Amani and 2face round up ONE8 music supergroup
Sunday, 24.10.2010, 07:44pm (GMT)
After weeks of speculations and anticipations, the buzzing new African music supergroup, ONE8 is complete with the addition of Kenya’s sexy and talented singer, Amani; and Nigerian superstar 2face Idibia. Amani becomes the only lady in the group comprising eight of Africa’s top music solo and group acts.
The two artists together with Ugandan hip-hop artist Navio, Zambia’s biggest super star JK, Tanzanian heartthrob Alikiba, Ghanaian trio 4×4, Gabonese duo Movaizhaleine and DRC’s hot sensation, Fally Ipupa, will produce a hit song with a top US artist, yet to be named. The hit track is being produced by an undisclosed top international producer and will drop in November with a hot video, also by an international music video director. There is certainly a lot to look out for from the ONE8 group in days to come.
Amani is one of the most talented and beautiful singing stars ever to come out of Kenya. Her name is a Swahili word that literally means peace and tranquillity, and the soothing sounds of Amani’s music reflect exactly that. Amani, then still known as Cecilia Wairimu, started performing at an early age in church talent shows and was already writing her own songs by the time she was in primary school. By the time she was in high school she had already recorded her first single.
In 1999 she had her first radio hit, with the massive track Move On, one of the first home grown Kenyan songs to reach number one all major local radio charts. She followed up on this success with a collaboration with top Kenyan artist Nameless, and the song Ninanoki became an instant classic across East Africa. In 2004 another collaboration, this time with Big Pin and Pantonee gave Amani another hit with Talk to You, a song that became the most requested song on Kenyan radio that year. The song topped all the charts and saw Amani’s sound developing into a richer and more accessible R & B style.
Her debut album, Amani was released in 2006, soon followed with the release of Tamani in 2007, both being awarded and acclaimed across the continent. She has won numerous awards including the Kenya Kisima Award in 2006 for Best Female Artist and Best Collaboration, and in 2007 for Best Female Boomba Artist. Amani has also been nominated for a Channel O video award in 2008 for Best Female Artist East Africa. In 2009 she won the MTV African Music Award for Best Female Artist alongside a slew of nominations at the 2009 Channel O Music Awards.
Amani has toured the world having played concerts in Norway in 2007, in Germany in 2008 at the Zanzibar International Film Festival, for the president of Ghana and even in San Diego, California during a US tour in 2008. Amani’s unique East African R & B and her undeniable style bring an uplifting and soulful feel to the ONE8 group.
2Face, aka Innocent Ujah Idibia needs very little introduction in Africa. Early in his career, he composed and sang the jingles for a famous radio show in Nigeria. He later met with ex-school mate, BlackFace to form the group Plantashun Boyz. After a couple of years the Plantashun Boyz went their separate ways but came together again in 2007 to record the highly acclaimed album “Plan B.”
2Face, however has achieved most of his success as a solo artist and is now one of the most internationally recognized celebrities Nigeria has produced in recent years. 2005 saw 2Face become a household name when he took home an MTV Europe award for best African act, a Channel l Music Video Award for Best Male Video and Best African Video (both for “African Queen”) and a Kora award for Revelation of the Year. His video for African Queen was also the first video to be played on Pan African channel MTV Base. The song African Queen was also featured in the Hollywood feature film Phat Girlz.
In 2006 and 2007, 2Face won a MOBO award for Best African Act, a special recognition award at the Hip Hop World Awards, Channel O Music Video Award for Best African Pop for the song “Ole” and a Channel O Music Video Award for Best West African for the song “Ole.” On top of this he took away a Nigeria Entertainment Award for Special Recognition as Nigeria’s Breakthrough Artist of the Year. In 2008 he won a Nigerian Music Award for Album of the Year and R&B Song of the Year and a World Music Award for Best Nigerian Act.
Last year he took an MTV Africa Music Award for Best R&B and as he joins forces with the ONE8 project the sky is the limit for this amazingly talented artist.
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