Afrojan Experiences the 'Juma Effect'



"When I spotted Juma coming in through the reception door, I escaped to the bathroom where I'm sure I cried. I was in awe, I couldn't believe that it was him. It was such an occasion and an honour for me and my team to be working with an artist of his stature..."

This of course is Nairobi based artist, Jan Joseph 'Afrojan' odhiambo recounting his experience of finally meeting and getting to work with revered Kenyan jazz musician Juma Tutu.

The Swahili Jazz exponent is celebrated for his original Kenyan sound, a blend of mijikenda sounds mixed with Asian, Western and Arabic influences that are then laced with poetic Swahili lyrics.

"We did several tunes in the studio and since my inspiration came from Femi kuti and Juma Tutu, I had to find a way to work with one of them, at least. I love the saxophone. With Femi unavailable I called Juma and thankfully enough, he was there to pick up my call and we arranged for a studio session.
"The song that we worked on is called Pull Up, it is basically a message to all the deejays to pull up the tune and don't let the temperature cool off!", he said.

For Afrojan, it has not always been rosy and the young musician can trace his humble beginnings back to Menara Village.
"I started singing way back in Menara village. I came to Nairobi city to find connections and since then, things have been looking up. I've built a much bigger fanbase and the shows are paying well.

His hard work is clearly paying dividends for Afrojan and it is there for everyone else to see.
"Over the last couple of years I've worked with a number of legends, the likes Mbilia Bel from Congo and Gospel On the Beat from Nigeria.
"God has been faithful to me. I'm now in a position where I able to exchange ideas with WizKid's producer, Gospel On the beat and even chat with Timaya when I'm bored lol", said Afrojan.
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