as 82. It’s got the dance music vibe Just A Band is known for, plus experiments with rock. jazz-influenced live instrumentation, and, in a first for the band, covers of old Kenyan pop classics (such as one of a song by the Mighty Cavaliers Band). It’s overall a much more sonically lush and layered piece of work.
Just A Band’s sound has grown, and it can’t wait to let everyone hear it.