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Genge meets Afrobeats on Kutiman and Mejja’s “Timam”

The Israelian producer teamed up with the Kenyan rapper for this special track, composed by crowdsourcing.

“Timam” was born when Kutiman was approached by crowdsourcing app Task Mate to create a song made up entirely of music and lyrics submitted by users. Focusing specifically on Kenya, the Israelian producer was soon inundated with responses. “I just asked people to play whatever they wanted and we got a load of interesting recordings back,” he says. “Among the sounds of Kenya, there was some great stuff, like a guitar riff that I sampled the song’s main hook from, as well as chords that made up the chorus.”

The result is a joyous three minute Afrobeats-genge song, pairing sampled acoustic instrumentation with a club-focused bassline that is punctuated by Mejja’s genge-referencing verses. The Kenyan rapper was Kutiman’s first choice, following his popular features with the likes of afropop group Sauti Sol and rapper Femi One. “I loved Mejja’s vibe and he did an incredible job in putting together a narrative for the song out of all the lyrics, as well as combining them into his own unique style,” Kutiman says. The video, simple and light-hearted, adds a pleasant DIY feel to the song.

This audio collaging method is not unusual for Kutiman, who gained notoriety for his 2009 Thru You projects, where he edited together clips of amateur YouTube musicians into seamlessly coherent compositions. He later went on releasing a project based on field recordings made on the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, focusing on Indian classical instrumentation on Guruji, and dropping 2021’s Surface Currents of ambient modular experiments.

Listen to “Timam” in our Songs of the Week playlist on Spotify and Deezer.