Kenya: Sauti Sol – Why We Used Emojis in ‘Friendzone’

Sauti Sol (Photo: Sauti Sol/instagram)

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Sauti Sol’s new song “Friendzone” has some people scratching their heads in confusion, while others are praising it. The sound and video are definitely different from their other products, the animated emoji video being different from anything out in the Eastern African region. The group says the track and video were inspired by everyday things.

“People use emojis every day. Right now, somebody somewhere has been put in the friend zone by someone they like. We take for granted how much emojis are replacing words because you can now have an entire conversation using only emojis and still communicate,” says Bien-Aime Baraza.

The groups they used in the interface of the video are a reflection of society and also the things that make the group members happy.

“That guy has the landlord, he’s in the group “Wenger Out” which Savara is also in, Team Mafisi, and Ebony,” continues Bien.

Bien doesn’t clarify what Ebony means, but it is certainly intriguing as as he high-fives Savara Mudigi they laugh when I insist on an answer.

“It’s just things you use every day but you’re never going to talk about. The emoji board is so expressive, but we used it with a bit of cheekiness just to create some vibes. For example, the line “sexual tension, baby give me your body” cannot just be two egg plants and two strawberries,” adds Bien.

“Bro, the concept, and delivery of everything has taken us six months thinking about everything. We’ve put in a lot of resources into the song,” says Savara.

“All the videos for the song have been shot. There a couple of other visuals that are yet to be released, but they are coming up. We were like “Thank God it’s finally out” because it was a long process,” says Willis Austin Chimano.

The band’s take is that since there was a point we had hieroglyphics, before words, emojis is just another form of communication.

The group also touched lightly on their other projects this year.

“Mbozi za Malwa” with Bebe Cool is a project they didn’t want to get on initially, but are glad they did. The word “mbozi” really cracks them up.

“It’s a song I hear less of in Nairobi, but it’s doing really well in the mashinani areas; I like it,” says Bien.




They will be performing in Toronto on the night of July 14, at All Star Africa Music Fest. How did they get to be in this concert alongside Tekno and Mi Casa?

“They called us,” says Chimano.

“By popular demand,” says Bien.

There’s laughter all around the room.

“They contacted us and asked if we were willing to take part in that. We were like “Why not?” The feeling right now, we feel like Davido (does the ululations Davido does on his song with Mafikizolo),” says Savara.

On their “Love Again” song with C4 Pedro, Bien sums it as:

“We met in the States, recorded in South Africa, and shot the video in Mozambique. Before we even met him, I was jamming with him a lot on Instagram. I’ve been told Team Mafisis have been watching that video on mute. Since the release of the video, my DM (direct message) has been popping with chicks from Portugal who are like ‘Whoa! You guys sound incredible’. We’re creating a new following.”

On working with Chidinma for Coke Studio Africa 2017, they called her their “homegirl” who’s such a sweet person that they care for. It made working with her such a breeze.

They say the fans should expect good tidings coming up, song-wise because they have videos and tracks that they are working on that they will embark on as soon as they get back from their tour.

“We had given you guys (other artistes) time to do your thing, now we are coming back with canes for the industry until the end of the year. We’re trying to create new sounds that generations can tap into and create vibes,” says Bien.

“We have songs but we are yet to plan concepts for the videos,” says Savara, “The main thing will be too logistically look for the other international artists that we’ve worked with, even if it means flying to other locations, to shoot the videos. Our immediate need is to put out more content,” says Savara.
– Thomas Rajula I Daily Nation