18 May 2017

Namibia: Chicano Family Releases 'The Graduation'

FANS of Namibian music may find the name Chicano familiar. That's because they are. Stemming from the name Chicano Boys, when they were kwaito dancers in the 90s, the members disbanded due to other interests.

But now, the group has been revived, with new members, a new stage name and an album titled 'The Graduation'.

The three-man troupe consisting of Channu-B 'Skhoksam' Kamandjedi, Kamati 'Solla' Katyole and D-Fabille also known as Captain Namibia were in the music industry separately, but thanks to a situation of knowing a friend who knows a cousin who knows a friend, the trio met up, enjoyed each other's music and decided to come together with the aim to make a massive impact in Namibia.

"We each bring a new sound to the album," Kamandjedi said. "One does music in Rukwangali, the other in Otjimbundu and so on." Starting off with performances at Rundu and even showing off their skills at the Annual Katutura Beer Festival in September 2016, the group is constantly trying to elevate themselves. "Separately, we only released singles, but we came together to release the album," Kamandjedi expressed. "We've been working on it for a long time."

And now their hard work is paying off. 'The Graduation' consists of 17 tracks with features from Cheazster B-Killer, Dolly, Kazlajaivas, Nelao, Katjuskah, Swartbaster and Pro Mush Voyo. Tracks such as 'Tyapula', 'Kado Natokora', 'Ongoma Ya Africa' and 'I Just Wanna Follow' are dance worthy, urging listeners to get up and dance. 'Baby, you are my pin number to my credit card, you are my Wi-Fi and you are my password...' they rap.

Honestly, there's nothing more Namibian and romantic than that. Also, you might come across a bit of interesting math in the album. 'One plus one is two, you and I, we are one.' Which makes sense, if you think about it.

Other than the interesting lyrics that are included all over the album, Chicano Family have no time for tears as most of the songs are upbeat, catchy and quite unique. The beats aren't the average, which shows how each member put much of themselves into the album. Inclusive of kwaito, house, Afro-pop, reggae dancehall and gospel, it's difficult to put Chicano Family in a box as they're exploring genres, while adding their own sound to it. And it makes for quite a listen, although some tracks aren't as extraordinary.

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