Monday, November 7, 2011

DAN CHIZI ACEDA AT LAKE OF STARS FESTIVAL - MALAWI

Story by Dan Chizi Aceda pictures by Lake of Stars Festival



Dan Chizi Aceda – the Crown Prince of Benga is one of Kenya’s rising music sensation and he recently became the first Kenyan artist to perform the Lake of Stars Festival in Manguchi - Malawi; one of top Africa’s must do music festivals. Here is his personal tour account.


……….when I found out that my application to the Lake of Stars festival had been successful and that for the first time in my career I would be going to play share the stage with Freshlyground and The Foals, I was elated. I drafted a set list and
started making calls to my band to tell them the news. This was the biggest gig of my career but I would have to cater for all of our travel and accommodation expenses. Lake of Stars being a non-profit festival this is the norm, you have to get yourself to the gig the first time and if you have a big impact then they will bring you back under better terms.
LAKE MALAWI




I had no idea how to raise this money and how to justify the ROI to any potential investors. I approached a lot of corporate with all types of proposals but all were either already into other gigs or unwilling to listen. The flights to Lilongwe were filled up, we had lost our reservation at Ethiopian Air due to non- payment and now the only option was Kenya Airways which was double the price. The timing was close nobody had opened up yet, but determined, I kept knocking on doors.

PERMANENT PRESIDENTIAL MUSIC COMMISSION OF KENYA

One of the doors I knocked on was the Government of Kenya - The Permanent Presidential Music Commission. There we met a gentleman called Mr Thuku who is the director. Surprisingly, they offered their support and said there was no way I would go to Malawi as the first Kenyan to play at the Lake of Stars Festival without Government support. I was overwhelmed by their reception. The Presidential Music Commission of Kenya offered to support a percentage of the transportation part of the budget.

GOVT OF KENYA


I also received support from the Goethe Institut, Nairobi who helped with food and accommodation. It was quite late so I reworked budgets to travel by road to Malawi and back as well as reducing the band. It wasn’t going to be pretty but going was all that mattered.


Determined not to miss the festival, I took my sax player Jack Anduuru and we took the 6.30am Friday morning bus determined to play on Sunday evening. We arrived in Dar es Salaam the same day where we spent the night before taking on another bus to Mbeya on the border of Malawi. We arrived in Malawi Saturday night but couldn’t reach the festival in right time because of no buses. It was a long ride and we found out that Chips and Meat can save this part of the world.

ROUTE TO MALAWI


ROAD FOOD - CHIPS AND MEAT




When we finally arrived at Nkopola Lodge in Manguchi, Malawi where The Lake of Stars Festival we had missed our Sunday 7pm performance slot. Luckily the director Will Jameson had personally kept in touch with my manager Buddha Blaze as we made our way across Malawi and had made arrangements for a stand by performance upon our arrival at the final festival party.

THE GATES OF LAKE OF STARS

LAKE MALAWI



Essentially we would be the final act at the festival! The show was brilliant. It went so well that there and then the decision was made that we must come back in 2012 to play and you know what, I will be ready for that one.





Malawi is a beautiful warm country and they gave us great reception as a Kenyan band. Lake Malawi is an amazing water source and it is amazing how Lake of stars Festival has turned into a tourist attraction. I recommend that everyone visits Malawi and the festival at least once in their life time.








DAN ACEDA ON THE MIC


THE DJ


MR ONDURU BLOWS THE TRUMPET



DAN CHIZI WITH LAKE OF STARS DIRECTOR WILL JAMESON AT THE AFTER PARTY


I want to thank Mr. Rufus Thuku and the good people at the Presidential Music Commission of Kenya for their superb and noble support. I would also like to thank Mr. Johannes Hossfeld at the Goethe Institut. I look forward to working with you very soon. Thanks to Mr. Will Jameson for inviting us to the Lake of Stars Festival and more importantly my fans who keep me doing even better music.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

THE BIG AFRICAN CYPHER

By Buddha Blaze Pictures by Sebastian Wanzalla

A major African Cypher happened right in front of my eyes at the cozy Sky Lux Lounge in Westlands, Nairobi as I attended the listening party for Nigeria’s top record label – Chocolate City. Mtech brought together Nigeria’s Ice Prince Zamani, Kenya's new kids on the block – Camp Mulla and Botswana’s freshly baked rapper Zeus known for putting his country on the map during the continental rap championship - Emcee Africa a few years ago. This cypher couldn’t have come at a better time than now, after the much talked highly charged BET Awards Cypher that has had the hip hop community talking for the last few weeks.

BET The Cypher 2011: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9vJURtOUGY&feature=related

THE CYPHER IN SESSION

ZEUS MIC MURDERING


ICE PRINCE SHINING


It’s not often that you find African MCs from different countries in the same room cyphering. Even when African MCs gig together it’s usually a commercial gig. When cyphers do happen it’s usually Nigerian and South African MCs that get the shine. In fact the most asked question about the BET Cypher was why it only showcases Ghanaian and Nigerian MCs. That decision can only be articulated by BET but here were in that moment. Some people call it luck – I call it being in the right place at the right time. It’s moments like these that one needs a good film camera but unfortunately I didn’t have one and neither did anyone else. The club lit up with phone cameras.

