DJ Mura and Ally Fresh bringing insights to their new LP, 'Nyumbani'

DJ Mura and Ally Fresh. [Courtesy]

Your latest LP ‘Nyumbani’ is out now. How does it feel having released the first single in 2021 “Hutia” featuring Ayrosh?

Thank you so much! It was dope. Initially, it was supposed to be a single, but we got so much positive feedback from the record and decided to embark on the production of the Nyumbani EP.  

What does ‘Nyumbani’ stand for and why the title?  

The plan was to work on a project that represents us as artistes regarding our musical experimentations as DJs/producers; showcasing where we are from, our local music influences and bridging the gap between traditional and electronic music in Kenya. Initially, the title name was different but when we recorded the song Nyumbani’ that features ‘Wendy Kay’ & ‘Japesa’, We decided to settle on the name Nyumbani as the EP title.

What is the record about in your own words? 

It’s a representation of who we are, where we are from and paying homage to our diverse cultures.

DJ Mura And Ally Fresh. [Courtesy]

You worked with South African producer and DJ, Aymos. How did it happen? 

We had organised an event in 2021 where Aymos was the headliner. After the event, we went to the studio and worked on a few ideas. That is how we were able to work on those two collaborations that feature Aymos.

What were your roles on the project? 

Mura: We both worked on the project equally concerning the completion of the body of work. I however mainly oversaw the audio production, recording and engineering of the project.

Ally Fresh: We both worked together to navigate different aspects of production, recording and engineering, as well as creative direction for the project.

What went into making this LP? 

Mostly time and a lot of trial and error. It took a lot of time for us to achieve exactly what we wanted sonically. There were a lot of changes on the production side of things.

How did you go about selecting collaborations on the project?

Mura: Most of the artistes on the projects are people we have worked with before in events and music. I have produced for most of the artistes on the project on their music projects so it was somewhat easy to figure out who was best suited for which track.

Ally Fresh: It was quite a rewarding process. We started by producing the beats and then went ahead to align our vision for the songs with the artistes we felt sounded well. 


The two of you have been championed as the Oontz ambassadors in Kenya for the last few years. Does that come with a certain responsibility? 

Mura: It somehow does! But it’s a good feeling being part of a rapidly growing movement in Kenya, where people appreciate our inputs regarding the music we are putting out and the events that we are part of.

Ally Fresh: It does! The industry is evolving and yes, I believe our key responsibility is to make sure that Kenyan music always stays on the map and gets highlighted as it should be on a global scale. 


‘To You’ is receiving a lot of love and is deemed the fan favourite so far. What are your favourites off the LP and why? 

Mura: I am yet to settle on one. All the songs on the project are like our babies so it is hard to pick a favourite. But I must say that Mvua is an uplifting and spiritual song that soothes my heart every time I listen to it.

Ally Fresh: To You is a special song to both of us. I would say Mvua as well because it is so contextual to what is happening right now in the world. Attachment with Watendawili is also a favourite.


What do you think of the Amapiano and Oontz scene evolution? 

Mura: It has been a journey. I got an Afrima nomination in 2017 under ‘Best African Electro Artist of the Year’ when I was still fresh into producing electronic music and also when the genre was not as popular as now. Since then it’s been a journey of learning and growing. It now feels so good that people now recognise the genre and the movement keeps on growing.

Ali Fresh: The Amapiano and Oontz scene has rapidly evolved, showing the hunger that listeners have for African-produced music. This is a sign that the industry is ripe and that the creative economy in Africa is finally seeing a boom. Whoever thought that African music would one day be the heartbeat of the world. 


What is the Nairobi nightlife scene like right now? 

Mura: It is super diverse. On a weekend, you can find whatever you vibe with. Whether it’s Oontz, Benga or Reggae, there’s always a party happening somewhere in Nairobi, and I think this is one of the major reasons why Nairobi’s nightlife stands out compared to other cities in Africa.

Ali Fresh: The Nairobi nightlife scene is buzzing. We have all flavours of events all across the city. 


Who did you root for between Kendrick Lamar and Drake?

Mura: I am a big fan of both Drake and Kendrick, but on this one, it had to be Kendrick!

Ali Fresh: That is a tough one but, I will also go with Kendrick for the culture. Haha!


Does Oontz have beef or politics and what is that like?

Mura: Well, just like any other industry, there is always politics behind the scenes, but for the most part, it’s a beautiful scene.


What can fans look forward to from you? 

We have so much we are working on right now. There is more music on the way, there’s a platform we are working on where artistes can connect directly with their super fans. We will share more details soon. We also have another project that we collaborate on known as ‘Magharibi Express’, where we do online DJ mixes and now we are taking it to the dance floor, with our debut event happening on May 31 at Muze Club, Westlands, Nairobi.


Related Articles