22 Nov 2012

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In East Africa, a group of five young, vibrant individuals are steadily gaining mileage on the music scene and have garnered something of a cult following in their home country, Kenya, in astonishingly little time and rave reviews and acclaim across Africa as a whole and even beyond. AYODEJI ROTINWA reports.

Music they say is a universal language. It transcends all cultures, beliefs, orientation and indeed geographical limitations. We find that we can tune in and relate to music that is rendered in a language we don’t even understand or music from cultures we wouldn’t readily identify with. The power of music cannot be over-emphasized.

This fact has been made manifest in the relatively new career of Kenyan hip-pop group, Camp Mulla. With just two hit singles, the group has managed to capture the hearts and minds of the average twenty-something (that make up the greater percentage of music enthusiasts) across the continent with their new-age sounds and have gotten nominated for the Best International Act category at the BET Awards, in one fell swoop.

They have successfully tapped into the large bracket of young people who desire an eclectic blend of indigenous and Western world sounds and have delivered accordingly and very well so. In different cities across the continent, from Lagos, to Accra, to Johannesburg to Nairobi, many a youth are nodding their heads and moving to the new-school rhythms of Camp Mulla.

The Camp Mulla story started in mid-2010. The group explained, “We came to be, thanks to the same circle of friends we had who introduced us and since then, we have been inseparable. We are made up of five members: Tai Tripper, Young Kass, Miss Karun, (the First Lady)    K’ Cous the producer and Mikie Tuchi the hype man” One may wonder where their stage name came from but would admit that perhaps it’s their first coup as they are words that are very much part and parcel of young adult parlance and many if not everyone in this category can easily relate to it.

“‘Camp’ comes from the fact we are a united group of young people who are musically driven and the fact that this is not just a hobby but a career path. Money is an important factor and part of our music. So we decided to combine both and thus we had: ‘CAMP MULLA’”, the group revealed. Sequel to the tiny details of coming together as a group and picking a stage name, the group then forged ahead, making music relentlessly until the big time came and it didn’t take long

. One must wonder again what secret recipe they possess as a group that drives them and made them breakout successes almost overnight, “the possibility of breaking barriers and making history in Africa, also knowing that everything good can come when you put in hard work, talent and creativity. This thirst and desire to sweat and toil would be considered somewhat rare in today’s youth, as we now live in a world where almost every youth wants to be a millionaire at the bat of an eyelid, without wanting to put in the requisite time and hard work, to attain such lofty heights.

This is just one of the few things that pique one’s interest about this group and makes one conclude it is one to watch out for. Another striking factor about this group is they are still students and are all under the age of 23 and yet have achieved so much in their chosen field and more is still to come.

“Right now, we are mastering our debut album which we are very excited about. Also, our fourth video and our fifth single are due for release soon” In addition to these things, it would seem the group shares a deep bond and enjoys unity. When posed a question as to whether they thought they would go the way of other music groups who broke up and went their separate ways after some time, they had this to say, “Disagreements are common and healthy among people who work together. We as Camp Mulla believe that we shall be able to overcome any issues that may arise in the future and avoid a break up.  We are not just colleagues but more like a big family”

Camp Mulla, by all indications, is slowly but steadily on its way to the zenith. So far as a group these young individuals from Nairobi, Kenya have shown the right attitude, zeal and thirst to conquer the African entertainment industry and soon after maybe the world what with the recent attention they have gotten from Western media. Theirs is a star definitely on the rise and if they keep up in the ways they have, its a star that will shine bright enough for all to see

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