If it's too pop, you're too old
Name: Camp Mulla
Where they’re from: Nairobi, Kenya
When they started: 2009
Most like: The Airplane Boys, LMFAO
Sounds like: A party DJed by a new pair of sneakers
After achieving Internet notoriety with Kenya’s college set, teen-aged Nairobi quintet Camp Mulla (pron: mule-ah) made a quick leap from Soundcloud to radio. But really, that was their destiny, with a mix of hip hop, dance beats, R&B and Kapuka rap, their songs about pretty girls and partying aimed at the charts, and the club, of course. And that’s where they landed. Their bouncy, hook-equipped party tracks aren’t typical of Nairobi’s music scene but they might be the sound of things to come. And they’ve precociously gathered some eyebrow raising honors, including a BET award nomination and and a slot opening for Nigerian R&B mega-stars P-Square.
The group broke out in Kenya just last year, but they made a big enough splash to invite a little backsplash for their pop sensibilities, English-language rhymes and, well, not being especially street. But they’ve found an audience, perhaps by capitalizing on the optimistic outlook of a new breed of youth in Kenya. It’s true that among their champagne bubbly singles like “Addicted” and “Party Don’t Stop” there isn’t a hint of gloom, but their many Facebook fans and Twitter followers don’t seem to mind and they haven’t even put out their first album. These bright young things have room to grow. Incidentally, they do show some signs of maturity in their behind the scenes moments. The group is joining Coldplay and Nigerian star Ice Prince in supporting an Oxfam initiative to fight hunger in the Sahel.
But if you asked them to defend themselves, they’d probably just say the product speaks for itself.