One of the earlier metal bands to form from the burgeoning local scene was Aphasia. Much like the bands of that period like In Oath, Mortal Soul and Lust of A Dying Breed, Aphasia disappeared into obscurity after releasing a slew of some of the most exciting and promising singles from a metal band to date. I had a chat with their vocalist Daniel Wanyeki otherwise known as “Bizzaro” on the origins of the band and what the future holds for the newly minted Aphasia.

One of the earlier metal bands to form from the burgeoning local scene was Aphasia. Much like the bands of that period like In Oath, Mortal Soul and Lust of A Dying Breed, Aphasia disappeared into obscurity after releasing a slew of some of the most exciting and promising singles from a metal band to date. I had a chat with their vocalist Daniel Wanyeki otherwise known as “Bizzaro” on the origins of the band and what the future holds for the newly minted Aphasia.

Bizzaro revs up the crowd at 2017’s Nairobi Metal Festival held at Alchemist Bar, Westlands.

So the band has had a full change on line-up from the initial. ‘Doug’ and ‘Kim Kobz’ started the band with the name ‘Bodies in the Ocean’ with Kim on synth and keyboard while Douglas Kihoro was on vocals. They released the band’s debut single called ‘That’s A Panda Dufus’ (Lifeless Oceans). All this happened in the year 2012

Doug and Bizzaro flaunt Aphasia branded tshirts circa 2012

At the end of that year, Doug took on vocals duty for ‘In oath’ from their then lead singer Young Mwanzia and that’s when I stepped in.
Before stepped in the band had released 2 more songs ‘Hyperion‘ and ‘Volition
With Doug & Kim Kobz out of the band and our to-be clean vocalist Cynthia Ashley with personal responsibilities the band eventually disbanded and when on a looong hiatus and it took me a few years to bring it back.

Despite the hiatus, the Bizzaro and his band of misfits has always conspired to return to the stage. In that dream of making a return they kept alive hopes of doing so with the addition of a clean vocalist.

I bumped into Nimrod Maina, a singer in one of the local rock karaoke shows at the Blues Restaurant. I would have him help me in putting the band back together with a whole new line-up. I got Lenny Kiano (Irony Destroyed) on guitars & Issa Khalid (1000 Fahrenheit & formerly Lust of A Dying Breed) on bass and Cyrus (Kanyeki) on drums and are now ready to do shows and also planning to head back to the studio and do an Extended Play Album (EP). We are not signed to any label at the moment.

Having been properly constituted Aphasia then set about the process of forming the band’s sound. They stuck to a steady practice schedule with the intention that their setlist on the night of Friday the 27th meets the fans as a very heavy one. However, besides the line-up, much of Aphasia’s sonic identity has been left in the past especially with the introduction of clean vocals.

Definitely a difference in sound will be felt as we veered more into a melodic style of metalcore as opposed to the initial deathcore style associated with the band..more clean singing and riffs

The period since Aphasia went on hiatus has seen a steady increase in shows that feature international bands. Nairobi Metal Festival, The Nairobi Rock Music Festival and This Is Africa Festival tend to draw larger crowds. It almost feels as if the Blockbuster show takes a bigger share of the cake and not without good reason. Asking whether he felt this was the case Bizzaro responded as follows;

Revellers at 2018’s This is Africa Festival held at Choices on Baricho Road

Yes! Guys definitely pay more attention to them, this obviously because these shows bring more energy and being well sponsored guys tend to come in numbers as they feel they’ll get their money’s worth…Guys can do better in supporting the local bands, the smaller gigs dont get the support they deserve and most have no sponsors so fans get skeptical and mostly assume the shows will be a fail which is not always the case, bands work really hard to get these shows and a little more support could go a long way in making this shows frequent and bigger eventually. my view…”

Aphasia will perform for the first time since their hiatus this Friday at Crooqed Q’s rooftop Westlands for the second edition of Nairobi Metal Festival. Two day tickets are going for Kshs. 1200/= with one day tickets going for Kshs.1000/=. The Friday line up includes Last Year’s Tragedy and Uganda’s Vale of Amonition.

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Categories: Interviews