Kenyan talent Blinky Bill has announced release details for his self-produced debut album ‘Everyone’s Just Winging It And Other Fly Tales’, out October 19, 2018 via new French label The Garden, to whom Blinky Bill is the first signing. Featuring collaborations with Petite Noir and Sampa The Great, the album – which follows last year’s ‘We Cut Keys Whilst You Wait’ EP – will arrive just ahead of a headline show at London’s Birthdays on October 14, 2018.
Blinky (aka Nairobi native Bill Ochieng Sellanga) is trailing the announcement with the video for lead single, ‘Showdown’. Shot in a hotel lobby in Bill’s hometown of Nairobi, the pastel-hued video is built around the track’s fluid tribal grooves, which mimic the drumming of the traditional music of Kenya’s rural areas. Also featuring local talents MVROE and Kiwango, ‘Showdown’ distills the essence of the bubbling Nairobi music scene of which Bill is a mainstay. Watch ‘Showdown’ from here.
Blinky- a childhood cartoon nickname that wouldn’t budge – made a name for himself in electro-funk outfit Just A Band. Formed at the University Of Kenyatta (which Bill entered with a sports major), the band’s debut album ‘Scratch To Reveal’ arrived atop a strong electro house sound, spiked with funk, hip hop and the owned-up spirit of touchstones Gorillaz and Daft Punk. Bill’s decision to pursue a solo career in music solidified after a collaboration with AIDS charity Red Hot Organisation, for which Just A Band hooked-up with both Chance The Rapper and Childish Gambino for contributions to the charity’s ‘Red Hot + Fela’ album (alongside ?uestlove & Spoek Mathambo). Self-producing solo material was soon interspersed with stints in partnership with both TED – who selected Bill as a 2014 Fellow – and Red Bull Music Academy, who also count the likes of Aloe Blacc, Hudson Mohawke and Flying Lotus amongst their alumni.
‘Everyone’s Just Winging It….’ thrums with the sights & sounds of a childhood growing up surrounded by the cultural push/push of Kenyan’s post-colonial capital city. Whilst teenage years were spent with a nose firmly stuck in books, Bill remained equally tuned into the soundtracks of both his Mum’s religious chants & the vintage Congolese records of his Dad’s collection, as the output of cult African label Ogopa Deejays (alongside Western touchstones Chic & 2Pac) and the clubbing ambiance of Nairobi’s cult ‘Matatu’ minibuses, which criss cross the city to a throbbing soundtrack of Kenya’s up-and-coming artists.
Whilst its wry title might speak to an on-the-fly approach, ‘Everyone’s Just Winging It…’ in fact draws together a collection of 12 precision-produced tracks, as diverse as the Nairobi music scene which feeds into it. Blinky Bill may well – like everyone – be just winging it. Though on the basis of a self-produced debut this bold & boisterous, you suspect it’s a little more than just chance that has brought him to this point, and looks set to carry him even further yet beyond Nairobi’s city limits.
14th October LONDON Birthdays