September 17, 2010 – This band is as talented as their name is ugly, and I don’t speak in negatives.
Dove Slimme is what they are called and their music is, to be honest, unbelievable. Watching them, the last thing you expect is for a bunch of young people (average 23) to come up with such delectable melody. And alas, their expertise smells of not only talent, but marked dedication.
Here’s the team; Migwa and Saidimu on the guitar, Ali strumming up the bass, Josh on the drums and Jillian, who is rather petit, somehow manages to belt out tunes louder than the din of those strong loud instruments.
The band is barely four months old because the members had to kiss a few frogs –individually – before getting the right band leader (BL). Saidimu the BL, don’t get me wrong, also had a few hits and misses of his own.
As young as the band is they have managed to win Battle of the (rock) Bands twice and secured a rock night gig at Daas Restaurant in Westlands every other Thursday (Mark Sept 30).
“We are primarily a rock band,” says lead guitarist Migwa. “But we can play all styles if called upon.”
The average aged band practices every week at a garage in Karen, where motorcycles and non-functional old car bodies wait to be brought alive by the clanging of the guitars and banging of the drum. I asked the BL:
What drives/motivates the band?
“We all have a passion for music and a desire to create an unforgettable sound with a real and honest message! So I guess you could say our drive is music for music’s sake (and sometimes for groupies even….totally not the other way around, true story!)”
Do y’all dream of being musicians full time or is it only a hobby for the moment.
“People live life afraid to dream when the truth is the reality we love to cling to is shaped by our dreams. And that means yes, it would be a dream come true if the culmination of our efforts was full time music!!”
What are your greatest challenges in trying to make yourselves a success or making a career out of Dove Slimme?
“Well for starters, music (locally) as an industry is still not taken as seriously as it should be. A good example would be where a club wants to pay a full band what they would pay a DJ for a performance. This… doesn’t encourage growth.
Moreover, there is a mentality that those who turn to music do so because they failed at the books, which is quite a misconception. A lot of upcoming musicians are educated upto and beyond university, and are doing music out of choice and not a lack of it (choice).
Another problem we face is availability of quality equipment at an affordable cost. There aren’t many place where you can source musical equipment. One can actually get really good quality equipment from abroad at an overall lower cost then buying the lower end stuff here (Kenya).
With regards to the music itself, rock music still has a negative image among the populace. And yet the truth is that most rock bands are pretty down to earth, no blood letting, no orgies, just people trying to make some good music.
Another thing is that there aren’t many studios that can record rock music locally. Most of them are geared toward recording benga and the like. These are still great genres, but I think as an industry we need to diversify a bit more.”
Saidimu goes on to say that juggling between dishonest promoters and tight-fisted sponsors, the picture is sometimes not pretty.
“I believe that with the formation of more societies like the Music Copyright Society of Kenya and the Rock Society of Kenya, we as musicians can turn this trend around, as long as we stick together…”
Check out an amateur video of the band here.