For those who don’t know Hip House is alternatively known as Rap House, House Rap, or better still a genre that combines both Hip-Hop and House. It all began in the late 1980s when Hip-Hop took a slight turn for the best, mingling two scenes that dabbled in futuristic, funky and fun-loving sounds. Jesse Saunders in his book House Music the Real Story (2007) recognised that Hip House was developed by DJs Fast Eddie and Tyree Cooper who first began fusing Hip-Hop and House together. Since then we’ve seen the emergence of individuals such as Azealia Banks, who have taken the genre to new heights.
Nigerian singer-songwriter and trendsetter Kah-Lo is taking the genre even further. The Nigerian-born musician has now relocated to London, where she is bringing an authentic and cultural twist to the scene. She is quickly filling a void in the genre that has yet to be filled and is opening our eyes with her African take on Hip House. Kah-Lo is part of a collection of artists that are helping to diversify Nigeria’s music scene, by ushering in a ‘rave culture’ that previously wasn’t widely accepted. In an interview with the GRAMMYs, Kah-Lo discussed how house music is “slowly finding its place” in Nigeria and points to Niniola’s Maradona as evidence of this change.
Kah-Lo has featured on multiple collaborations with the likes of Riton, Mr Eazi and Davido. Her discography is a pure and rich fusion of western and African cultures, as seen in her debut single Fasta.
My friend George (p.s. check out his website for some awesome scenes) put me onto Kah-Lo a couple of weeks ago. I haven’t looked back since. I am in awe of her exuberance and positive energy, which provides for such an enjoyable listen. Kah-Lo overcomes certain stigmas by wearing her Nigerian accent so proudly. In doing so, she successfully manages to make her African heritage the most adored part of her brand. Proving that you can be successful despite not having a ‘commercial’ accent, nor one that people are used to hearing within the genre. Kah-Lo is showing us that music has no boundaries and it’s variations are limitless. Her realness along with her quirky style is enough to get the youth to pay attention. She certainly has the potential to play a pivotal role in the future development of the genre.
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