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How Kenyan producer Shirko helped streamline Tanzania’s Yamoto Band

By Winnie Mabel December 6th, 2022 2 min read

Pop culture icon and child star Aslay Isihaka one of four young men who made up the famous Yamoto Band has revealed how the Tanzanian boy band began, thanks to the help of Kenyan producer Shirko.

Aslay said, “One of my producers, he’s called Shirko, I know many people know him. He comes from Mombasa (Kenya). He came to us and became our official producer. We worked with him.”

Producer Shirko
Producer Shirko

“We had already joined up with Mbosso, Beka and Enock – Enock is my friend since primary school days- and all of us were just singing all over the place in our own style. We were doing so much.

I remember then new instruments were brought to our studio and we were just jamming on them and we wrote our first song, you know it, it’s called Yamoto,” Aslay reminisced.

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He continued, “The producer then came and told us to try writing music to certain beats. We had written a song and memorized it but we hadn’t had it produced with beats or anything because, by that time, we did not have the instruments and technology needed.

We used to sing without proper beats until the Producer told us we can do something better so we called Beka and Mbosso and we all worked on something together.

We worked on it as Mkubwa na Wanawe, not Yamoto Band. That was before Yamoto became a band name.”

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Aslay narrated the genesis of the Yamoto Band and how their first jam was finally released.

“We did one song and gave it to Mkubwa Fella to listen to it and he added his touch to the song. He listened to it for a very long while because he was hesitant about releasing the song. Eventually, he loved it (and it was released),” said Aslay.

Aslay made these revelations in his four-part documentary dubbed Mimi ni Bongo Flava. In it, he spoke about Mkubwa na Wanawe as seen above, how he became the renowned Aslay, the things he learnt in the music industry and his future plans.

Yamoto Band was one of the biggest boy bands in East Africa before they split to pursue solo music careers.

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Mbosso is considered the most successful of the former group after he signed up with Diamond Platinumz’ Wasafi Records and went on to release several hit songs over the years.

Aslay and Enock are considered second and third in popularity as they haven’t been releasing as many songs as Mbossa has been.

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