Mungu Halali (single)
How can I not like a guy called Blinky Bill?
Over the years I’ve tried to get my head around World Music; but with very little success, just like Jazz.
But this belting new single from Blinky Bill has not just had me tapping my feet in the sunshine but…… gasp…… smiling too! What’s not to like?
‘Mungu Halali’ is the latest track lifted from Nairobi native Blinky Bill’s acclaimed debut album ‘Everyone’s Just Winging It And Other Fly Tales’ (out now), and was shot on the fly around various locations round Nairobi (Bill’s parents make cameo appearances), the new video was shot by Bill’s former Just A Band bandmate, Mbithi Masya.
Speaking about the sun-bleached video – which opens with a cameo from veteran Kenyan broadcaster Leonard Mambo Mbotela, and takes in old haunts of Bill’s including Nairobi music institution Jimmy’s Record Store and Bill’s own childhood home (both his parents make cameo appearances) – Masya says; “This is one of the most intimate videos I’ve made, inspired by my relationship with Bill and his life on the come up in music. Early discussions revolved around Bill wanting to avoid the lowest hanging fruit of an idea, which would be something overtly religious featuring a choir. Instead he wanted Mungu Halali’s video to feature the people, spaces and places that have mattered to him through his musical journey. The people in the video are friends, all of them.”
Blinky Bill – that alias a childhood cartoon nickname that wouldn’t budge – originally made a name for himself in electro-funk outfit Just A Band. Formed with Masya in-between studies at the University Of Kenyatta, the self-effacingly named band’s debut ‘Scratch To Reveal’ arrived atop a strong electro house sound, spiked with the owned-up spirit of touchstones including Gorillaz and Daft Punk. 2009’s follow-up album ’82’ took off via viral single releases ‘Huff + Puff’ and ‘Ha-He’, the latter of which arrived with a blaxploitation-referencing music video which became Kenya’s first viral internet meme.