Nairobi artist Coco Em will present her debut release on InFiné, titled Kilumi.

Coco Em is one of Africa’s most exciting DJs. Born Emma Mbeke Nzioka, she’s crafted a stellar reputation across the continent and beyond through her thrilling sets on some of the largest stages, from Nyege Nyege in Uganda to Terra Negra in Tunisia. More recently, she’s started to play as far afield as Switzerland and Canada, pushing Kenyan house, old school kwaito, kuduro, and lingala, from the north-western part of Congo. (Read more about her in her XLR8R podcast here.)

Nzioka started writing Kilumi during the height of the pandemic in 2020, and across seven tracks it “explores elements of different sounds that kept me going in a very difficult year,” she says. She set out to write a fresh beat on Ableton every day to push herself as a producer. These explorations led to a collection of 70 ideas, each one reflecting a “different shade to her musical palette,” we’re told, which she then refined and sculpted into this “beguiling seven-track journey.”

The release features seven of Nzioka’s fellow Kenyan artists: MC Sharon, Wuod Baba, Ndunge wa Kalele, Sisian & Kasiva, Janice Iche, and Ladbi Ommes. Its final process came through Santuri East Africa studios, a Nairobi-based non-profit organization formed to empower East African artists.


01. Pace
02. Yi Ingi
03. Winyo Nungo feat MC Sharon & Wuod Baba
04. Kilumi feat Ndunge wa Kalele
05. Land (Black) First feat Sisian & Kasiva
06. Mbeni feat Janice Iche
07. Pesa feat Labdi

Kilumi EP is scheduled for April 21 release. Meanwhile, you can stream “Land (Black) First” feat Sisian & Kasiva below and pre-order here.