The son of savannah

Last Updated 17 August 2015, 18:21 IST
Frank Koine, the lead singer of the ‘Kenyan Boys Choir’, easily becomes everyone’s favourite at first sight with his magnetic smile, curly hair, voice that sounds like a light drizzle in a drought and the aura of joy he exudes.

It’s no wonder then, that a stranger stopped him at the Kempegowda International Airport and chatted him up about the different cultures of Nairobi, his musical journey and his experience in India. Frank remembers this incident as one of his most interesting interactions here.

Recently in the City for back-to-back performances, in collaboration with the Toccata Musical Productions, UK, Frank is more than happy to enjoy and drink up the flair, bright colours and energy of Bengaluru. “I am also wearing a Bengaluru T-shirt,” he says, with a child-like smile.

“Bengaluru is a very urban City like Nairobi. The traffic is crazy, just like how it is back home. I also love the spicy food and different types of chicken curries,” he adds, rolling his ‘R’s.

As a musician, he also loves the musical spirit of the City and says that the people here are musically inclined, which is an added motivation for his performances. “Though our African tunes are very different, our music is appreciated here which is humbling.”

He hopes that his upbeat, African tunes touch everyone’s heart and is happy that he received the electric vibe from the audience this year too. His set consisted of a selection of Kenyan tunes and popular Western songs. There were also a few authentic Kenyan chants which showcased the rustic tones of Nairobi.

However, one of Frank’s favourites is ‘Happy’ by Pharrel Williams. “‘Happy’ resonates with everyone and makes everybody sing, dance and act crazy. The music also reaches out to people from different age groups and spreads the universal message of being happy,” the curly-haired singer says. And sure enough, he got the audience to enjoy the moment and dancing to his tunes.

Just like his medley of ‘One Direction’ songs, Frank wishes to see more collaborations between different countries so that artistes and the audience can experience a melange of tunes and get a slice of everything. “People listen to a lot more fusion music today as the world is shrinking through globalisation. I wouldn’t want to see individual genres decline but would like to see more collaborations and medleys.”

As a Kenyan music connoisseur, Frank has never performed an Indian song except for ‘Dil bar mere’ with Toccata, although he listens to upbeat Bollywood tunes on Indian TV channels back home.

Frank someday wishes to come back to India and collaborate with local bands and choirs and understand the nuances of Indian music. “I’d love to come back, sing and gorge on chicken curries,” he says.  

(Published 17 August 2015, 17:40 IST)

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