SOLFEST: Like Coachella, Sauti Sol have truly redefined concert-going.
You know you're that b**ch when you cause all this conversation - Beyonce, Formation lyrics.
Sauti Sol are truly those b**ches because they don't just cause a conversation, no, they invoke a commotion.
Sauti Sol is one of Africa's most well-manicured, masterfully-preened, dangerously gifted, gorgeously endowed and incredibly polished pop groups of all time.
Their gravelly voices, honeyed lyrics, hypnotic hits and, of course, those pulchritudinous looks have endeared them to millions of fans across the globe.
Since they released their seminal hit 'Lazizi' some 13 years ago, this boy band has seen their names and careers shoot stratospherically, nabbing awards right, left and center, landing million-dollar deals, playing at sold-out concerts abroad, working with top Afrobeat names and living lives that are not just enviable but truly dreamy.
It was probably Chimano's irresistible baritone, or Bein's huskiness and height, or Polycarp's Jimi Hendrix-style mastery at the guitar or maybe Savara's roughness at the edges, no one could quite put a finger to what made this group tick, but they sure did light up fires that are still hard to quench, decades later.
After Lazizi, Sauti Sol blessed their fans with a litany of enormous hits that reverberated from the trenches of Nairobi's back streets to the alleys of Amsterdam's red district.
Their movement grew stronger by the day, fanbase increased by the years and, before anyone would know it, these bunch of fine-looking luhya men had solidified themselves as the numero uno pop group in Africa and no one else came close.
And then they started flirting with controversy - Bein would sensually show off his well-carved naked torso in a sensual music video, Chimano would experiment with his sexuality and choice of clothing, Savara would jump on what only Savara would do to cause a scene and Polycarp, while a little laid back, would provide the perfect background for the musical shenanigans.
This had now become Africa's One Direction. Or, if we have to go a little back in time, Africa's Queen. Or, if we have to become even more sacrilegiously extremist, Africa's The Beatles.
On December 19th 2020, Sauti Sol did the unimaginable - they cancelled their much-anticipated for concert at the last minute citing Covid-19 fears and regulations.
A pandemonium immediately ensued. Fans were enraged. Twitter crashed into smithereens. Everyone fell into shambles. The world seems to have lost meaning.
It was almost blasphemous for Sauti Sol to cancel a concert. What would people now do with their lives? It was like after watching the definite ending of Walking Dead, what was there to look forward to now?
“We were recently made aware that the event size doesn’t comply with Kenyan covid-19 protocols and regulations. Together with the promoters tukutane entertainment limited and masshouse group limited, we tried hard to mitigate the situation, however we could not come to an agreement on the best way forward,” read part of their statement.
No one cared about their little face-saving explanation. People were livid. Girls were furious. Men were beneath themselves. They had waited all their lives for a Sauti Sol special. And then, this!?
The reaction to that cancellation alone proved to the boyband just what a bunch of little gods they had become and what indefinite power they truly possessed.
A few days ago, the boy band announced plans to hold the 'SolFest', a pure Sauti Sol marathon of endless hours of hits and hypnosis at the Carnivore Grounds on the 12th of December, 2021.
Again, a commotion ensued with fans scrambling to grab a ticket, others jamming ticket websites, others making frantic calls to friends and others simply losing their minds.
Like Coachella, one of America's biggest outdoor concerts, that runs for several days in the sprawling California deserts, attracting all the biggest pop names from Ariana Grande to Post Malone, Sauti Sol have curated their own 'SolFest' into something of an unmissable experience that has seen fans react with glee, elation and pure thrill as the date nears.
And when they announced the sale of limited tickets on tikiti.co.ke, over 10,000 people jammed the site in less than five minutes hoping to grab a ticket.
The site immediately crashed.
"Over 10,000 people tried to buy tickets in 5min. The site crashed! Working to restore it! #SolFest", the group tweeted.
The palpable enthusiasm for the 'SolFest' might mirror the ugly tragedy that saw 10 people dead at the Astroworld concert in Houston, USA when rapper Travis Scott took the stage in front of some 50,000 breathless fans.
And the madness that this group has inspired in Kenya is akin to the delirium that Korean pop group BTS also causes across the globe.
It's unexplainable. Unfathomable. Unprecedented.
It's simply Sauti Sol.