Young Kenyan Producer Ukweli Utilizes Soundcloud for Masterful Collaboration

Remember back when musicians had to be in the same room in order to collaborate? Those days are long gone.

Brendern Denousse, a 19-year-old widely unknown producer from Nairobi, managed to initiate a crisp and intricate musical collaboration simply by sending a message over Soundcloud to one of his biggest inspirations, American electro singer JABS. A few months later “Get Lost,” a spacy, pseudo-melancholic track popped up on JABS’ Soundcloud page.

“I made the beat to ‘Get Lost’ at about 3 in the morning one night when I couldn’t sleep and was in a melancholic mood,” Denousse, who goes by artist moniker Ukweli, recently told OkayAfrica. “It’s a really spacey beat and I felt that it had enough room for a vocalist to lay something down.”

After introducing himself, Denousse sent the instrumental track to JABS who told him that she loved it and wanted to lay some vocals on it. Then something very unexpected occurred: another one of Denousse’s musical inspirations and frequent JABS collaborator, Willow Smith, put her mark on the track as well.

“Fast forward to two months later and the song was done,” Denousse said. “I was unaware that [JABS] did the song with Willow Smith but I was happily surprised.”

Originally from Sweden, Chris is a journalist with an extensive interest for African culture and the arts.