“It’s a song about the chemistry you have with a hot stranger at the club. The harmonies are everything.”
The first single from Full Full Condition Vol. 3, the next compilation album from TANGAZA Magazine, is ‘Bend It’. The song features emerging Ugandan pop star Joshua Baraka and Kenyan Alt-R&B singer Maya Amolo. The fast-rising Ugandan producer La Soülchyld‘s infectiously groovy beat with traces of Afrobeats, Funk, and 2000s RnB is the backdrop for the duo’s sensuous and humorous vocals about dance floor infatuation.
Annual compilation albums in the Full Full Condition series are offered by TANGAZA Magazine. Each year they choose a group of musicians and producers from East Africa and the diaspora to create a 10-track album of unique music. The objective is to showcase the range and diversity of the area’s up-and-coming talent and to encourage cooperation within the scene. Later this year, the third volume is scheduled for release.
Kenyan singer-songwriter Maya Amolo uses alternative R&B to examine the broad spectrum of love in her music. She got her start on SoundCloud, working with online producers to make songs like ‘U Wanna’ and ‘Where Tornados Flew’. Maya rapidly gained a devoted following and the interest of local producers and musicians because of her vocals and delicate harmonies. In the middle of 2020, she released her first album, Leave Me At The Pregame, which takes the listener on a melodic journey of self-acceptance and healing. Since leaving the pregame, her sound has changed as she transitions into a new phase of her artistic career.
With coverage from various outlets as well as being chosen as Spotify Africa’s first Fresh Finds artist in May 2022, Maya has made a name for herself as someone to watch.
Bend It’s ethereal and erratic sound cuts through the chatter of the numerous assertions that the music of today has no soul. The mellow vocals over melancholy beats sound sensual and intimate but the ‘Bend It’ also takes on an angelic quality that goes beyond that label.
“I used to think I make the best music when I’m sad and angry but in the past year I realised that I make the best music when I’m honest, and honest can be any feeling.”
— Maya Amolo
Joshua Baraka, the second half of the single, is a musician from Uganda whose distinctive fusion of musical styles has distinguished him among the country’s newest generation of performers. He was exposed to many various types and variants of rhythm and melody thanks to his extensive musical background. He writes, sings, creates music, plays piano and guitar, which he learned to play at a young age. Baraka continues to insist that his musical style is based on what he wants to express at the time and refuses to be identified with any single genre. Joshua has an unmistakable vision and talent that is evident every time you play one of his songs.
Like any sort of storytelling, a voice serves a purpose; the purpose of leading and standing strong within the lyricism and production of a song. Joshua has a very strong and unique voice, a voice which enhances perspective and experience as a listener. Voice, the operative word here meaning, an expression of attitude and opinion.
Bringing this together is La Soülchyld, also known as MAUIMON, a singer-songwriter who is changing the way the underground R&B scene sounds. It is not surprising that his sound crosses boundaries and conventional expectations given that it has roots in the East African nations of Uganda and Rwanda.
This is the first single from TANGAZA Magazine’s planned third compilation album, which is scheduled for release in November. Listen to ‘Bend It’ here.