Would you like to hear an obvious statement? Nyashinski is a talented artiste. He can sing and rap.
There are only a few people in the world capable of doing that. Drake is one of them. My cousin is another, though, despite her powerful vocals, she insists she is too intelligent to be a musician. Oops! She wants to be a doctor.
So, Nyashinski can be proud of himself for comfortably riding on a lane that not many of his contemporaries can manage to swerve into
Ever since he escaped from a penitentiary in Kansas by taking down three muscled guards and hiding in a cargo ship before sailing all the way to Kenya, Nyash has dropped hit after hit. Okay, he didn't any of that. I've just been watching too many movies. Does anyone know what he was doing in the US though?
The work that he did with Kleptomaniax before he vanished from Kenya was bodacious but he has had an even greater run as a solo artiste. He is clearly untouchable.
But in every genius, there is always an annoying characteristic.
One thing that you might or might not have noticed about Nyashinski is that he rarely collaborates with other artistes. Collaboration is considered proper etiquette in any music industry but Nyashinski has adopted a rather cavalier and dismissive attitude to it. Should we label him mchoyo? Like one of those mean kids in school who used to eat under the desk or spit on their mandazi so that no one would ask for some.
Since his epic return, he has only collaborated with Sauti Sol, Yemi Alade and Nameless. Wait, he also did a track with Collo that you probably don't know about. It's called "Manyoka". When you name a track after snakes; it comes as no surprise when it slithers away from many people's radars.
The Yemi Alade collaboration only came about because of Coke Studio and to be honest it was not that good. As for Nameless and Collo, he obviously collaborated with them because they are his friends. I have nothing bad to say about the two.
But the times he teamed up with were Sauti Sol were worth it. The two songs they did together were so awesome that I was thinking maybe the boy band should just add him as a fifth member.
What we are learning is that if you are not a friend or an artiste of international calibre, Nyashinski won't collaborate with you. This says a lot for an artiste who was at the forefront of the #PlayKeMusic campaign. How can you call for the support of Kenyan music when you don't support it yourself? Even in Nigeria, Davido and Wizkid always collaborate with unknown artistes all the time. In fact, Davido's latest track is with someone called Zlatan (not the footballer). Never heard of him, right?
It's no secret that Nyashinski loves himself. If it were possible, he would propose to himself. In his hit single "Free", he praises himself at a rate of about five braggadocios statements per minute. I am surprised that he has not entered the Guinness Book of Records for this.
On the song, he gives us lines such as "Mi ni jina kubwa labda tuzungumze na babako", "Ata ka hunipendi unajua ni nani beast hapa" and "Nyash huwanga mdeadly, Ma-rapper wanaona movie".
Normally, this kind of excessive self-love tends to be accompanied by a 'I can do it all by myself' attitude. It's quite possible that Nyashinski feels that incorporating other voices would besmirch his content. He might feel that there aren't many Kenyan artistes out there who can add value to him. Maybe he feels that he's the one who will be adding value to them.
The latter case is not a bad thing either.
Plenty of upcoming artistes would benefit greatly from collaboration with Nyashinski. I am guessing a few have approached him to...
Perhaps he feels like J. Cole. The American rapper usually prefers releasing albums with no features at all.
While he reserves the right to decide who he works with, Nyashinski shouldn't be too much of a lone ranger. Even if he doesn't fancy the task of helping lesser artistes get known, he should at least work with his fellow musical elephants on the regular. I am sure a Nyashinski and Khaligraph Jones collaboration would sound great. A Nyashinski and Otile Brown singing duet wouldn't be bad either.
By the way, not related, but what happened to Vera Sidika's musical career? Did she give up already after releasing one song?
However, there's also the possibility that Nyash doesn't see any of the current crop of Kenyan artistes as his equals. He was killing it in the game before any of them were ever known.
Khaligraph was still learning GHC in primary school when Nyashinski was dropping heavy bars in "Tuendelee." Naiboi was young and beardless when Nyashinski's voice was standing out in tracks like "Haree."
If you look at it this way, you might understand why he's being selfish. He's a veteran who is still at the top of his game hence he sees himself as a god in the industry. It's cool. As I said, he is his own boss.
But for the industry to grow the way he and so many other artistes wish, there has to be frequent tag-teaming. Let's hope that Nyashinski will be more social and bounteous with his voice.
Yes, we can only hope. Unless someone is willing to create a #MakeNyashinksiCollaborate hashtag and make it trend.