SKY LUX AERIEL VIEW


The Big African Cypher was an impromptu decision by the night’s MC 1FM’s Adelle who called the MCs on stage and asked them to grab the mic. Before you knew what there was a cypher in session. It happened so fast any weak MC would’ve declined the opportunity for some reason. How many times have you heard this – “No man I don’t freestyle anymore” or “No man I only came for the function I’m not ready”. The worst one is “Please talk to my manager”. Those are the kind of MCs that’s probably made already not really hungry for the microphone.

BUDDHA BLAZE WITH DJ CREME CHILLING

BUDDHA BLAZE WITH IKE FROM MTECH


For a devout hip hop head there is nothing as ecstatic as being in the presence of a dope cypher session. You can make hit records and all the money but the ultimate high of being in a cypher session with other giants. DJ Cr√®me set the tunes, first it was Camp Mulla who everyone should watch out for - these kids are not to be messed with lyrically. Then it was the ‘Aleke’ hit maker Ice Prince Zamani who recently appeared on BET The Cypher (Nigeria); he quite frankly comes on top of Africa’s list of rhymers then there was the lyrically unfuckwithable Motswana kid Zeus who just completed the equation. I learnt one lesson – always walk with your video camera.

MC ADELLE WITH CHOCOLATE CITY CEO YAHAYA MAIKORI


Ice Prince was in Kenya to perform at the Kenya Film Festival that attracted alot of film personalities who were also at the cypher.

NIGERIAN AMBASSADOR WITH MOVIE STAR GENNEVIEVE NNAJI


RAMSEY IN THE BUILDING


ICE WITH MADDTRAXX

ICE & BRYMO


Camp Mulla previous freestyle: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=befax_rQq1Y

Ice Prince Zamani previous freestyle: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8da_ex6ORc

Zeus on the Emcee Africa track: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SotkgE1N-M

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

10 YEARS OF DAN CHIZI ACEDA

TEN YEARS OF CHIZI


Dan Chizi Aceda Speaks.................................

Exactly 10 years ago in October I stepped on a stage as a solo act for the first time, and like all musicians all over the world I started in church at a service called BLAST (which was the youth service at Nairobi Chapel). Back in those days I was a rapper (and not a very good one as my lyric sheets and persons present will attest). In fact when I think about that day, I feel deeply embarrassed because there was nothing that I brought to that stage except maybe sheer determination to get to the end of a song.



I mean I failed in every aspect. Take wardrobe for instance. I wore a blue satin shirt (which was my favorite shirt in the whole world) and had a sky blue bandana wrapped around my head (like Nate Dogg) and some pants that were so baggy that two guys could wear them comfortably. I looked like a clown.


I had no choreography at all and no sense of the stage extents. The microphone that I was using was more like a tether than anything else and I had such poor mic technique that the sound guy kept pressing the mute button. All this meant that listening to me that day was like trying to tune an old radio.

You see in those days the sign that you had a good performance was that the pastor would mention your song in his message. That day Pastor Janet did not say anything. I stepped off the stage did the walk of shame to the back of the church to find an obscure corner to hide. I ignored the applause because I knew it wasn’t real, these guys were just being nice.

After the service, I went over to the sound desk to pick up my backing track and the sound guy (who was a self styled master of all things under the sun) firmly declared that he had never ever heard such a bad song before in his life. He was right. It was a bad song. It was a bad performance and I was a shabby act. It was difficult to hear, but it was absolutely true.

That day I had a choice to make and one of the options was to give up. It was the easy option. Maybe it was even the wiser option. I never performed at BLAST again as a solo act. In fact the next time I took to the stage at Nairobi Chapel as a solo act was in November of 2005 one week before the launch of “SULUWE” my debut album.
In the years between 2001 and 2005 I had joined the worship team, joined the dance team and learned to sing and I had learned to dance. But above all I was carrying the memories of that first experience. I kept hearing the words that the sound man had said to me. I kept seeing his face all over the audience. I have to say it was a hard gig. I struggled through it; stumbling over my lyrics and fighting to control my tone and pitch. I got to the end of that song and the band messed up the ending but I didn’t care. I had gotten to the end of the song and I was ready for that walk of shame.

As I walked off the stage, the audience applauded. I ignored them. Then Pastor Janet took the mic and spoke and spent half her sermon talking about my song ‘sanasana’ and plugging my launch concert the next week. Was this a victory? Maybe. I don’t know. But I do know that it was NOT a failure.
Over the past 10 years I have played many gigs to many different audiences. Some of these gigs I have played have been fantastic while others have been complete train wrecks. At some of these gigs I have been the star while at others I have been the flop. I have been at gigs where I was impossible to ignore and I have also been at gigs where I was little more than part of the furniture.

