In February 2001, a crew from Swedish TV station TV4 went to Kenya and made a reportage about Kalamashaka that was shown on Swedish TV4 in the beginning of May. The program resulted in an enormous response from their viewers who contacted them wanting to know more about the group. A concert promoter called Luger, who mainly contacts hiphop- and other underground artists invited Kalamashaka to come to Sweden and take part in a tour together with Swedish Loop Troop.
The crew are now working on a follow up of the story we did last time. This will be a 30-min documentary that will be shown on TV4 in November portraying the group Kalamashaka, their trip to Sweden, the meeting with the Swedish rapper Ken Ring and the making of their new album KKK.
The last few years a lot of young Swedes, brought up with American rap music, have chosen to rap in Swedish and about subjects related to their lives. About the same time, A comparable development was taking place in Kenya and East Africa as a whole.
The Swedish Loop Troop is one of the most famous groups in their country today. Mixing English and Swedish songs always with an anti-society and anarchistic touch to the lyrics they have been touring Sweden continuously for a couple of years. The lead singer, Promoe, released his first solo album, Government music, this summer. He and the rest of the group invited Kalamashaka to come along on their tour for three gigs in Malmo, Linkoping and Stockholm. After arriving in Stockholm from Nairobi by midnight Monday 3rd of September Kalamashaka started their hectic tour by going straight to Malmo in the south of Sweden, the very next day. The concert was a success and all their cassettes they had brought with them were sold out.
In Linka¶ping, two days later, they were playing at a new club which was absolutely packed with people dancing and making the room so hot it was dripping from the ceiling. Back in Stockholm, that weekend, Kalamashaka did a show on a open air rooftop club right in the centre of town. It had been on all summer and was having a closing party. Even though it was pouring down with rain it was packed with people dancing all night.
When the small tour with Loop Troop was finished Kalamashaka did a few gigs at other clubs in Stockholm and even went to Umea in the very far north of Sweden where they performed at a festival along with other Swedish bands.
They also hooked up with Ken Ring, a 22 year old Swede of Kenyan descent, who's two albums about life in suburban Stockholm were very successful. Just back from recording with D12 in Norway, he and K-shaka decided to make music
together and included Swedish-Ugandan rappers Kaddo. Days were spent writing lyrics, going to clubs and chillin' in the apartment they were staying at.
Hectic recordings in Ken's just-being-built studio followed for a couple of days and they finished off by making a video to one of the nine songs they had done together. The name of the project is â€śKKK â€“ but blacksâ€ť (Kalamashaka,
Ken, Kaddo) and hopefully we'll see an album release in the near future.
The reception of Kalamashaka in Sweden has been great. Concerning the fact that they do rap in Swahili people could still feel their vibe and really liked their energetic performance. Their tour was covered by both local and
national media, featuring in radio shows, TV and newspapers.
Â© 2001. Written by Niklas Smith, Sweden