|Tshila wows the crowd at Fuego during Cassava Republic’s maiden show|
In the run-up to his concert held at Serena Hotel last week, Muarice Kirya whose approach is similar to hers told a local bi-weekly that he was planning for a modest crowd compared to Chameleone, an artiste who would probably flinch if he was asked to tune a guitar. Still, if the fervour at Kirya’s concert is anything to go by, there is an untapped market for artists like him.
Tshila and her group, the Cassava Republic, were launching their monthly night- Kora Knights - at Fuego’s Cocktail Bar on Tuesday. Despite the imperfect instrument sound, apparently caused by the rain and accompanying cold, Tshila and the Cassava Republic were spirited, with frequent busts of brilliance from the instrumentalists.
Dressed in a white, short sequined dress, Tshila’s movements on stage and the songs she covered betrayed her past; she’s an alumnus of the pioneering hip-hop group, Bataka Squad. She started with an easy listening song about a West African warrior (done in a West African Language), before seamlessly shifting to a collage of Rehab (Rihanna), What Goes Around… Comes Around, and Deuces, making up her own rap verses in Luganda and English. A later rendition of Jay-Z’s Dirt off Your Shoulders received loud applause, not only because she had owned it with luga-flow, but also because her guitar players perfectly recreated its melody. She is a good singer, especially on the low notes, which was clear when she performed her own songs. A good number of them contain raps which is definitely her strength.
The night was not exclusively about her, she told the audience in between the songs; it’s also meant to give exposure to other lesser known but similar musicians. Like her two back-up singers, Jacinta and Irene, who did a number of covers: Jacinta’s voice wavered at times while Irene’s is soulful.
Her three piece band, four if you include the shakers used by Irene and Jacinta, was nothing short of stylish. It was music done right, arranged perfectly, from the passionate and well-rounded vocalists to the polished band. Which, if the formulae is maintained, would enrich your first Tuesday of the month.