The highly anticipated third season of Coke Studio Africa got underway, featuring five amazing mash-ups among the continent’s best musical talent and heightening the intensity of the show’s signature African sound.
The trio of ace producer, Cobhams Asuquo, Nigeria’s Golden Girl, Yemi Alade and Kenyan Boy Band Sauti Sol opened the show with their mash-up of Yemi’s hit single, the love song “Temperature” and Sauti Sol’s “Shake ur Bum”. The result? A totally fresh song with an upbeat tempo that sent feet a-tapping. Making light of the language divide, Yemi and the boys delivered a seamless and riveting performance filled with lively African dance steps.
With a reputation to protect and a challenge to create the perfect balance between R&B and Hip-hop, award –winning Kenyan producer, Jazz Odongo got G2 from Mozambique and Uganda’s Navio hitting all the right notes in his mash-up of the South-East African hits, “Swag” and “Chigozzi”.
“This felt like a new composition to me, not a mash-up” rapper Navio remarked after the performance. “I could barely recognize my own work, with the exciting new elements added to the arrangement- the sound of a marching band and the gospel chorale at the end. It was awesome.”
Kevin Provoke, Chameleone and Eva Alordiah were handed the Coke Studio Unplugged task for episode 1, spinning undertones of smooth Jazz into the fusion of Eva’s “Sugar” and Chameleone’s “Valu”. The enigmatic Unknown Disc Jockey made his comeback in episode 1, working his magic on an eclectic mix of Highlife and R&B from M.I’s hit track “Bullion van” and Avril’s “Missing You.”
“I’m going to make the masked one talk”, M. I promised, but that did not happen, even after the thunderous applause that followed the “shoki” filled, hip wriggling performance by the duo from Kenya and Nigeria.
Cobhams made a re-appearance for a new twist to the show, joining forces with Tuface Idibia and Vanessa Mdee to put the lyrics to a high –octane new release, which got the studio audience dancing.