15 April 2018

Kenya: Introducing Jamdown Shafflas, Ghetto's Newest Underground Artistes

From deejaying at house parties in Kibera to forming Jamdown Shafflas, Dennis Situma has grown from humble beginnings to near fame, yet he still has big dreams in life.

His journey started in 2013 when he moved to Dagoretti and was introduced to Chizi Teq, a space for artistes to meet and network.

Here he met other talented artistes and Jamdown Shuffla was born.

"I started just by using Virtual DJ for fun but now music is my talent and I'm happy to be where I am just through teaching myself," Dennis told Nairobi News during an interview at his base in Dagoretti Mwituni area.

"I used the little resources I had to shoot cyphers of various guys and upload on social media just to create a feeling of how much raw talent is out there" he says.

Another member of Jamdown Shafflas is 24-year-old Fredrick Otieno aka Freno, who finished high school in 2013.

Since clearing high school, Freno, a Dancehall artiste, who hopes to one day work with Kenyan top act Nyashinski, has written more than 30 songs.

DIVERSE SKILLS

"My style has potential but with minimal funds to create and record my music, like the rest of the crew, I'm only left with the option of doing cyphers and freestyle," said Freno.

He however says he loves what he does and does it with great passion in the hope of making it one day.

According to Dennis, Jamdown Shafflas, whose aim is to nurture music talent, is all about collaborative effort from the artistes.

"What we have here is some kind of melting pot for diverse skills and ideas. Each one of us chips in with his unique style, then we create music," he said.

"With our different ideas, styles, skills and resources, the group has managed to have a subscriber base of over 500 and uploaded 30 videos with more to follow," he added.

The group is of the view that there is great talent in the Kenyan music scene, but lack sufficient funds is a major impediment for new and upcoming artiste to exploit their full potential.

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