Muthoni the Drummer Queen is undoubtedly the most experimental and versatile artiste Kenya has produced in a very long time. She’s a singer, rapper and drummer with unique talent. Throughout her career, she has paid attention to showcasing all of her different talents. From the very start, she never shied away from different styles and genres, like many artistes do in fear of not having a brand with a definite sound. March of 2018 saw her drop her third album titled SHE—a dedication to smart, hardworking and beautiful African women out there. Anyone who knows Muthoni or has followed her career; would know so well that she is unapologetically champions women and the power of womanhood too often. I love it!
Good job Michel Soi, Lucy Robi, Phocus Photo and Musa Omusi on that dope Cover Art made in Kenya. The 12-track album revolves the stories and experiences of different women who inspired DQ and of course: the album title. But SHE is more than that. A song like “Kenyan Message” is a banger and at the same time a socio-politically charged hip-hop anthem, which is so infectious. The conscious record addresses political injustice in Kenya, among other issues affecting the layman. It’s got that special thing that makes a song a bigger hits, with time—longevity. I also love how the music video perfectly represents its core message, as directed and shot by David Baumaan of Artaban.tv Cool to see Muthoni and her MDQ’s Swiss performance crew- Felix Fivaz (Drummer), Tali Cabral & Daniela Dias here. “Million Voice” is another classic anthem off the album.
I’ve got many favourites from the album. First of – “Make It Right” – a sweet jazzy and soulful celebration of real love: “Love is super power” – DQ sings in the most fierce yet soulful expression. “Suzie Noma” – a celebration of female friendship is a certified dance tune and banger, fused in dancehall beats mixed up in catchy melodies —probably DQ’s most playful track of the album. The video’s dance routine is a must-learn! “Lover” song and video is fun and funky!
What if your husband was a hardcore criminal and you knew nothing about it until the day he was caught? “Criminal” is actually inspired by the story of the widow of one of Kenya’s meanest thugs from back in the day: John Kiriamiti.
“Squad up” is another defiant anthem I love, and a dedication to you – for all the times you doubted that you’re squad is in control—I can’t listen to this and not think of my girls 🙂 “Elevate” is my jam—from its retro-futuristic R&B / hip hop background, to the lyrics – “Mimi ni Mnoma” – and DQ’s rap delivery, this is a perfect track!
From hip hop, soul, R&B, reggae, dancehall and blues; SHE perfectly fuses almost every genre DQ is made of. Her press statement correctly reviewed: “There are overt allusions to just about everything from old school hip hop, through blues, dancehall, retro-soul, future R&B, all types of African club in sections and a variety of global bass specimens.”
The album is a collaborative project and was produced and recorded in Switzerland by Swiss producers and DQ’s collaborators: Greg “GR” Escoffey and Jean “Hook” Geissbuhler. It’s a powerful album and musically speaking – its producers brought so much personality to the tracks, with beats and sounds so outstanding.
We have already established that DQ is extremely talented and creative – what I love most about her is that she’s always on top of how her ideas and plans are brought to life, and she always executes them to perfection. She’s done pretty well with all the other facets of her business brand: Blankets and Wine & Africa Nouveau Festivals. I was honoured to work with her during the build up to SHE’s release and we organized two very cool listening parties for SHE: one for all-ladies and another for all-DJs.
You won’t need to skip any of SHE’s tracks. From the album title, tracks to the themes and messages like in “Dear Mathilde”, SHE is an extremely well thought out album—smart, heartfelt, timeless and so well written. And the fact that, DQ dedicated SHE to the celebration of the beauty, strength, innovation and resilience of African women; makes me feel that it was made just for me and every other woman who embodies all the dope things SHE stands for. Kudos DQ and your team!
BONUS: Get SHE globally via https://fanlink.to/muthonidrummerqueen_she