Victoria Kimani and 1$t connect African and Diasporan sounds with ‘Afreaka’
Victoria Kimani and 1$t’s ‘Afreaka’ is a sonic Exploration of their experiences in the AfricaN diaspora
Born in the USA, raised in Nigeria and building her career in Kenya, Victoria Kimani has been exposed to various cultures from the start. Her life as a child of missionary parents in California and Oklahoma was sheltered, but her parents’ love for Afro-jazz and 70s swing exposed her to Mariam Makeba, Brenda Fassie and Elvis Presley. Moving to Nigeria in her teen years is what triggered her love for music. The sharp horn and drum sets of afrobeat and highlife sparked a fire in Kimani – one which made her pursue a career in music when she later moved to Kenya with her family.
With cultural exposure like that, it’s no surprise Victoria Kimani built a strong relationship with platinum-selling music producer and Artist, 1$t.
“His production style and my songwriting style were both headed in the same direction, in terms of bridging the gap between old African sounds and R&B/Trap,” says Kimani, “We are both first-generation “Americans”, but very tied to our African upbringing as well. Although 1$t has never been to Liberia, you can tell his parents played the classics around the house!”
1$t earned his first platinum (4x) hit crafting Post Malone’s “White Iverson,” following work for Nicki Minaj, 2Chainz, 21 Savage, and “R.I.P. Screw” and “5% Tint” off Travis Scott’s “Astroworld. Yet, when the opportunity to create something new, different and challenging it wasn’t one he could pass on.
With ‘Afreaka’, the producer, Liberian by way of Atlanta, and Kimani created a sonic dream that expands beyond genre. A mixed bowl of delightful sounds, ‘Afreaka’ blends highlife, reggae, and Atlanta’s signature trap bounce in unexpected ways.
Introduced through a mutual friend in LA, ‘Afreaka’ came naturally to the two after spending a day in the studio. “After we created the first three songs,” explains Kimani, “the musical vibe kept getting better and better so we decided to make a project rather than a single.”
The result is the 9 track project which features DRC superstar Ferre Gola on the lead single ‘Afreaka’, as well as Boutross. Highlife-tinged ‘Anywhere’ will have you grooving, while sexy afrobeats single ‘Shutdown’ will have you falling in love.
On creating a project like ‘Afreaka’, Kimani was deeply thoughtful. “1$t and I come from a similar but unique background. The project is the perfect marriage of my Kenyan background, his Liberian roots, and the heart and soul of African American fusions of music. It is a diasporan’s idyllic consumption of culture.”
Listen to ‘Afreaka’ below: