It’s been quite a few suns since American musician Yasiin Bey was in town. Of course, a lot of people took time to go and see him at Ebony Lounge in Nairobi. It’s not often you get someone with that slow easy style on the mic, you know, saying things that only your heart could possibly know.
I guess that’s what touches us about music. The unsaid, the light bulb, the motivation… I couldn’t watch him perform so I made sure I attended the Artist Talk Back session at Pawa 254 the next day.
At 41, Yasiin was the oldest and most experienced musician on the panel, which also hosted Octopizzo, Blinky Bill, Xtatic, Wangechi, Mbithi, Taio and Provoke among others. I caught onto the convo a bit late but appreciated that narrative that was coming out of there. I also managed to come out with what I thought were some choice quotes. Check it out, I think they can help you.
“Be who you are. That’s the biggest revolutionary act you could ever achieve” ~ Yasiin.
“Everything is hard in the beginning and then its not…” ~ Yasiin.
“Since it’s already meaningless, make it count…” ~ Yasiin (after saying that whether one sings or not, the trees will still grow and sway, and the mountain will be oblivious to what you are doing).
“You are a commentary to a human experience.” ~ Yasiin.
“(with your music) Take your time.” ~ Octopizzo.
“If you’re broke, be happy, and work on where you are…” ~ Octopizzo. (Don’t fake your music).
“For me, success is that I do something that I wish someone did for me.” ~ Octopizzo.
“If you don’t say it, someone else will…” ~ Mbithi (Just A Band).
There was a lot more said but this is all I managed to jot on my phone. What do you think?