“Cool Piece of Nairobi,” Trey Songz on Matatu Ride
International R&B/hip hop artiste Trey Songz – the guest star of Coke Studio Africa season 4 was in Nairobi in 2016 to participate in the recording of the show. Despite the work, Trey took time to relax and connect with his fellow artistes. It was his ride on a matatu (popular Kenyan public transport vehicle) into Nairobi’s CBD that left his Kenyan fans wondering about what his experience may have been like. Kenyan rapper Nyashinski was the trusted chaperone to take Trey for the ride, after which Trey expressed: “I’ve discovered a cool piece of Nairobi.”
Plastered with colourful graffiti and posters, Nairobi matatus are an integral part of Kenya’s pop music culture. Here’s what Trey said about the moving musical gallery exclusively on Coke Studio: “The experience was like “being in a subway in New York somewhere because the matatu was graffiti-ed up and very flashy. It’s also dope because of the music aspect and was a great way to hang out before making music.”
“I am very open to learning some local culture and language like Swahili,” said Trey, who was visibly impressed by the matatu screens and the music. Nyashinski also taught him some Kenyan Sheng’ while expounding on the cultural aspect of matatus.
“You never know who you will be sitting next to – it can be a doctor or lawyer – not a class thing. Cultural exchange is a good way to sell and show Africa to the world.”
On the show, Trey recorded and performed Body to Body with Vanessa Mdee (Tanzania), Neyma (Mozambique), Stonebwoy (Ghana), Lij Michael (Ethiopia) and Nyashinski (Kenya). He recorded Follow Me alongside Yemi Alade (Nigeria), Rema Namakula (Uganda), Serge Beynaud (Ivory Coast) and Emtee (South Africa). All Coke Studio collaborations featuring Trey Songz were produced by South African DJ Maphorisa.