Yesterday Diamond Platinumz was at the Michael Joseph Center to talk about his album launch at the Kenya National Theatre. He was accompanied by the accomplished American musician Omari Ishmael, popularly known as Omarion. The two spoke of Diamond’s upcoming video titled ‘A Boy From Tandale’. Omarion is featured in one of the songs on the album, and he confirmed he executes his verse in Swahili – a fete he was proud of.
Diamond went ahead to say he has been working on the album for a while now, he also said the album includes 18 songs. Among the 18 songs, 10 are new songs, while the other 8 are from his prior singles such as Waka, Salome, Nana, and others. He goes ahead to say that though a large number of songs on the album is unconventional, he bargained with Universal Music Group, who he is currently signed under.
“This 18-track album is a tribute to my humble beginnings in Tandale, which is a slum in Tanzania. It is where I was raised, with a lot of challenges, but also where I formed my closest bonds with family and friends who to this day remain my support system. It is the place where amidst all the poverty, I discovered my talent,” said Diamond Platnumz.
Diamond, who is dubbed as the ‘King of East African Pop’ said that the reason he has launched the album in Kenya is that he wants to be seen as a continental musician rather than a Tanzania based artist. True to his word, he has collaborated with renowned artists from Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, and beyond the continental borders with award-winning hip-hop musician Rick Ross and Grammy-nominated Omarion. There are guest appearances from fellow Tanzanian vocalist Vanessa Mdee, Grammy Award-winning reggae band Morgan Heritage, American stars Rick Ross and Ne-Yo and Nigerian songbird Tiwa Savage, among other African artists.
Diamond added that his recording label Wasafi would be opening a branch in Kenya. It will be responsible for scouting new and uprising Kenyan talent in the music industry. Diamond will also be opening a regional TV and radio station that would create employment and further grow his brand in the telecommunications industry.
Omarion was excited to be in Kenya for the second time. He says he really loves the culture and especially the wildlife. He said he visited a local wildlife reserve before watching Black Panther which really psyched him for the movie. Though he did not go into specifics, from his words, we can only speculate he has an upcoming collaboration with a Kenyan artist(s).
A Boy From Tandale was launched last night and it will be available on the Safaricom Songa App from Friday the 16th. Diamond was not specific about the album tour, but he said he is planning on going on tour to most African countries. Greater things can only be expected from Diamond and other multinational artists who are looking towards the East African region for new talent.
You can find many local artists music on The Songa App. Local artists whose music is available on the app include: Sauti Sol, Mercy Masika, Nyashinsky and Eric Wainaina, among others. The expansive catalogue also includes international artists such as Wizkid, Camila Cabello, Usher, Chris Brown, Beyoncé and Davido, and will soon feature even more music following the conclusion of agreements with major international and regional labels and aggregators including Sony Music Entertainment, Africori, Africha, Ngoma and Expedia.