On: Blinky Bill

It’s a hot Jozi day and the rescheduled date for my Skype conversation with Blinky Bill. The reason I was unable to chat with him days before was because my neighbourhood had experienced power cuts. When I finally see his face on my screen – his hair has become these long dreads since I last saw him in person – the musician tells me he also didn’t have electricity that week. But even so, we find a way to connect Johannesburg and Nairobi. As the most popular face of Kenya’s alternative group, Just A Band, the man who was born Bill Sellanga has continued to push the envelope. The producer, vocalist and DJ went solo and put out his 2016 EP, We Cut Keys While You Wait, which was accompanied by afrofuturistic visuals. But, it’s his upcoming pun-laden debut album, Everyone’s Just Winging It and Other Fly Tales, that’s got most people excited. “I’m working on my new album, so it’s only fair that I do a couple of new songs off it at Little Gig,” he tells me about performing at the 24-hour festival that takes place in Cape Town next weekend. He’ll also be in the Mother City for a few shows, and I ask him if he’s worried about the road to Day Zero. “I’ve seen that it’s a bit of a disaster,” Blinky Bill chuckles. “How did it get to that situation? This is like an episode of Black Mirror! Now, I have to carry wet wipes. I’m sure we’ll figure it out. I’ve survived harsh environments before, so this water situation is not something that gives me sleepless nights.” With their debut album Scratch To Reveal, Just A Band became the poster child of black, alternative East African music. The trio put out their second album, 82, which spawned the viral video for Ha-He and allowed Kenyan popular culture to flourish with the return, through their music, of a character called Makmende. One would argue that Blinky Bill and his friends still have more success in them. But he tells me: “I feel like it’s Read More …