After a thrilling performance during Easter 2017, the highly acclaimed Electronic Dance Music (EDM) group Major Lazer returns to Nairobi this weekend as the headline act for the Kenya Nights at the Carnivore Grounds.
The trio featuring Grammy Award winning producer DJ Diplo, along with MC/ record producer Walshy Fire and DJ/producer Jillionaire have established a global brand with their unique mix of dance music with pop, R & B and reggae and dance hall.
The performance in Nairobi is part of Major Lazer’s African tour that started in South Africa last weekend before an appearance at the Lake of Stars Festival in Malawi. Just before arriving in Kenya tomorrow, they are performing in Lagos today and the tour ends with a show in Kampala next Monday night.
The tour is also an opportunity for the group to explore contemporary African music influences with the release of new songs featuring established artists from the continent.
Major Lazer “Afrobeats” which was released early in September is a mix featuring 17 songs by top African acts including “Live and Die in Afrika” by Sauti Sol. Other artists featured in the mix are Nigerian stars Burna Boy, Mr. Eazi, Davido and South African female singer Babes Wodumo. Mr. Eazi is also featured on the new Major Lazer single “Tied Up” along with Raye.
In an interview last month, Diplo told the music magazine Complex that this project puts African artists and their dances right in the international music mainstream because “new African music gets overlooked in America and Europe.”
Major Lazer began as a duo in 2008 between Diplo and UK producer Switch, and recorded their first album the following year at Bob Marley’s legendary Tuff Gong Studios.
Jillionaire and Walshy Fire joined the group after the departure of Switch in 2011 as the group evolved into a dance-pop team, producing songs for Ellie Goulding, rapper 2 Chainz and Justin Bieber.
In the last decade, Major Lazer has earned a cult following among EDM fans around the world and was the first major American group to perform in Cuba in March 2016 after the US government lifted sanctions against Havana.
There has been major anticipation among their fans ahead of the release of their fifth album especially after recent comments by Diplo that seemed to suggest that the group’s time might be coming to an end. In that interview published by Complex, the DJ said this will be Major Lazer’s last album and would feature songs that the group has produced in the last decade but have never been released.
Diplo has been busy releasing songs not only as a solo artist, but also as part of a new duo called Silk City alongside Mark Ronson and he is also a member of LSD along with Sia and Labyrinth. He is also committed to his own record label Mad Ducent that showcases global pop and dance music.
Originally from Jamaica, Walshy who is the MC for Major Lazer first gained prominence as a member of the Miami based Black Chiney sound system performing at nightclubs, concerts and other party venues for 8 years. This was a major influence for the emergence of Major Lazer’s style that combines hip-hop, R & B with reggae and dance hall.
Since 2012, Walshy has toured with Major Lazer and been part of the group’s last two albums, “Free The Universe” and “Peace Is The Mission” He is also an in-demand producer and a champion for emerging talent, particularly from the Caribbean.
Kenya Nights has gained a reputation as the highest profile electronic music event in the country providing a platform for Kenyan producers and DJs to share the stage with top international EDM acts.
Along with Major Lazer, the concert will feature a guest appearance by Djeff Afroziilla (Tiago Barros) who is of Cape Verdean/Angolan heritage and local acts, DJ Kace and Suraj (who both played at last year’s Major Lazer show), Jinku and L.A. Dave,
Major Lazer is also using this African tour to spread awareness on the protection of wildlife.
through VETPAW (Veterans Empowered to Protect African Wildlife) an organisation that works to combat poaching.
World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021
World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.
“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.
He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.
The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.
People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.
For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.
Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.
“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.
Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.
“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”
According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.
Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans
The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.
Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.
Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.
Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options.
This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.
The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.
The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.
The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).
The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.
The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour; Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).
The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.
Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”
He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.