Among the artists mentioned when conversations about Kenya’s cultural icons are had, is Atemi Oyungu. The singer and songwriter’s voice is soothing and gentle. Like a warm embrace that envelopes you in a comforting blanket of melody.
Tis the Season
Atemi’s 2022 Christmas-themed album is a beautiful collection of festive songs that celebrate the joy of the season, Kenyan style. The album, titled ‘Tis The Season‘ features a mix of traditional Christmas carols and modern renditions of holiday classics. The album abounds with rhythmic and soulful melodies that evoke that new-clothes-for-Christmas-and-a-trip-to-uhuru-park-later kind of childhood Christmas feeling.
A Roster of Carolers
To add some Kenyan flair to the album, Atemi taps the talents of various other Kenyan artists. Tis the Season includes the voices of Wambura Mitaru, Chris Adwar, Lisa Oduor-Noah, Kendi Nkonge-Mohol, Otieno Mokwe, Eric Wainaina, Kavutha Mwanzia-Asiyo, Isaac Kimani, Karimi Rimbui, Vinny Ngugi, Willy Rama, Mayonde, Kagwe Mungai, Manasseh Shalom, Bien-aime Baraza and Wyre.
Bus to Usagoo
Tis the Season is a 10-track album full of hope and love, with groovy and emotional arrangements such as in ‘Bus to Usagoo‘ featuring Chris Adwar. Bus to Usagoo is a delightful track that evokes the nostalgia of going to visit family during the festive season as is tradition. The band kicks of the song to a steady and groovy beat as Chris takes it away,
“I’m taking a bus to Usagoo,
where my heart belongs.
Tell my love I’m coming back home,
and I won’t be long.”
We Three Kings
In ‘We Three Kings‘, Atemi, Isaac Kimani, Wambura Mitaru, Karimi Rimbui and Manasseh Shalom present a worthy tribute to the wise men who journeyed from the East to go see the newly born Jesus Christ. The singers take you on a journey describing the three wise men’s journey to Bethlehem. Halfway into the song, we pleasantly switch gears and the story is told in Kamba to an upbeat and lively tune, rich with a certain African feeling which you can only understand if you hear. This part will certainly make even the Grinch dance in his seat if he won’t be on his feet already.
Bringing the Joy of Christmas Alive
The Taurus Musik-produced album is surely going to have people swaying and singing along. This and other Christmas seasons to come. The drums, the keys, percussion and strings combine to form wonderful layers of complexity throughout the whole presentation. Tis the Season provides a perfect way to bring the joy of Christmas alive.