Esther Akoth, popularly known as Akothee, is a Kenyan Musician and businesswoman.She is the founder of Akothee Safaris( a tour company based in Kenya), Akothee Foundation, Aknotela and Akothee Homes, a real estate business.
Judith Nyambura Mwangi (born 30 April 1986), better known by her mononym Avril, is a Kenyan singer-songwriter, actress and entertainer. She was formerly signed to Ogopa Deejays, one of the leading music production and record labels in Kenya. As a singer, she is popularly known for her singles “Mama”, “Kitu Kimoja”, “Chokoza” and “Hakuna Yule”. As an actress, she is best known for playing Miss B’Have on Shuga: Love, Sex, Money (2012). Avril’s contributions to the Kenyan entertainment industry have earned her one Nzumari Award, one Kisima Music Award, one Golden Mic Award and two Chaguo La Teeniez Awards.
Job Seda (1956 – 1 February 2019), better known as Ayub Ogada, was a Kenyan singer. He was a singer favoring the nyatiti (an eight-stringed lyre with its origins credited to the Luo, a tribe in Nyanza Kenya) as his characteristic instrument. His music is known to have a natural feel to it, having songs of birds, the calls of animals and the sounds of children playing in the background.
Ayub Ogada was also an actor landing major roles in films including the Academy Award-winning Out of Africa (1985) and Kitchen Toto (1987).
Cecilia Sagini Kemunto (born 5 November 1991), better known as Cece Sagini, is an African singer and songwriter based in Nairobi, Kenya. She first came into the music scene with a collaboration with Jimmy Gait with the song Appointment. There after she has released more popular singles such as “Sio Mwisho”, “Feel it”, “I’m A Doer” Ft Octopizzo, “9 to 5” and a Kisii song labelled “Ensobosobo”. Her contribution to the music industry earned her one Groove Award for song of the year.
Owen Mwatia popularly known as Daddy Owen was born on Friday 1, 1982 is a Kenyan contemporary Christian music (CCM) artist and songwriter from Kakamega, Kenya. Owen is the brother to Kenyan Award-winning gospel musician Rufftone. He is a member of the Kenya Assemblies of God Church, Buru Buru, Nairobi and is signed to Beats & Blessings family. Daddy Owen is now married to Farida Wambui (2 April 2016). Some of his most well-known songs are “Mbona” which was co-authored by Denno, “Foundation”, “Tobina”, “Kazi ya Msalaba”, “Saluti”, and “System ya Kapungala”. He is currently a praise and worship member at the Kenya Assemblies of God, Nairobi. Daddy Owen has Four albums to his name: Saluti, System ya Kapungala, Son of Man and Haijaisha. He was the Groove Awards male artist of the year from the year 2009 to 2011. His song ‘Saluti’ earned three groove award nominations and went on win in all three categories. Mwatia popularizes in Lingala music
In 2010, he received the Best Anglophone award during the MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA) for the song Tobina. He was also named artist of the year at the 2012 Kisima Awards ceremony. He is the founder member of Malaika Awards,a Charitable organization for the disabled
Kelvin Peter Wanjohi (born 21 August 1994) professionally known as DJ Fita, is a Kenyan DJ, music producer and music journalist from Thika. He is best known for remixing Kenyan pop music into upbeat electronic dance music. DJ Fita is also a member of Fitemba. He was nominated for the VJ of the Year 2015 during the annual Stylus DJ Awards
Eric Wainaina (born 28 August 1973) is a Kenyan singer-songwriter. His career was launched with his debut album, Sawa Sawa, in 2001. Wainaina’s music is a blend of Kenyan Benga rhythm and East African guitars, with some modern harmony.
Issah Mmari Wangui (May 20, 1981 – March 16, 2003), better known by his stage name E-Sir, was a Kenyan hip hop artist. He was the elder brother to fellow Kenyan rapper Habib. He was famous for his deft lyrical ability and command of the Swahili language. The phenomenal popularity of his music disproved the myth that Kenyan music could never compete with imported pop. Even long after his death, he is still widely regarded as one of the best rappers to emerge on the Kenyan hip hop scene. In 2017, he got nominated for the Mdundo Awards for Most Downloaded Hip-Hop Artist in 2017. He died in a car accident in 2003. Boomba Train was his last hit song
Fadhili William Mdawida (November 11, 1938 – February 11, 2001), often referred to simply as Fadhili William, was a Kenyan recording artist and composer who is most famous as the first person to record Adam Salim’s song “Malaika” which he recorded with his band The Jambo Boys around 1963.
