Sauti Sol lead vocalist and songwriter Bien Aime Barasa has revealed that their song Nishike opened doors for their brand to grow in Africa.
This was at a time when a section of the corporate sponsors and fans had spelled doomed dor the all-boy band for daring to unleash the super risque music video.
Watch it here just to jog your memory and get your blood racing.
Speaking to Astar on his popular Play House series, Bien narrated how Nishike opened doors for them and even got them thrown out of a Nigerain footballer’s party.
“Nishike was produced by Kagwe Kagwe Muigai. He pulled up to the studio it was after we did the single Still the one, we were everybody’s darling.”
“Then Kagwe came with that song. The moment he played that track, the moment i heard it, i was like f*ck it man i just feel like singing something raunchy here. Everyone was like fine. So we weote the lyrics. Then we hit the gym for two months.”
“We were the first people in East Africa to hit 100k views in a day when the song was released on Youtube.”
However, the backlash when the song was released saw Sauti Sol stay for five months without any gigs.
“The song was released and it caused an uproar. People who are purpotedly our sponsors were like, we are not touching you guys again. It was 4 to 5 months of no work. We were blacklisted. We had never played a proper pop show outside Kenya at that time.”
Things took a turn. When promoters outside Kenya started calling.
“Tanzania called we are offered 500k at the time we were being paid 150k. the song had blwn up. then we got a show in ug, Nishike was taking us places.”
The most memorable show was in Nigeria. Bien narrated how Savara ‘s charm got the in trouble.
“Then we got a show in nigeria. I remember we went to a party for footballer who was playing in europe, his girlfriend saw Savara, She was like, ‘I love this man, I have seen him is some videos…’.”
“That chic made all of us get kicked out of the party. Anyway, Nishike opened doors for us continental wise. People in Malawi requested for Nishike chanting take off your shirt.”
Looking back at that experience, Bien said he was glad Nishike was released despite the savage backlash they received.
“Two things i learnt from that, you should be answerable to your craft and your craft alone. In life, you pick a master. And i was told this by my life coach either you serve your gift or society and as a musician your onus is to your gift.”
“Whatever you want to sing about, other people will feel it. And if you choose to serve your gift society will align with your plan. If Sauti Sol chose to serve society and did not sing nishike we wouldn’t have crossed the borders. We would have but Nishike accelerated the process. It also changed our money game. I did not even come back to be paid what ww were being paid. In kenya we now said we want a quarter of a million.”
Watch the interview below.