Crystal Axis is a five-piece Nairobi based punk band often referred to as the ‘godfathers of Kenyan punk’. Their sound is a unique blend of punk, grunge and alternative rock. They cite influences such as Nirvana, Green Day, Bad Brains, Rage Against The Machine and My Chemical Romance.
Since their triumphant return to the rock scene, Crystal Axis have been pioneering a new sound by blending African sounds and elements with fast-paced guitar riffs. The band has stated that their goal is to champion Afropunk as a music genre, and not just a label. Despite the simplicity of punk rock, Crystal Axis has a unique sound that sets them apart and puts them on the map as being one of the best rock acts in sub-Saharan Africa.
‘Leopold’ is an African musical narrative illustrating the plight and struggles of the African people. The single was spurred by the lack of dialogue in the role the Western world has played towards the colonisation and plundered of African countries. Through this single, Crystal Axis aims to put across a thought-provoking message that will make the listener critically think about the state of Africa.
‘Leopold’, as the name suggests, is about King Leopold II of Belgium and his tyranny in Congo.
Foreign countries still own virtually all of Congo’s natural resources, and they guard their extraction rights with UN peacekeepers and hired paramilitaries. Virtually everybody in the country lives in desperate poverty, despite living in what is (per square mile) the most resource-rich country on Earth.
The band introduced themselves to the global rock community by releasing their ‘State of Unease’ E.P in 2012 whilst half the band was still in high school. The E.P garnered much acclaim from the underground rock community for its “dark and spirited choruses and proficient musicianship”. Following the release of the ‘State of Unease’ E.P, Crystal Axis went on hiatus and became referred to as an underground cult band amongst rock lovers throughout the African rock community.
Crystal Axis recently performed at their first major festival at the annual Nyege Nyege Festival held in Jinja, Uganda. The band made their debut on the main-stage as the only rock/punk act. Their performance was hailed as being the most energetic and charismatic set throughout the entire festival. Nyege Nyege Festival has quickly become one of Africa’s most popular events and it draws acts and fans from all over the globe. Crystal Axis is now back in Nairobi, and they are currently working on their debut album.