Angela ‘Shinde’ Mwandanda Talks Tattu Reunion, State of Kenyan Music

May 27, 2019

Angela ‘Shinde’ Mwandanda is a seasoned artiste who formed part of the all-girl pop group Tattu. Together with Angie ‘Rabbo’ Ndambuki and Debbie Asila, they were nicknamed the Ogopalets after their producer Ogopa Deejays.

Of three, Angela Shinde recently made her comeback with the mega-hit collabo, “Presha”, featuring fellow artistes Big Pin, Nameless, Mwalimu and actor/singer Pascal Tokodi.

In a recent interview, Shinde spoke about a possible Tattuu reunion, the current state of Kenyan music, and more.

What part of your musical and life’s journey led you to release your latest single?
I can’t point one specific part of my journey that led me here. What I can say though is that I’d done this very song five years ago, though this is a different version – video, audio, everything. Then, it didn’t work, for whatever reason. Around that time, I was slightly discouraged so I hung up my musical boots without any clear intention of return.

When I managed to get a team together however (I didn’t have this in the past) and I shared with them some of my old unreleased content, they felt that this song has a timeless theme that could work, but could do with some input from people who can include their perspective of marriage, weddings and the pressure that comes with it. That’s why we included Big Pin, Nameless and Tokodi. Now just felt like the right time. It’s an experience that many men and women have and continue to go through and would therefore relate with.

There’s always been talk of a Tattuu reunion. Would you girls consider reuniting just to put out an album?
The Tattuu reunion is always on the table. Our schedules have changed drastically since we first began, not to mention distance, since one of us is out of the country. We have always had a desire to reunite because we all share the same passion for performing. One day, hopefully not too far away, we’ll make it happen.

Some female musicians speak on the importance of women banding together to support each other in the music industry. Do you think this is important?
I do think it is important for us to support one another as women. And we do support one another in our own small way. Perhaps there’s room to do more and become more vocal about it so that we don’t feel isolated in our good or bad experiences.

What was it like, back in the day, to be so young and so successful, contributing to Kenyan sound? What is the Kenyan sound like now?
The three of us were performing artists even before we formed Tattuu – we were with Phoenix Players. We gave it our all, whether it was dancing, acting or singing. By the time Tattuu came to be, it just felt like what we’d always been doing except that we had a larger audience.

We will always be thankful for the love we got for that and more, and also to be among Kenya’s female musical pioneers for that musical pop sound under Ogopa. I’m not sure there is a clear, defined Kenyan sound now – many artists are exploring new things, and it’s great to see such diversity in what we call ‘Kenyan music’. Overall, I believe we’re all doing our best to create memorable music that people will appreciate.

What are the three things that make a good song?
Good chemistry with your producer, great delivery from the artiste and the producer, and commitment to the finished product. You can sing about anything under the sun, but I feel if any of these ingredients are missing, then the final product might not work.

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