Redsan

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Swabri Mohammed (born 1 May 1981), better known by his stage name Redsan, is a Kenyan reggae and ragga musician. He is one of the most well renowned ragga and dancehall artists in East Africa. His popularity has extended to the rest of Africa,and parts of Europe, United States, and the Middle East.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Mohammed was born on 1 May 1981. He was raised in the informal housing sector in Majengo in Nairobi, Kenya. His first album, Seasons of the San was released in 2002 under Ogopa DJ's label.[2] Redsan's career propelled to higher heights with more international shows after the release of his first album. His second album "Red" (2004), and his third album "Pioneer" (2006) were also big hits.

He is now married to Viverz in 2012.[3]

Career[edit]

His music career began when he won the Star Search challenge hosted at Carnivore discothèque in Nairobi in 1998.[4] He released his first album 'Seasons of the San (2002)' as part of the Ogopa Djs unit. This album included hit songs "Julie" and "Wanipa Raha" which propelled him to fame in Kenya, East Africa and abroad.[2] He then embarked on his solo career and released his second album under Southwest Records. It also included hit song "Bageya", a collaboration with Ugandan artist Chameleone.

His second album Red, was released in 2004. It contained hit tracks "Chicken", "Malaika" and "Apakatwe".

His third album, Pioneer, was released in 2006 with hit singles such as "Kenyan" and "Touch". His own music is currently being produced by Monalisa.[4] As an artist he continues to write all the songs sometimes with co-writers. He has toured in several countries around the world. Redsan has earned the nickname 'Absentee Dance hall King" in Kenyan media as he is always on tour outside the county.[5]

Record Label[edit]

After the release of his third album, he established his studio and label, Dutty Sounds. Redsan signed former Southwest head Producer Maich Blaq to head his record label. He has signed several artistes including Proff, whose debut single 'Nataka Nijue' ruled Kenyan charts for six weeks.Proff's second single, "Data" was a commercial success and topped various charts across east Africa.

Hit Singles[edit]

His hit singles include "Mikono Juu", "Chicken","unbreakable" "Malaika", "Step on it" and "Julie".

Julie or (aka "Julie, My Lover") One of his most popular songs is the single "Julie". It is a remix of an old African classic love song, "unirudie rumi wee"/"nihurumie wangu we" (Please have mercy on me). It is both in English and Swahili. It delineates a male-female relationship where the suitor is trying to court a girl named Julie.[6]


The Swahili Lyrics: "Oh Julie my lover, mbona we wanitesa?; wastuasiopapa,wapenzi wa rasta, sasa nifanye je?; rasta nitanyoa; Bima na nunua,Carnivore tutaenda..."[7]

English Translation: "Oh Julie My lover, why do you torture me?; If your father does not like dredocks what do i do?; I will shave off the dredlocks; I will buy a BMW and then we can go to 'Carnivore;".[6]


The song is noted for both its lyrics, message and rhythms.[6] The song expressing a desire to a single partner in a time of sexual promiscuity due to 'disease' and due to a desire to remain faithful to the woman he wants to marry.[6] His lyrics are also noted for being simple and lyrical as witnessed in the opening lines which are in English:
"In your eyes, I saw my way; I was sure I'll get there; Now I feel a mile away,but I know I will get there; So much reasons and ways, why she still makes my day; when you show me the meanings, girl you show me the meanings; When you hurt me mama mammy, show me who will be my baby?, Show me who will take care of me, show me who to call darling."

Discography[edit]

Albums

  • Seasons of the San (2002)
  • Red (2004)
  • Pioneer (2006)
  • Versatility (2009)

Philanthropy[edit]

He is a member of the Musician’s Community an organization that helps to eradicate poverty and create HIV/AIDS awareness in Africa.[1]

Awards[edit]

Won:

Nominated:

References[edit]

External links[edit]