ABOVE: NASIMIYU MURUMBA. PHOTO COURTESY OF BRAD OGBONNA
“I am the biggest drum / And I will keep marching on,” Brooklyn-based artist Nasimiyu Murumba proclaims in “The Biggest Drum,” from her newly released EP, dirt. The half-Kenyan, half-Scandinavian singer, with big hair and an even bigger voice, radiates a sound somewhere between dream pop, neo-soul, and Afrobeat—a mash-up crafted from years under the tutelage of New Orleanian voodoo practitioners and street performers. It’s an eclectic background, which is only fitting for the singer, who also identifies as a composer, producer, storyteller, and multi-instrumentalist.
We’re excited to premiere the video to “The Biggest Drum,” which lyrically espouses individuality and personal strength. The piece was shot and edited by Murumba herself as she backpacked through Costa Rica, Panama, and the Caribbean coast. “I realized that asking someone to translate my thoughts visually just wasn’t going to work unless I was the one actually capturing them,” she tells us. “In this way, my frustration led to a source of empowerment, which I think you can literally taste in the video.”
“The Biggest Drum” is refreshingly minimalistic when it comes to theatricality and production; instead, in the spirit of the song’s roots in metaphor, the video symbolically captures birds taking flight, dream-catchers waving in the wind, and shots of a compass changing directions. Murumba sings for a handheld camera between sweeping views of the communal atmosphere and scenery of South America—from colorful marketplaces, to lush rainforests, to sprawling coastlines. It becomes clear that the streets of San Jose are Murumba’s playground; we get a sense of her as an artist and as an individual through this window into her world. “The purpose of this song is that it makes me feel 10 feet tall when I sing it,” she tells us. “I hope that when you listen, you feel like a giant, too.”
NASIMIYU MURAMBA’S dirt. EP IS OUT NOW. FOR MORE ON THE ARTIST, PLEASE VISIT HER WEBSITE.