Multi-award-winning Kenyan entertainer and performer Chimano, has today released his anticipated debut EP HEAVY IS THE CROWN, alongside “Hallelujah”– the project’s lead single and music video. Written by Bien-Aimé, the pop single with a classic feel echoes the EP’s concept of self-love and self-acceptance.
Chimano says, “It’s a wonderful song that generally speaks to everybody in humanity. It also speaks to me. It’s a message to myself where I am putting myself first and walking this journey of life with my true self and like-minded individuals and anybody who wants to join us on this amazing journey. And yes, the real Chimano has arrived!”
In the new video, the celebrated style icon impresses with his ever eccentric fashion sense, donned in a bedazzled blazer effortlessly swaying to the lyrics of this melodious track. It’s a singular scene with strong visuals in dark hues that later turn to red with streaks of lights – making him shine in the spotlight and solo appearance. Chimano says of the video, “The visuals behind this song are just simple and juxtaposing being centered internally and externally.”
The 7-track EP, reminiscent of sounds inspired by late 80s and early 90s music, also features previously released feel-good hit single: “Friday Feeling”, “Hallelujah”, “Freedom”, “Beautiful”, “Loser”, “Mad Love” and “Stereo”. The overarching theme and inspiration in each of the EP tracks is the concept of truthfulness in one’s self-identity. This EP is the beginning of a new chapter for Chimano. He reveals, “I needed to have the courage to be myself fully because of my new-found conviction. I needed to be that for others and to inspire them to see that they can also be themselves,” adding, “The crown, in this case, is on you and me. If you go through life in kindness, standing up for your dreams and aspirations, respecting your fellow human beings, and respecting the right of others to live unrestricted as long as it’s not an infringement on your human rights – then you have a crown on your head.”
Chimano says of HEAVY IS THE CROWN,
“It feels good to be authentic, at peace, and centered. It’s a good place for me to be in and to stick to my values. This EP is who I am. I am coming out of my shell. It takes time for who you are to shine brightly from your soul, from within, to the outside – a lot of people will relate to this.”
As a member of Grammy-certified Kenyan music group, Sauti Sol, working on this iconic EP was revolutionary for Chimano. He had started writing some songs off the EP up to three years ago but didn’t know where they would fit. It was until Sauti Sol’s ‘Alone Together’ project came along that Chimano found a home for his own and personal sound and lyrics. He says of the journey of working as a solo artist, “The working experience on this project was amazing with a roller coaster of feelings; I felt challenged, uplifted and I understood who I am more with this project and it’s one of the things that gives me undefiant confidence,” adding, “The experience has been very eye-opening to who I am. I made a new best friend within me that was waiting to come out to explore his creativity, image and brand.”
Even though Chimano unveils his vulnerability to the listener, he confidently relays a fine project with a strong impulse to impel people to look within themselves and listen to their inner voices. Those lost in the path of their self-actualization can find their purpose in life or what they want to achieve in their careers and lives. The journey to this takes time but with patience, you will get there.
Immerse in the funk, soul, richness, and diversity of Chimano’s HEAVY IS THE CROWN new body of work, with epic visuals, art direction, and lyrics about self-acceptance, love, freedom, redemption, and gratitude. It’s a risqué EP that challenges toxic masculinity, prejudices, and hypocrisy. Chimano sums up, “It’s hard to ignore the burdens society puts on you but by believing and focusing on yourself while being kind to others, you have crowned yourself and don’t need anyone to validate that. I have fully started to express myself and deep down for me this is an expression of happiness and freedom.”
Chimano also graced the cover of Apple Music’s biggest playlist Africa Now, alongside being the cover star on this week’s Africa Now Radio episode where he joined LootLove via FaceTime on Apple Music 1 to talk about embracing new sonic directions on his first solo EP, his 80s pop inspirations and his renewed appreciation for his own creativity. Listen to his interview here: apple.co/AfricaNowRadio