By Dennis Asiimwe
If there was someone who could make this work, really work, it was Myko Ouma. He is brilliant in limited sets, full band sets, big band sets, heck, on anything, but it is these tiny limited sets where he pours both soul and technique.
Myko is patient, ridiculously so, and on the acoustic take of this song, comes up with a chord progression that removes the window dressing provided by the studio version and makes the song his own, with a simple but potent structure.
He gets Azawi’s buy in on this one – I don’t know Azawi personally, but I do know that she sounds sold on Myko’s take for Slow Dancing, his interpretation of the song. He doesn’t try to steal the limelight here – his strumming is basic, there is no fancy finger work, and he easily could have. But he keeps things simple, providing a bed for Azawi to work her vocals.
He doesn’t try to steal the limelight here – his strumming is basic, there is no fancy finger work, and he easily could have. But he keeps things simple, providing a bed for Azawi to work her vocals
This is what makes this acoustic version of this hugely popular pop song work – Azawi can actually sing, and works her husky little-girl-next-door vocals beautifully around the music bed harnessed by Myko’s guitar.
It can’t just be me who wants to hear other acoustic interpretations of Azawi’s songs, especially after hearing her nail this. In fact, I would just love to hear something originally written to be acoustic by her.
Azawi and Myko strip the song down to its bare bones, and yet it still somehow retains its intrinsic charm. Instinctively, I was worried it wouldn’t, that it would sound like a huge chunk was missing. So it is a credit to these two musicians that the song sounds even more complete in its acoustic form.
It helps, of course, that Azawi is a talented songwriter, an instinctive one. Teaming up with this city’s most instinctive musician was always going to work.