Mozambican Rapper Simba Sitoi To Unveil New Persona In Nairobi

One sweltering night during Sauti Za Busara, Zanzibar’s now legendary music festival, four guys took to the stage. Within minutes their funky bass lines, tight drumming and fast Portuguese rapping had the crowd on their feet and bopping their heads to the beat.

The band, Simba and Milton Gulli, are from Maputo, Mozambique, where they are well known for their style of hip hop, which is inspired by A Tribe Called Quest and mixes elements of funk, dub, and old school hip hop with Mozambican and Brazilian vibes.

One of the many great things about Sauti Za Busara is that it opens a window onto the musical scene of other countries, and gives us an insight of what is going on in different parts of the continent. Because do people in South African listen to pop from Morocco? Or do those in Uganda listen to hip hop from Swaziland? Probably not.

And this is how the idea for this event was born: over a few cold beers in Stone Town, a conversation began about the lack of knowledge and exchange between countries like Mozambique and Kenya, both of which have exciting and diverse musical traditions and creative scenes.

It is with this in mind that Simba Sitoi –one half of Simba and Milton Gulli – will be visiting Nairobi in July, and performing at The Alchemist on the 14th. During his visit Simba will be meeting with local musicians and hip hop heads, to make connections and build a bridge between Lusophone Southern African and East Africa.

The show on the 14th will bring together very different sides of the Nairobi hip-hop scene, from Marcus Wi and Barak Jacuzzi, the young Nu Nairobi guys bringing fresh sounds to the city, to two veterans of Kenyan hip hop, Sharama Ukooflani and Nafsi Huru.

The gig will also be the first time that Simba will present his new persona: “this show in Kenya is me presenting the new me to the world. I want to be a more mature version of myself” says the rapper, who used to go only by the name Simba but has now added his surname, Sitoi, to his artist name.

“It’s like Simba Sitoi includes all the different sides of me, from the guy who likes to make socially conscious music to the guy who just wants to make fun, light-hearted music”.

Come and check out what Simba Sitoi is all about on the 14th of July at The Alchemist.

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