Sanaipei Tande Explains Why She Is Against Sampling Old School Kenyan Music

Kenyan singer and songwriter Sanaipei Tande has shared her perspective on the ongoing debate surrounding the use of old school Kenyan music samples in contemporary tracks.

In a recent interview at Kiss 100,  Tande’s insights shed light on the nuanced discussion regarding creativity versus laziness through sampling.

When asked about the controversy surrounding the subject, particularly examples like “Arbantone” and “Nimeskia Kwaheri” by Jua Cali, Tande pointed the complexity of the matter. 

 “That’s a very tricky question because when I listen to music, I’m not very particular in learning whether this is Arbantone or Afropop or any other genre. If I like it, I like it and if I don’t, I don’t,” she said. 

She emphasized the importance of innovation and creativity when using samples from older tracks. 

Tande stated, “If you are sampling without improving or doing something interesting on that already made track, then you’re just being lazy. But if you’re using a track from back in the day and then you’re enhancing it and giving it a very interesting twist, then you’re being creative about it.”

Tande’s remarks underscored the fine line between homage and replication in music production. While she acknowledged the potential for creativity in sampling, she cautioned against merely rehashing existing beats without adding value.

Reflecting on her own approach to music creation, Tande revealed, “I like to create things from scratch.” Her preference for original composition highlighted a personal dedication to artistic integrity and authenticity.

Arbantone, characterized by its fusion of traditional Kenyan beats with contemporary elements, has garnered attention for its innovative sound.

Some notable Arbantone tracks that have gained popularity include Nakudai by Sean MMG, Ngwai by Lil Maina and Zoza by Lil Maina ft Bruklyn Boyz. As the music landscape continues to evolve, debates over sampling, creativity, and authenticity persist. Sanaipei Tande’s insights provide valuable perspective, urging artists to strive for innovation while respecting the legacy of past musical traditions.