I have learnt a lot but I still have a long way to go. On October the 19th I will play a showcase concert to celebrate the years spent on stage, the lessons learnhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gift and the challenges ahead. I will play as hard as I can and maybe I will move people to tears. Maybe I will get them to lauhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifgh and cheer or even to applaud. But between you and me, all I will be trying to do is to get to the end of the song.
Why? Because a song is all I have. It is the reason that I choose to shed my dignity regularly to entertain others. The song is my reason for living. The song is my story. It’s the whole story. And the only reason I will set foot on that stage will be to share my story. What’s the use of leaving it half way? "

The Gates at Alliance Francaise open at 7pm. Show begins at 8pm. Tickets: Ksh. 800/-
https://www.facebook.com/dan.aceda#!/event.php?eid=241700845877700

Get advance tickets for KSh. 500/- www.ticketsasa.com

All are welcome to the after party and birthday gifts are expected!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A SCORPIO LIBRA AFFAIR FELABRATION



For All You Scorpio Libra babies. This is your birthday party.

Dume and Kike, Get Muziki and Jamhuri Wear presnts T.I.A Nairobi with DJ Edu from BBC London. Presenting the hottest African sounds.

Saturday 22nd October 2011 - Carnivore Simba Saloon. Entry: Ksh: 500/-

Bring Your Dancing shoes for this one, will be an Eclectic Ride!

EAST MEETS WEST

By Buddha Blaze Images by Mtech

EAST MEETS WEST


Nigeria urban culture continues to explode in the vast African continent with the famous cultural exchange nites Naija Nite. Its here again tonight with the East meets West version at the Carnivore, Langata Road. Cultures will intermingle.

FLAVOUR N'ABANIA


The line up is full of action with acts as popular as Flavour N'Abania whose song Nwa Baby has taken Africa by storm. The self proclaimed Nigerian King of high life who is a former drummer, has two albums and it seems this is his year to shine.

NAETOCHUKWU CHIKWE


Nigeria's top rapper - the only MC with an MSc; Naetochukwu Chikwe better known as Naeto C will also be on stage. Naeto C is known all over Africa for his track 'Ki Ni Big Deal' and he has been one of Nigeria's most consistent artists with two albums.

OMAWUMI


Songstress - Omawumi will also be on stage. She is known for her part in Idols West Africa where she became first runner up. Her song 'If You Ask Me' made major moves on Nigerian charts. She has one album is critically praised in Nigeria.

OBSESSIONS


Tonight the stage will also be graced by Ugandan dance group Obsessions who have now turned to singing and been performing in Kenya for many years. They have been awarded by Uganda's top music award - Pearl Awards. They have many hit singles.

CAMP MULLA


JAGUAR


The Kenyan artists on stage will be new comers Camp Mulla who are currentlt taking Kenya by storm with the hits 'Addictive' and 'Party Dont Stop'. Then there will be Habida who is known for the hit song 'Sunshine' with Nameless. On stage too will be Jaguar who's hit 'Kigeugeu' has made its rounds in Kenya all year. Then there will be Wyre who will also represent Kenya.
HABIDA


WYRE DA LOVE CHILD
http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif


If you havent got tickets please head over to any Pizza Inn in Nairobi and get one.

VVIP Tickets are USD 1,000/-, VIP Tickets are Ksh. 5,000/- for VIP, Regular Tickets are Ksh. 1,500/- Advance regular tickets are Ksh. 1,000/- on pesapal



Tickets are available in Pizza Inn stores in Nairobi, as well as online on PesaPal.

VIVA RIVA ARRIVES IN NAIROBI

By Buddha Blaze pics by Filmbiz Africa.

EMMA TOO & CHIEKA ATTENDING VIVA RIVA FILM LAUNCH


The biggest African film of the year VIVA RIVA was launched in Nairobi at Starflix Cinema - Village Market to hundreds of film makers and enthusiasts. The movie wchich was lauched early this year has wone several awards including the Best Film at New York African Film Festival.

DAYO AND VIVA RIVA CO PRODUCER STEVEN MARKOWITZ


This film shot in Angola and DRC showcases a new way of telling African stories in a way that is not detrimental to the continent. Viva Riva is an artistic depiction of life in DRC showing its colour, romance and style.

VIVA ARRIVES WITH GAS FROM ANGOLA


Viva Riva is a raunchy film about a small tinme gangsta called Riva from Kinshasa who goes to Angola and steals a boat full of cooking gas; a highly wanted commodity in his home town. He returns home rich and falls in love with Nora - a woman he has no business being with. As the Angolans come to search for their gas, he has issues with Nora's spouse. Drama unfolds.

NORA AT THE CLUB


THE ANGOLANS ARRIVE SEARCHING FOR THEIR GAS
http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif

For more about the film. Refer to http://buddhablazeworld.blogspot.com/2011/05/new-york-african-film-festival-opening.html

Watch the film at Starflix Cinema in Village Market the whole of October at 12pm, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm, 8pm, 9:10pm.