The Drum Speaks!
Kasiva Mutua uses different percussive elements to tell her story, the stories of her people and experiences in her percussion journey that has seen her traverse the world and immerse herself in multiple cultures. This EP, NGEWA, a name from the Akamba people meaning “stories” is an experience woven together with passion; a life-long love for drumming and storytelling all put together in an offering of celebration, homage and never ending tales! This is NGEWA …and this is its story!
“Hakukole” are Hawaiian chants, songs and sayings of ridicule that are a form of expression cutting through most age groups of the society. They are precomposed or spontaneous and most importantly delivered in a public setting. The person hired to compose the Hakukole is seen as a “verbal assassin” and addresses issues such as mannerisms and behaviors, characteristics of a person such as laziness, shallowness, promiscuity, personal hygiene, etc. He/She uses figurative language to induce humor and sarcasm while speaking their mind and entertaining as well.
The composers of “Hakukole” are similar to the Azmari of Ethiopia who Kasiva encountered while touring in Addis Ababa. Armed with a single-stringed lute called the “masenqo”, the Azmari walks around from group to group throughout the audience, inventing creative lyrics to poke fun at their listeners.
Kasiva celebrates this overlooked form of expression in a playful blend of rhythm and sharp vocals. She works with a traditional sound that gradiently makes your head bop with the curiosity of a new age feel, to address a person who leaves home to go abroad for school and upon return, seems to have lost their culture completely and acts “westernized”.
At some point in our lives, we all have walked around with heavy questions… questions that stir doubt and consequently affect the true selves that we’re born to be. Some of these questions have answers, others don’t. Some of these questions scale from ignorance, and some, well…some are grander than the human perspective…In all of this chaos, find rest to what beats true to your heart, because that which pulsates deep within, is the sound of purpose and assurance.
(c) Kasiva Mutua , 2022