Mankind – a young, bold and iconoclastic Kenyan band – has just released an eight-track EP of alternative pop on Amazon and Deezer. The choice of global platforms for the EP’s release begs the question; which ears drums are they targeting?
With heavy grooves, scintillating melodies and dreamy textures, the band asserts that they are shooting north towards the Grammies and they want nothing short of world dominance. “Kenya is the cradle of mankind that’s the reason we have outsized ambitions, we have conquered almost all marathons, we have won an Oscar, produced a president for a superpower; it’s time we took stab at the Grammy Awards,” says Marvin Oyuke, the band’s manager.
The new EP features mellow ambient instrumentals like the lead track, “North.” If you’re strained out by the life’s clutter, kicking back and melting into this syrupy track is therapy to the soul. While the title track North has gained a life of its own through word of mouth, there other outstanding melodious jewels in the EP that have largely flown under the radar such as Valentine, The Way and Dark Skin.
The producer is not minimalistic on the manic keyboard jams; but the vocals and the instruments are perfectly layered to deliver psychedelic arrangements for the ear drums. The band members include Nayda, The Cloak, Nomad and Mane, a team of edgy and vocally talent artists who say they are ready to make an aggressive incursion into the global musical waters.
The quartet delivers a colourful spectrum of vocal range featuring smooth pitches and infectious choruses on every track. Mankind’s music boarders on indie rock; they have merged uncommon and contrasting musical styles to deliver a radical amalgam that presents a paradigm shift in urban pop.
Why the name Mankind? Kenya is the cradle of Mankind. The Turkana Boy specimen is the most complete early human skeleton ever found. Mankind is the dominant species on the planet and our music transcends genres and bounderies,” says Nayda. “We sing for mankind, those who know both war and peace, the minds that made men fly, for our indomitable athletes that repeatedly astound the world, those who survived the Bubonic plague of Europe. Our music is for the globe,” says Mane.
At face value, the group would pass for a chaotic parade of nerds reveling in the fleeting notoriety of hacking the internet, but they are not far from that characterization. The band believes it can swap the flash drisk with a virus laden doppelganger and crush the Kenyan music system. “Kenyan music is about to change markedly, we want to set the standards so high that if an artiste is not awesome, they just die. It’s time the industry stopped pushing mediocrity down Kenyan eardrums,” says The Cloak.
The band reaffirms its deserved status in the world of alternative pop with the track Make Believe – the track delivers hip-shaking pop rhythms that climax to a disco-influenced genre of ecstasy on the first minute and 47th second of track.
It takes genius to arrange an alluring pop melody with a coordinated back beat and shimmering synths that interplay with captivating vocals and harmonic choruses. Kenyans need awesome,” says Mane. With the release of the Northvideo around the tomorrow, Mankind is ready fill up the arenas and saturate the airwaves.