Nyokabi Kariuki’s FEELING BODY is a beautiful exploration of the human body and health

'FEELING BODY' is about not only the hell of COVID but a newfound appreciation for one's own health.
Nyokabi Kariuki
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A singer-songwriter from Boston, MA that also writes blogs about music from time to time. A loud and proud as fuck member of the Alt-Black, LGBT and autistic community.

On Christmas 2021, I did what I tried hard to avoid doing: I caught COVID. Me and family members all caught it at once going over to a family’s house for Christmas, and while it wasn’t quite as painful for me, I reject the notion of it ever being a cakewalk. That being said, I can only imagine how hellish it is for those who suffer from long COVID.

Kenyan composer and singer Nyokabi Kariuki’s FEELING BODY is an album that doubles as a new age meditation and a body horror noise record about trying to survive through such hell of long COVID. “Subira” opens with a hopeful message of having to survive COVID, but the rest of the album isn’t so optimistic. “Talking Body” is a nervy meditation and poem on what it is like having COVID with a repeated call for help: “Come home to the body…but the home is not okay.” Constant sounds of running water, nose blowing and testimonials about how to survive COVID cycle through the 12 ½-minute piece, putting you not only into the mind, but also the reality of a long COVID victim.

The album continues with “fire head,” which sees Kariuki dealing with the depressing notion of losing friends and family who care. “They stopped asking if I was okay” echoes into the noise and bed of horns that slowly explodes with sounds of broken bones. 

While the album dives deep into the depression and trauma of having long COVID, it doesn’t stop before a healing period. That healing period coming in the form of a more hopeful “Nazama”. 

While some people may not be as lucky to see a hopeful road out of long COVID, going through COVID holding onto not only some hope but having a bit of strength to make an album about it takes a lot. Nyokabi will not soften the experience for any sake. FEELING BODY is about not only the hell of COVID but a newfound appreciation for one’s own health. Those who have not been through long COVID (or COVID in general, lucky you!) will not only find this album a visceral experience, but hopefully, will also inspire both sympathy for those having to go through it and caution to those reckless with their health. 

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