He has been around for as long as I can remember, more than a decade ago, the 12-year-old boy I was would watch him do some rap on the then top TV station KBC, his track, ‘Mr. Lololova’ (1999 release) was on heavy rotation, even though he had no proper video but recorded studio performance visuals, mostly on shows that exposed acts from the coastal town of Mombasa.
The Ohanglaman has ‘come from far’ as the Kenyan speak goes, he dropped his dancehall style of music, and chose instead to do a lot of singing, by venturing into the unfamiliar territories of Afro-fusion music. Around the time he made the choice to switch sounds, the Afro-fusion style of music had peaked, the style got a more positive reception from the Kenyan mass, artists had realized the impact of the more laid back African sounds, this was almost ten years after Makadem began his professional music career, but his decision to switch sounds was the best he ever made as an artist.
Makadem transformed himself into the Ohanglaman, and the rest as some would say is history, but Makadem seems to be creating a future that is beyond music. His Albums ‘Ohanglaman’ and ‘Koko Rio’ are evidence of the diversified and skillful artist he is and how much the transformation, practice has paid off. While his first album “Ohanglaman” brought him to the limelight courtesy of production from the legendary Kenyan producer Tabu Osusa, his second project speaks more of growth, “Koko Rio” was released in 2015, about eight years since his first project.
“Nipe Denda Moja” (give me one caress) is a track that is part of his “Koko Rio” album. The singer sounds more established, an authority, on the entire album which features simple poetry lyrics about the African society. Makadem is speaking to his lover, in his signature style chant-like passionate delivery. The exquisite horn section does a lot on the whole track basically its pivoted backbone, with a Benga ambience induced by the percussions, the stroking guitar acoustics and the bass that stand out as the main feature of the track, shaping that near-perfect African sound.
The video story line is basically that-two guys after one girl-situation. Makadem plays one of the characters, at a video-shoot plus a cameraman played by Melvin Alusa, towards the of the shoot both Makadem and his ‘nemesis’ want the girl’s hand, but Makadem finally gets the girl’s love. South African singer song-writer Pilani Bubu plays the girl in the middle of the love triangle.
“Nipe Denda Moja” was nominated in 2015 in the category of Best Contemporary African song at the AFRIMA awards, in Lagos, Nigeria.