Fadhili William was born to Halima Wughanga and Ramadhan Mwamburi in Taita-Taveta District near Mombasa. His father, who died when Fadhili was only seven, was a traditional musician. Like three of his siblings – Ali Harrison Mwataku, Esther John and Mumba Charo – he became a musician.
He started singing while in primary school in Taita. He went on to Government African School, in Pumwani in Nairobi. He then dropped out of Shimo la Tewa Secondary School, where he had joined Form Three, to pursue a musical career.
It was while at Pumwani, he said in an interview, that he fell in love with a beautiful girl, “an angel,” to whom he composed and recorded Malaika (Angel) to console her when she was given away to an older man who could pay a bride price. Malaika was recorded at the Equator Sound Studios under the guidance of Charles Worrod, who went on to promote and distribute the ballad.
Fundi Konde (August 24, 1924 – June 29, 2000) was a Kenyan musician. He was one of the first popular performers from that country, and was said to be the first electric guitarist from East Africa. His music utilized Swahili lyrics accompanied by a mixture of regional rhythms and imported rumba. His professional career began during World War II, when he performed for East African troops in South Asia. Returning home to Kenya, he made some of the earliest recordings from the region, including the hits “Mama Sowera”, “Majengo Siendi Tena”, “Kipenzi Waniua Ua” and “Jambo Sigara”. He continued to perform and record until 1963, when he retired until the early 1980s, when he began singing, composing and producing again.
He was born in 1924 in Mwabayanyundo village, Kilifi District. He represented the Giriama tribe. He died in 2000 at his home in Kibera, Nairobi.
George Ramogi (1945–1997) was a Kenyan musician, who empowered the traditional luobenga and rumba genre of music. Ramogi was known for his spur of the good life and his notable appearances at bars and clubs in western Kenya-Nyanza region. During the beginning of his career. Ramogi is believed to have been the real force behind “benga” as a genre.
Gloria Owendi, commonly referred to as Gloria Muliro (born 1 April 1980), is a Kenyan Gospel musician and songwriter. In 2005, she released her first studio album, titled Omwami Aletsa (The Lord is Coming). As of 2013, Muliro had four albums to her name, the most successful being Kibali (Mandate), which has the popular song “Sitolia” (I Won’t Cry) featuring Willy Paul. The album earned her six Groove Awards nominations. She went on to receive the female artist of the year award at the eighth Groove Awards, an event that was attended by President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta.
Jabali Afrika is a band formed in Nairobi, Kenya by former members of the Kenyan National Theatre. The band was founded Justo and Joseck Asikoye, with Victor Tsavani, Dumisizwe Bhembe and Victor Elolo, joining the band later. The band is known for its fusion of rock, reggae, and African percussion. Inspiration for Jabali Afrika’s original musical style came from Fundi Konde and George Mukabi, and the band incorporates customary instruments such as the Mbumbumbu bass drums, the sikuti drum and chivoti flute. Over the years, the band’s sound has evolved to incorporate influences from the Grateful Dead, Peter Tosh, Bob Marley, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Lucky Dube and Fela Kuti. The band has also collaborated with several artists including Samba Mapangala,Sanaipei Tande, Samaki Mkuu and Antonio Carmona of Ketama. Jabali Afrika began in the early ’90s, composed of dancers, singers, and drummers from the Kenyan National Theatre. The band chose its name from the Kiswahili word for “rock,” jabali, and included Afrika as a reminder of its heritage. Initially performing traditional Kenyan songs, the group gained the attention of the Kenyan National Talent Search, leading to international tours organized by African Heritage.The band would soon arrive in the United States and based itself in the Pittsburgh region. In 1996, the band gained attention by appearing in an episode of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, performing the song “Tree, Tree, Tree”
Jason Edward Dunford, OGW, OLY (born 28 November 1986), also known as Samaki Mkuu, is a Kenyan Olympic swimmer, media personality, rapper and entrepreneur. During his swimming career he was predominantly a butterfly and freestyle sprinter winning gold medals at the Commonwealth Games, Universiade, All-Africa Games and African Championships, and reaching finals at the Olympics, World Championships and Short Course World Championships. He also held African, Universiade and Olympic records. He has worked as a broadcast journalist for the BBC, is a co-founder and adviser to software company, Safi and currently serves as the CEO of Baila Entertainment whilst performing as Samaki Mkuu, one half of the rap duo Romantico & Samaki Mkuu.
Paul Julius Nunda (born 12 September 1979), better known by his stage name Jua Cali, is a Kenyan hip hop artist. In 2000, together with record producer Clemo, he founded Calif Records where he has been ever since. Jua Cali performs in Swahili and Sheng in a popular Kenyan style of rapping called genge.
