The youthful gospel reggae band seeks to transform lives through inspired music
TuneDem Band’s smooth vocals and natural, casual flow lorded over Nairobi last summer with ‘Tis so sweet,’ a warm weather gospel anthem that speaks on the reality of loving and trusting in Jesus. The track produced by Charles Kepha is part of a growing list of releases by the band which establishes it as the quintessential Kenya’s first ever gospel reggae band.
Though reggae bands playing Christian and gospel music are seldom heard of, it would have seem impossible for such a band to sprout out of Kenya’s biggest slum, Kibera. TuneDem is a Christian reggae band registered in Kenya under the Ministry of Heritage and Culture and aims to reach to young people through inspired music and other relevant evangelical activities.
‘TuneDem’ is derived from the words tune them, which speaks of a prayer to God asking Him to tune their listeners to the gospel ministry.
Kepha admits to have loved reggae music from a very early age. Growing up, his interests in music became pronounced when he began composing reggae tunes and rhymes. He later got saved and trained as a vocalist, learning to play key instruments along the way.
He is a lead drummer, keyboardist and an acoustic guitarist. He is also a music trainer and producer, and currently works with about 10 band members of diverse but complementary music skills and talents.
Kepha says the band speaks to the authenticity of their persona and music, through which they explore life as young people who grew up in slum, facing grave challenges and ultimately discovering Christ.
“We launched our first album Foundation in 2011 and have so far produced two more albums. The fourth one will be released in the next few months,” he says, and reaches out to its audiences through live performances in concerts and events like weddings, birthday parties, corporate functions, churches and entertainment gigs. The band has also made media appearances in leading breakfast TV talk shows and Radio shows in the country.
So far, their music is available in recorded CD and online platforms such as Sound Cloud, iTunes, Skiza Tunes, Amazon, ReverbNation, Kenyavoice, Mdundo as well as on their web portal www.tunedemband.bandcamp.com
Such has seen the band perform in many festivals at major venues like the Michael Joseph Center, Sarakasi Dome and Godown Art Center among others.
TuneDem has also toured and performed with worldwide renowned Christafari Group and collaborated with celebrated Jamaican Gospel artist Wayne Stoddart.
Besides performances, TuneDem does song writing, recording and producing, and currently provide music training services to schools and institution under its partnership with Art World Limited.
“We also teach music and perform at concerts or events for a favourable fee,” reveals Kepha.
In addition to its endeavour to leave a mark and make world a better place, the band has been active in social and community activities, mostly slums, churches and prisons. These initiatives have been supported by various organizations like The Black Hawk Ministry, a US based Mission entity and Higher Grounds Ministry International (HGMI).
To this end, TuneDem wish to get more frequent shows and get people to know their music and embrace healthy and positive lifestyle. One can link up with them on their social media pages on Facebook: TuneDem Band 254 and Twitter: @TuneDemBand.