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Kenyan Funkmaster Blinky Bill Features Fuse ODG and More on “We Cut Keys 2” Album

Blinky Bill
Blinky Bill

We Cut Keys 2 is the 3rd highly anticipated studio project by Kenyan Producer/Artist and DJ Blinky Bill, who’s been pushing the envelope at home and across the globe for a minute now. Mostly made in Nairobi during the onset of the pandemic, the album continues in the exploratory and experimental nature of the previous projects while tapping into traditional tribal drum sounds, electronic music, hip-hop, and Jazz.

The album has a host of impressive features including Ghanaian singer/rapper Fuse ODG, American singer/ rapper GoldLink, Jamaica’s Shauna Fung Yee alongside Kenya’s music legend Maji Maji, rapper Jovie Jovv, jazz trumpeter Owuor Arunga, frequent collaborators of Blinky Bill: Idd Aziz, Muthoni The Drummer Queen and Lisa Oduor Noah, among many others.

Blinky Bill We Cut Keys 2
Blinky bill we cut keys 2

A chance meeting in Ghana led to Blinky Bill and Fuse ODG (a pioneer of taking Afrobeats to the world) making a party track “Constant K” – where Afrobeats meets Nairobi. Just before COVID, GoldLink was in Nairobi to perform and a sonic brotherhood of sound was fused between, leading to a bump of collaboration in “Compare”.

The opening single of the album “Dracula” is an urgent call for the world to unite and ‘Get Up Stand Up’ for their rights. This track shows a signature bounce that overall sonically marks a departure from the previous project ‘Everyone’s Just Winging It And Other Fly Tales’. Second single “Get The Paper” is the signature Blinky Bill, a cocktail of Funk, Hip-Hop, and Jazz, the visuals for this single are in Blinky’s opinion the high point of his visual career. If you have seen his visual journey or heard of it – you know this is a call to rush over to watch the video.

It took Blinky Bill six years to work on ‘We Cut Keys 2’- a masterpiece mixed by legendary engineer Commissioner Gordon who has won several Grammy awards for his work on Lauryn Hill’s ‘Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’, Amy Winehouse’s ‘Frank’ and Damian Marley’s ‘Welcome to Jamrock’. Mastering of this album was left in the more than capable hands of Tony Dawsey who has mixed Jay-Z’s ‘Black Album’, ‘The Blueprint’, Whitney Houston’s ‘My Love Is Your Love’ and Jay Electronica ‘A Written Testimony’ and many more classic albums.

The album is a box of chocolates, made with the listener in mind with the aim of pushing the envelope for the sounds from Africa. Treat yourself to We Cut Keys 2.

Listen on all platforms here

We Cut Keys 2 TRACKLIST OVERVIEW

1. Black On the Keyboard ft Mikel Ameen

Introspective opener on some Jazz Chords and bass with UK rapper Mikel Ameen talking about life and the mental hurdles of not fitting in while growing up, produced by Blinky Bill

2. Mtaona Nikipaa

Mtaona Nikipaa is swahili for ‘you’re gonna see me fly’ and tackles self belief as performed by Blinky, and is a good blend of Electronic Music and Hip-Hop’ Reminiscent of Flying Lotus, Mac Miller,Disclosure

3. Dracula

Get Up Stand Up for the times, we live in a period where so much blatant oppression is going on in the world and this is a song about Pushing back. Sounds similar to, Welcome to Jamrock-Damian Marley, Soobax-K’naan, Final Form

4. Remedy

A fun love song, perfect for a nice drive on a good day featuring Emawk on vocals and co-production. Similar to Dej Loaf – Try Me

5. Get That Paper

Originally I made this hoping to one day meet Anderson Paak and finally wrote to it when I realized it’s better than waiting. Funk meets hip hop and Jazz on this track and it’s a song about getting your hustle on.

6. Ajigo Township Funk

Have always wanted to make a talkbox tune and this was my opportunity to do so, inspired by my favorites Stevie, Daft Punk., Also there’s not a lot African Music that  explores that sound so

It’s an exciting challenge to delve into it. Similar sound, Doin’ it right-Daft Punk, Panda Bear.

7. Bon Voyage

A song about being misunderstood and the feeling that whatever you do you can’t change that notion so you let it play out as is, features rising Kenyan Singer Kasha and Production by Ghanaian Electronic Music producer Rvdical The Kid.

8. Constant K feat Fuse ODG

A trip to Ghana led to a chance meeting with Ghanaian singer/rapper Fuse ODG and we made this party track and it’s been a last minute addition to the project. Where Afrobeats meets Nairobi.

9. Gangster Des Îles feat Idd Aziz

Stadium jam feel featuring a frequent collaborator Idd Aziz, reminiscent of Pa Salieu meeting Salif Keita meeting Kanye West.

10. Kiberit feat Shauna Fung Yee and Jovie Jovv

Bass Heavy track with a dancehall leanings featuring Shauna Fung Yee who isn’t even a recording artist providing Sister Nancy type vocals and Kenyan Hip Hop Genre Shrap founder Jovie Jovv to land it home.

11. Boss

Went to a friend’s house for drinks and got too stoned to drive home and as their driver was taking me home, he was playing some traditional Luo music and all I was thinking during that drive was ‘how have I never played with this drum pattern’, and next morning I was in the studio making this. It features Kenya music legend Maji Maji and Melkizedo.

12. Compare feat Goldlink

Feels like such a FIFA song, made this tribal groove and hit up a rapper whose flow I’ve always loved, Goldlink having produced a song on his album Diaspora in 2019.

13. Gong Gong

Made this beat while working with my friend and frequent collaborator Muthoni Drummer Queen, to be played loud on a good sound system. Similar sounds would be Moonchild Sanelly.

14. Fanikishe feat Lisa Oduor Noah

A prayer for wins when you feel like all you’re getting is Ls featuring Kenyan Singer LIsa Oduor Noah on this future thinking exploration of Afrobeats. Similar sound would be Ojuelegba by Wizkid or oso by Omah Lay

15. Jam Now, Simmer Down (Bonus Track)

A reflection on life, living, celebrating the living and gone and yearning for a good life with loved ones.

16. Voice of Kenya (Outro)

An Ode to Horns sections in Africa, and an Imagination of what A Kenyan Horn section would sound like in New Orleans and Vice Versa featuring Grammy Award Winner Owuor Arunga.

Osafo
Founder & Senior Editor