I was born Paul Nunda on the 12th of September 1979.I started rapping when I was in Jamhuri high school but I was not that actively involved in music.After finishing school in 1998 thats when I got active into music.I hooked up with Clemo my childhood friend and started calif records in the year 2000.At first I was meant to be a producer and look for guys who would rap.We hooked up with a few guys but things did not work out coz they did not have faith in us.So with pressure from clemo and a few friends I was forced to pick up the mic myself.And in the year 2001 ‘JUACALI’ was born.Basically the name ‘JUACALI’ comes from my estate. It simply means ‘know California’ coz so many guys dont know where calif is.I released my first song ‘RUKA’ a dedication to Calif the same year which to our surprise went on to top the charts
Kavirondo is the former name of the region surrounding Kavirondo Gulf (now Winam Gulf) as well as of two native peoples living there under the regime of British East Africa (The “Nilotic Kavirondo” and the “Bantu Kavirondo”). Broadly, this was defined as those who dwelt in the valley of the Nzoia River, on the western slopes of Mount Elgon, and along the northeast coast of Victoria Nyanza.
Suggested etiologies of the name “Kavirondo” include
From local young warriors, armed with spears, bows, arrows, & clubs, who were observed to sit on their heels, which in Swahili is kaa virondo. Thus the region became Kavirondo, the inhabitants pejoratively called wa-Kavirondo: “people who sit on their heels”
From kaba-londo: In Buganda two unusual words related to royalty were combined, kabaka, the king & namu-londo, the stool used as throne on which the king is crowned.
Kennedy Ombima (born 7 May 1987), better known by his stage names King Kaka and Rabbit, is a Kenyan rapper. Kaka met Jorma Taccone, a member of The Lonely Island in February 2011 when Taccone visited Nairobi, Kenya as part of his trip for AFAR Magazine’s “Spin the Globe”. Sungura collaborated with Taccone to create a rap video that has over 1.2 million views. Taccone later wrote an article for AFAR Magazine documenting the experience with Sungura. In 2012, Rabbit launched his own clothing line dubbed Niko Kwa Jam Nakam.
With his 17-track album Tales of Kaka Sungura already out, Kaka stated that he was solely focused on promoting the album as well as shooting a few videos. “I cannot do another album until late next year. I give my all when I compile an album, that’s why I won’t rush into another album project.” In November 2012, he released a music video for his song “Adisia”.
Apart from his successful music career, Kaka is also a businessman and in early September 2015 he launched his purified water company known as Kaka Empire’s Majik Water using his music brand name as the official name of the product. He was married to Nana, with whom he has two children
Kleptomaniax is a rap group from Nairobi, Kenya. The group consists of three members: Roba (Robert Manyasa), Collo (Collins Majale) and Nyashinski (Nyamari Ongegu).
Kleptomaniax were formed in 1999, when they were still high school students at the Nairobi School. The group joined the Ogopa DJs label and released their first single, “Freak It” in 2002, which was followed by “Maniax Anthem” and “Haree.” In 2004 the group released another single “Tuendelee”, which became their biggest hit so far. The song was written as a response for the “Diss track” by various hip hop musicians (including Bamboo), who criticised the commercial Kapuka music style performed by Kleptomaniax among others.
Their debut album M4E (an abbreviation for Maniax Forever) was released in 2005. Later that year the group received an MTV Europe Music Awards nomination for the Best African Act, a category awarded for the first time, but won by Nigerian recording artist 2Face Idibia. In 2007 Kleptomaniax toured the USA. The group was managed by Fakii Liwali.
After 2007, the group had a break while their members engaged in solo projects. The group has since made a comeback but has left Ogopa DJs. The group released their second album NITT (Now Is The Time) in 2009. The group was believed to have disbanded after the release of their second album to pursue solo careers.
Influential group member Nyashinski made a come back with a bang in 2016 and his song ‘Malaika’ scooped a Mdundo Award for Most Dowloaded Male Single in 2017
Paul Otieno Imbaya (1973 – 25 December 2007), better known for his stage name Mighty King Kong, was a reggae musician from Kenya. He was born in Ugenya, Siaya District.
As a young child he suffered a severe polio and was disabled from the waist down. He went to Ambira Primary School, but dropped out at Standard Six following the death of his father. He moved to Kisumu city where he became a street kid and beggar.
In 1993 he moved to Nairobi. With the assistance of DJ Stone, a local deejay whom he had met in Kisumu, he was able to perform at Nairobi clubs on a weekly basis.
Few years later he moved to Mombasa and performed with bands like Them Mushrooms and Pressmen. Later on, he moved to Kampala, Uganda to perform with the popular Simba Ngoma band. In Kampala he earned enough money to record his first album. He went back to Nairobi where his album, titled Ladies Choice, was produced by Maurice Oyando, father of RV and radio host Tallia Oyando, of the Next Level studios. It was released in June 1999. His second album, Cinderella was released in 2001, again by Next Level studios.
