The Afro fusion genre continues to dominate the airwaves in Nairobi, and Kenyan songstress Labdi is at the forefront of this musical movement, showcasing her exceptional talent and ability to deliver at her best. Seche johera which looselty translate to ( the lover’s hour) is a journey of love inspired by various emotions surrounding the idea of genuinely loving a person. Loss, lust and insecurity are the main themes for this.Seche Johera was written from the heart and expressed in the most honest way.
Labdi is a Kenyan singer-songwriter and master of the African single-stringed fiddle, the Orutu. She possesses remarkable vocal prowess and is on a mission to popularize African music culture, sounds, and instruments, reintroducing them to the world stage. Labdi represents the new wave of young African artists embracing indigenous instruments, breaking gender barriers as the only female playing the traditionally male-dominated Orutu.
Her music seamlessly blends indigenous Kenyan sounds like Taarab, Ohangla, Mwomboko, and Benga, reflecting her rich upbringing in Nairobi and Kisumu.
Labdi’s musical journey begins with the evocative tolling of bells at the song’s onset, symbolizing her eagerness and anticipation for her lover, who serves as her muse. In Tikni she yearns for her love as she misses the lust aroused by having a partner. The safe feeling one encounters and the beauty of being in love is elegantly executed in the single as she portrays the dark delusional moments we have of being together till infinity as she repeats, “I yearn for your scent.” The mellow harmonies transcend to “Tinde” as she tackles loss and grief that comes from abondment from love.
With a clear directional compass she sings out her desperation as the mellow instrumentation forms the perfect backdrop for her desperation and jealousy encountered when a partner ghosts or moves on. While showcasing her impeccable songwriting skills, she encourages her listeners to charge on with “Feelings” as we all experience conditional love and situationship. They later inspire insecurit and ego. She finally opens her eyes as she realises the infinity she once desired was only temporary as she paints a picture of love’s intensity and desire.
Labdi’s commitment to preserving African music culture and instruments is evident in “Tikni.” The song incorporates traditional instruments such as the nyatiti and shakers, creating a comforting and familiar sonic landscape. Labdi’s voice gracefully dances atop the intricately detailed production, showcasing her artistry and dedication to her craft.
Listen to Seche Johera here