Sauti Sol’s Bien Aime Baraza has revealed little known details about the making of their first single “Suzanna” of their 5th studio Album dubbed Midnight Train.
According to Bien, Suzanna was recorded more than five times, with five different versions before they settled on the one that was released to the public.
During our conversation, we wanted to find out the song that was hard to put together in their upcoming Album.
Hardest Song to put Together
“The hardest song to put together, actually was Senje (Suzanna). Senje imekuwa na version kama tano, kuna moja acoustic, kuna moja ilichangeiwa lyrics kabisa, yaani imego through evolution kadha ndo msikie hii Senje Mnaskia sai. Na hii yenye imetoka it sounds too easy but people don’t understand we recorded the song five times, with different producers, different studios and also different parts of the world. I remember recording Senje again in LA (Los Angeles), I remember recording Senje in South Africa, I remember recording Senje in Kenya,” disclosed Bien.
He added that they decided to shoot the Senje video in Nigeria, basing on the fact that, by the time of finalizing the song they were in Lagos.
Penetrating the Nigerian Market
“We just happened to be in Lagos at that time and Universal is very strong in Nigeria as a territory and I think in Africa it’s important to break Nigeria before you got to other regions. We didn’t want to do another video with a Nigerian artiste to break that market, we have done that before and there are other ways of engaging that market and this video was one of them. It was shot in Nigeria and the reception there is good. Its actually number 2 on ITunes, number one is America, two Nigeria then Kenya. Sauti Sol is being listened to more in Nigeria now,” said Bien Aime Baraza.
Bien also advised that it’s important for artistes to take breaks within their music career to be able to study the game and re-energize.
“In Africa artistes work until wheels fall off. Look at most established names like Rihanna, Beyoncé they take time off music. You can’t put out music all your life and be on top of your game all the time, not even Michael Jackson did that, you need to give yourself a break, your thoughts need to grow, you need to do research, it’s important to take those breaks. I will advise my artiste friends, once you are making a living, save some money for seasons, when you will be off-season. Sauti Sol did one song but tuko tu sawa hata Demu yangu hajanotice siko kazi, niko na savings, so save for that season," advised Bien.
Suzanna clocked 1 million views on YouTube within 3 days.