Vocalist Wills Chimano of all boys band Sauti Sol has released his EP album ‘Heavy is The Crown’ that highlights his truth as a member of the queer society.
Chimano, who came out publicly as gay, last December, debuted the 7 track EP alongside ‘Hallelujah- the project’s lead single and music video.
Written by band mate Bien-Aime Baraza, Chimano describes Hallelujah, as a pop single with a classic feel that echoes the EP’s concept of self-love and self-acceptance.
“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” he says.
The 7-track EP, reminiscent of sounds inspired by late 80s and early 90s music, also features previously released singles ‘Friday Feeling ‘, ‘Freedom’, ‘Beautiful’, ‘Loser’, ‘Mad Love’ and ‘Stereo’.
An EP (Extended play record) is a half-length album that contains fewer songs than a Long Play or rather a full length album. EP is extended in the sense that it’s longer than a single.
Chimano went public as homosexual following the release of Friday Feeling stating that he was tired of hiding his sexual orientation and having the society keep on judging him.
“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 bright from your soul, from within, to the outside a lot of people will relate to this.”
With the EP, he maintains the inspiration in each of the tracks is the concept of truthfulness in one’s self-identity describing it as the beginning of a new chapter for Chimano.
“I needed to have 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,”
He coined the name of the album to reflect just that, his beliefs and values.
“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,” he adds.
Besides expressing himself as a gay man, Chimano says the EP is also his agenda to challenge toxic masculinity, prejudices and hypocrisy in the society.
“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.”
As a member of Grammy-certified Kenyan music group, Sauti Sol, working on the EP was revolutionary for him.
He had started composing some songs of the EP three years ago but didn’t know where they would fit.
It was until Sauti Sol’s ‘Alone Together’ project came along inspired by the Covid-19 lockdown that Chimano found a home for his own and personal sound and lyrics.
‘Alone-Together’ is the second chapter of the life of the band who says they will continue to serve their craft and brotherhood.