After five years of hard work, the East African Pop princess Vanesa Mdee held the Kenyan launch of her first album, ‘Money Mondays’ on the 29th January 2018 with a press conference and launch party at the Aspire Centre in Westlands supported by Hennessy and UAV wines.
With her Mdee Music team and Tanzanian artists Juma Jux and Cyril Kamikaze in tow, Vanessa outlined her vision for the album, explaining the project “took a village”, and from the track list that is truly evident. The extensive 18 song track list features collaborations from Reekado Banks, K.O, Mohombi, Casper Nyovest, Joh Makini, Juma Jux and more. Not to mention the producers, Nahreel (from Navy Kenzo), Ekelly, Tahphha, Bob Maneck and more. This fit well with the diverse sounds and genres that influence her music. When describing the overall sound, it was noted that despite her RnB core, she termed her sound as “progressive with bongo flava, afro and hip-hop notes” all over the project. This shouldn’t daunt fans who are growing accustomed to 12 track albums in the current musical climate because this album has been described as an entertaining playlist that can be listened to from top to bottom.
Vanessa, an alumnus of the Catholic University of East Africa, also spoke passionately about the need for East Africans to promote their own music and sound, stating, “this is the time for East Africa”, and “it is impossible for anyone to stop us when we stop sleeping on ourselves”. This she places at the heart of why her album went to Double Platinum within the first week of its initial launch, “promoting and advertising the album as a product everywhere” and presenting it to all her fans through the variety of platforms it is available on including her own VeeMoney App.
Her personal philosophy of “if not now, when and if not me, who”, is clearly evident in the way she has presented this body of work. Naming it ‘Money Mondays’ Mdee hoped to signify the brand-new step she has taken in her career, releasing an album when worldwide the culture of albums is slowly dying in favor of singles and locally where they have never really taken root. However, ‘Money Mondays’ has completely ignored this trend and is enjoying success. Vanessa Mdee chose to ignore the naysayers and is blazing a trail for other artists to follow. Below is ‘Unfollow’ a new release, featured on the album.
This article was written by Capital Campus Correspondent Maithya Kioko.