Growing up, Sum 41, Linkin Park, Blink 182 and the likes were the go-tos for rock music lovers, as African musicians typically focused on afropop and afrobeats sounds.
This is why the growing alternative music scene in Nairobi, which is quickly becoming one of the most vibrant on the continent, is so exciting to us. A group of young bands such as Crystal Axis are all supporting each other, making badass, alternative and just plain loud music!
Crystal Axis have returned to this music scene after a five-year hiatus following the release of their EP, State Of Unease in 2012. They came back with a bang with their recently released song "Leopold" which is full of energy, smooth rhythms and transitions that allow you focus on the message of the song.
The lyrics are about the tyrant King Leopold II of Belgium, who was known for the founding of the Congo Free State and the region’s bloody exploitation. Foreign countries still own all of Congo’s natural resources, while pretty much all of the country's inhabitants live in desperate poverty even though Congo is the most resource-rich country on Earth.
Music like this is important especially for contemporary African culture, as we can get so swept up in enjoying modernity and globalisation that we forget our roots. Chilling songs like this serve as a didactic reminder of history from within the continent.
Give it a listen here: