Kenyan alt rock crew Murfy’s fLaW have been on the scene since 2007 and graciously agreed to tell us more about themselves and what they’ve been up to.
Thanks for taking the time to speak to us.
- Permit me one silly question to begin with, now that you have the name (or a corrupted version of it), do y’all believe in Murphy’s Law? Or does your tampering with the spelling mean you’re out to disprove it?
Congratulations! You have solved the cipher. You’re now a level 2, Murfy’s fLaW fan club member.
- Ok, glad we’ve cleared that up. Wikipedia says the formation of Murfy’s fLaW was a mystical occurrence that must be believed. Do you care to put unbelieving souls out of their misery with a more conventional version of events?
Only level 2, Murfy’s fLaW fan club members have access to that information.
- Alight, I hear you. Introduce us to Murfy’s fLaW. Who does what?
Reema – Lead Vocals Nine – Lead Guitar / Lead Vocals Jojo – Keys / Vocals Punky – Rhythm Guitar Jozie – Bass Vicky – Drums / Vocals
- Last I checked y’all were a part-time band. I gather one of you is an architect? How do you balance your careers (and Nairobi’s insane traffic) with your commitment to Murfy’s fLaW?
We balance careers by not sleeping much. Also, the music is who we are and so it’s not hard to be yourself even while doing your “real job”. After all, we all still have other multi-faceted characteristics that don’t conflict with our actions
- Are there some fun things you guys like to do when you get together other than music? Is there any of you with a hobby that classifies as insane or weird?
We share many other interests, among them movies, Pictionary, games, architecture, painting, bungee jumping, sing-offs, paint ball, morbid curiosity, gossip and mutura (except Reema. Reema doesn’t eat mutura.)
- Just so our readers know, mutura is a scrumptious Kenyan sausage-like delicacy. Speaking of which, in a country where rock n roll is generally treated like the black sheep of the family, or the wayward kid rarely presented to visitors, what gave y’all the guts to say “Ef it, let’s do this!”?
The “guts” to take on rock might have been plain old insanity, or maybe the fact that kipendacho moyo ndio dawa. We didn’t make a business decision to do rock music. It was an artistic choice. The business came afterwards.
- Your sound is not just plain old alt. There are some extra ingredients you throw in. Tell us about that.
We are each deeply influenced by different genres that completing one song in one vision is usually a challenge. But when it does come together, it produces those interesting elements that are essentially us, being ourselves, playing from our hearts.
- Which bands or personalities inspire you or have influenced your sound?
Considering that the band is made up of six distinct people, brought up in six distinct ways, this list tends to be REALLY long. If you’re prepared for the answer, here goes (in no particular order): Fela Kuti, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Eric Wainaina, Oliver Mutukudzi , Brenda Fassie, Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, Eric Knopfler, Divinity Roxx, Victor Wooten, Michael Jackson, P!nk, Beyoncé, Makadem, Aishwarya Rai, Sarabi, Fundi Konde, Osibisa, Ed Sheeran , M2O, LYT, UETA, Rock of Ages… we love music.
- And how’s been the reception of your music and your image so far in your 7 years of existence as an alt rock act from radio to audiences to folks on the street?
The reception has been split 3-ways. There are those who wish we would “stop fooling around and play mainstream afro-fusion”. Then, there are those who wish we would “stop fooling around and play mainstream rock”. Finally, there are the fewer ones who are just curious to see where we’ll go next. This group tends to inspire us the most, although we do understand where the other two groups are coming from.
10. I caught one of the songs from your last album, ‘Aha’ on radio recently. Its video won praise from many quarters. Could you explain how you came up with the concept of systematic torture for poor Danny Boy? Kivu Ruhorahoza, (Rwandese writer, film director and producer of Grey Matter) with our friend, Mercy Murugi (Kenyan film producer at Hot Sun Films) who happened to be playing our album in her car. He was intrigued by A-ha and asked if we could talk and breakdown some of the lyrics. One thing led to another, and he volunteered to come to Nairobi to direct the video. The original concept was his. A-ha is an angry song, presented very playfully. Kivu saw that, and artfully took the video somewhere very dark, yet retaining the playfulness.
11. Your last studio effort was ‘Hello Light’. That was back in 2011. Before that was your debut project ‘Makosa’, released in 2008. Are we therefore in for a new Murfy’s fLaW LP this year? The creative juices are certainly flowing again. There’s a lot of writing and experimentation going on right now, and so far we’ve released three new singles.
12. What’s in the horizon for Murfy’s fLaW? We have enough new material for another album, but we’re trying to figure out if it is indeed time to go for it or if we should first take a hiatus to re-energize. We’re playing it by ear now.
Miami Based, Internationally Known