This project is supported through the Confluences open call, aimed at supporting a shared space for collaboration, creation, and documentation of new work between musicians who have an existing creative relationship.
Swiss producer Hook and Kenyan R&B musician Karun have been frequent collaborators since 2019, having worked together on a few singles such as “Pen & Paper” and the soon to be released “Hello Sadness” from Hook’s upcoming album.
The success of “Pen & Paper”, a mid-tempo, R&B/Afro-fusion love song written in English and Kiswahili, inspired the artists to conceptualise a new joint project to take their music to new audiences in Europe. They’ve begun working on a new body of music towards a 5-track EP accompanied by strong visual storytelling. Hook and Karun hope that the release of this project will open up new markets for them both as artists.
From 9 February to 8 March 2022, Karun will travel to Switzerland for in-person collaborative recording sessions with Hook, as well as recording live with instrumentalists and background vocalists and visual documentation. The trip will also provide a platform for Karun to grow her footprint in Switzerland, as Hook was able to do so in Nairobi during his previously arranged residencies in 2019 and 2022.
Karun is a Nairobi-based R&B musician making waves in the growing alternative scene. Her sound fits snuggly into this new era of borderless music, weaving soulful RnB vocals and Pop song writing over eclectic production. Her career started with the BET nominated hip-hop group Camp Mulla when she was just 15 years old. As a solo artist, she has been on a steady trajectory, crafting her sound and creating her own path. Karun’s solo catalogue consists of notable R&B singles such as “Pen & Paper”, “Here With Me”, “Roses” and “Glow Up”, the latter of which is a body-positive, femme anthem premiered on Mr Eazi’s Empawa Africa programme. She has recently featured on songs by Grammy award winning artists such as Juls’ “Say You Love Me”, and Savara of Sauti Sol’s “VIBRATION”. Karun has been featured on the Forbes Top 30 Under 30 Africa list (2019), and named “R&B artist of the year” at the Cafe Ngoma Awards, and awarded an Afrima nomination in 2021. Karun’s music is raw, honest, and meditative as she aims to inspire young artists to walk their own path and create timeless music.
Jean Geissbühler, who works under the moniker Hook, has been active in the Swiss scene as a producer for the past 15 years. He lives and works in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. Hook has contributed to many projects at a national and international level. He worked with A-Lee (Norway), Sirius (winner of « Norway got talent »), Robert Roccobelly (CH), ARM (FR), Blinky Bill (KE) and Karun (KE). He’s the founding member of Michigang, a Swiss-based collective, from which was born the band Murmures Barbares, which Hook is the main composer. Murmures Barbares released its first album in 2013 and toured the project for 3 years and over 100 concerts in Switzerland, France, Belgium, Serbia, Peru, Colombia and Equator. Their second album MANTRAS was release in 2020. In 2013, Hook met the Kenyan singer Muthoni Drummer Queen, and with the help of his friend GR!, they collaborated on three albums: MDQ (2014), SHE (2018) and RIVER (2021). The band received a lot of recognition with their powerful live shows in numerous European festivals (such as Eurosonic (NL), Les Vieilles Charrues (FR), Paléo Festival (CH), Montreux Jazz Festival (CH), Les Transmusicales de Rennes (FR)), and in Canada (Festival d’été de Québec and Montréal Jazz Festival).