Victoria’s Spirit Animal is the Zebra, not the king of the jungle, but definitely very special, the zebra’s attributes include balance, freedom, Individuality, community, stamina, uniqueness and endurance which is exactly the energy Kimani pulled from in order to complete every aspect of this album.
The story behind the intense journey to create a Pan-Afric/Global sounding album such as “Spirit Animal” could only have been guided through the spirit and empowered to persevere, push through the day to day African struggles, the global pandemic and life-changing lessons, all while dancing through it all.
The album features both African music veterans and buzzing newcomers such as Ghana’s Kidi who has been topping the charts across the continent with hits such as “Say Cheese” and a tick-tock fan fave “Touch It,” their collaboration “Long Distance” is already a playlist must-have. Nigeria’s Bella Shmurda is easily top 5 most exciting new artists in Nigeria, he shuts it down on club banger “Gimme Money.”
One of Africa’s Biggest female artists Yemi Alade also features on the dancefloor shaking “Spider” (The fun concept of the spider dance came when Yemi Alade was supporting Kimani’s countrywide Kenyan tour in 2018). DMW signed artist Peruzzi features on ” I Called” a nostalgic Afropop classic, fusing Swahili, English and Pidgin. One of Kenya’s popular boy bands, H_Art The Band serenade in Swahili on “Champion Lover.”
South Africa’s undeniable amapiano wave is also present in “Pole Pole” Meaning “Slowly Slowly” in Swahili, encouraging her fans to take it one day at a time when working towards success, and “Roses” which features powerful vocals from amapiano star Lady Du.
Victoria Kimani soars solo on “Remedy” the visuals showcase her Kikuyu culture and country music influence on Kenyan fashion. “Most Wanted” and “Fire Dancer” are both stand-out genre-defining records with crossover appeal for sure, Kimani’s signature R&B/Afro-Pop vibes shine through here. “Diamonds” features South African rap star Priddy Ugly who offers his untouchable wordplay to the confidence-boosting record.
Words by Peter OKH