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Grooving with Silaiyo

There are nights when I just want to dance to loud music and others when I just want to relax with soft tunes in the background as I reminisce. For the latter, Geco Café in Lavington, had a session with the beautiful singer Silayio, as it is every other Thursday.

I’d been meaning to catch Silayio’s show at Geco for a while now. I have seen her perform live a couple of times before in different events and she is always a show stopper.

However, I still didn’t know what to expect and the anticipation was a kick in my excitement. Perched at the rear left side corner of the café, she went in slow and gentle on the music lifting the mood. The music perfectly matched the soft ambience.

Following in on Silayio’s tempo, Kaima Mwiti magnificently played delicate notes on the keyboard in sync with the lead vocalist. The music was loud enough to allow conversations over soft tones. Friends, lovers or families could still engage one another without having to shout over their drinks or food.

Silayio played her own songs and renditions of others. Now, I can forget anything else that she sang, but not Turn Your Lights Down Low by Lauryn Hill and Bob Marley. I don’t know how to explain the emotions that this song always evokes in me.

Her cover of this quintessential R&B-reggae fusion remix from 1999 was spot on. I have worshipped this song for more than 15 years, but only found out recently that the original release was recorded in 1977 by Bob Marley and The Wailers.

I’m not a reggae enthusiast and so I don’t know who The Wailers are, but I have heard the name before. Anyway, what I’m saying is, Silayio did justice to this song.

Any song she takes on tumbles out clinging to her vocals as if in submission. Silayio is a performer who knows what her voice can do and she isn’t coy about it when on stage. Give her any setting and she will deliver. While performing, you can tell she feels the music.

She focuses on the music and knows how to unravel whichever crowd is in front of her. She doesn’t chase after the crowd. Instead, she keeps her soul deep in the music and that is enough to have people following the music.

And this was evident at Thursday Night Live. While the audience settled into the softness of the vibrations, you could see people bobbing their heads or looking up from their conversations to the music whenever Silayio cued the next song.

She was relaxed and familiar with her surroundings and would take breaks in between, leaving Kaima in charge on the keys. Kaima’s touch on the keys was flawless and they made a perfect team sharing knowing glances and smiles every now and then.

As the evening wore on, the music worked in tandem with the glass of wine that was my company to loosen me up. I was content in that moment and wanted to be fully present.

And when the food came, I couldn’t stop chowing. I can still taste the rump steak. Geco café, not only has top grade wines, but also boasts of a wide array of delightful culinary choices. Their food is amazing and doesn’t take hours to get to your table.

It seemed like the music was just coming to an end as I took my last bite. I sat back to enjoy my wine as I grazed my eyes across the bookshelf and to the wine rack on my right. It just felt like home and I was tempted to pick a book and start reading as the music playlist came on.

But I knew better than to tantalize my heart with a book that I wouldn’t take home. With a final sip of my wine, I gathered my belongings and called it a night. Outside, the bar was still well occupied and from the look of things, it would be open longer.

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