Duke by Jan Moss

Nyege Nyege Tapes will present Sounds of Pamoja, a compilation of singeli, meaning, “boy dancer,” a breakneck dance strain originating from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

The compilation follows the Ugandan label’s Sounds of Sisso compilation which, in 2017, focussed on Dar Es Salaam’s singeli production crew Sisso Studios. Sounds of Pamoja, in contrast, showcases hip-hop singeli and MC talent under the umbrella of the Pamoja Records collective.

The production work is mostly handled by Duke, who started making music when he was 13 years old and opened the Pamoja Records studio a few years later. He’s joined on the compilation by 20-year-old Pirato MC, 19-year-old Dogo Kibo, 20-year-old MC Kuke, Dogo Lizzy, MC Dinho, MC Kidene, and MCZO, the versatile rapper who accompanied Duke on a selection of global tour dates.

We’re told that the music is fresh and unpredictable, switching beats every few bars and “rattling through hyper-local dance styles with jagged, joyful ease.”

It’s the MCs that push the record to the next level, “capitalizing on the vitality of Dar es Salaam’s musical landscape as they trade bars, switch flows, and somehow keep up with Duke’s lightning-fast productions.”

We can expect “breathtakingly unique dance music that recalls the youthful spirit of Detroit techno or footwork, with rapid body movement, social combustion, and tongue-twisting lyrical one-upmanship guiding the rudder.”

In order to take a look at the world of singeli, NTS traveled down to Tanzania and put together a mini-documentary.

In 2019, Duke release Uingizaji Hewa, an album of hip-hop singeli on Nyege Nyege.


01. Dogo Kibo “Pigo La Moyo”
02. Dogo Lizzy “Nakupenda” feat ft KIDENE
03. Dogo Lizzy “Angekuwepo”
04. MC Dinho “Kamatia Chini”
05. MC Kono “Il Jini Song Wapi”
06. MC Kuke “Kwa Ajiri Yao”
07. MC Kuke “Sherehe”
08. MC Pilato “Ganja”
09. MC Pilato “Mama Ashura”
10. MC Pilato “Wamenichoma” feat. MCZO
11. MCZO “Ushauri Wa Bure”

Sounds of Pamoja is scheduled for September 17 release. Meanwhile, you can stream MC Kono’s “Il Jini Song Wapi” in full below and pre-order here.

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