Sarah Mukethe Kiatine (born 8 February 1994), better known by her stage name Monski, is a Kenyan hip hop rapper, singer and songwriter. She was crowned as the Unkut Hip-hop Award best female artist of the year in 2019
Musa Juma Mumbo (December 6, 1968 – March 15, 2011) was a rumba and Benga musician from Kenya. He was born to the second wife of his father, a policeman, and into a family of 18 children. He grew up in Homabay where he attended primary and secondary schools. He began singing and playing instruments at a young age. His first instruments were guitars and drums made from tins and strings. He was the bandleader, guitarist and composer for Orchestra Limpopo International. Most of his music was sung in Dholuo language. Some of his songs are a fusion of the Luo and Congolese musical styles. He also sang in Kiswahili and English.
He was born in Usonga, Siaya District (now Siaya County). Juma (or MJ as he was popularly referred to) ventured into music immediately after completing high school. It was a difficult decision because music was not paying in the 1980s in Kenya and it was not considered as a career. However, Musa’s determination could not be stopped by the societal view of music and he pursued his talents and interests. After a long struggle, MJ and his brother Omondi Tony (Anthony Omondi Mumbo) launched their band, Orchestra Limpopo International. Together they started playing rumba in small clubs in Nairobi and Kisumu. Their performances and compositions saw Orchestra Limpopo International gradually rise into national fame. Years later, the two brothers would separate and Omondi Tony turned to a solo career. Juma thrilled his fans with rumba style music laced with Congolese styles.
Michael Kennedy Claver professionally known as Naiboi is a Kenyan singer, songwriter, recording artiste, music producer and record label CEO. In 2014, he made the switch from being solely a music producer, under the moniker Rapdamu, to a recording artiste, and with the switch came a change of name to Naiboi. His collaborative records, “Welle Welle” in 2014 featuring Timmy Tdat and “Daktari” 2015 featuring Frasha gained him notoriety and recognition in the Kenyan music scene as a recording artiste of note.
Necessary Noize was a Kenyan hip hop group. It was originally composed of female MC/singer Nazizi Hirji, singer Kevin Wyre and rapper Bamzigi, though Bamzigi later left due to personal and label disputes. The group was formed in October 2000 and released their self-titled debut album in 2000 under Audio Vault Studios (now Blu Zebra). This contained the hits “Clang Clang,” and “La Di Da.” The group was formed in October 2000 and released their self-titled debut album in 2000 under Audio Vault Studios (now Blu Zebra), this contained the hits “Clang Clang,” and “La Di Da.”. They steadily grew in popularity and were later to release a second album “Necessary Noize II: Kenyan Gal, Kenyan Boy” in 2004 which included popular regional hits such as “Kenyan Gal, Kenyan Boy” and “Bless My Room” . They won 2 categories in the 2004 Kisima Music Awards, Best Music Video (for Gal/Boy) and Best Ragga Group. Although mainly hip hop based, the group also does some reggae and R&B tracks. They are appreciated for their socially conscious lyrics that deal with issues affecting youth such as AIDS, drugs and politics. They are seen as an antidote to the over-commercialization of urban music in Kenya.
Together with Ugandan ragga musician Bebe Cool, they have released music under the name East African Reggae Bashment Crew. They also have collaborated with the Tanzanian hip hop group Gangwe Mobb with “Tunajirusha” hit. Mizchif from Zimbabwe is a guest on the Necessary Noize debut album. Nazizi and Wyre also have done solo productions, before and during the existence of the group.
Jacob Obunga popularly known as Otile Brown is a Kenyan independent R&B singer, songwriter, guitarist and actor. He gained media attention after the release of his hit single “Imaginary Love” which features Khaligraph Jones.He released his debut studio album, Best of Otile Brown, in April 2017. The album was supported by the singles “Basi”, “Alivyonipenda”, “Shujaa Wako”, “DeJavu” and “Aiyolela”. Brown had also collaborated with artists such as Sanaipei Tande, and Barakah The Prince, King Kaka among others.
28. Princess Jully
Princess Jully (real name Lilian Auma Aoka) is a benga musician from Kenya. Lilian Auma Aoka was born in the village of Makalda in southern Nyanza, in southwestern part of Kenya. Her father died when she was one week old, leaving her mother, a small-scale farmer, as the family’s provider. Lilian was the youngest of nine children (six survived infancy). Her grandmother, Benta Nyar Kanyamkago Nyagolima, was the first woman chief in Nyanza Province and a respected singer and musician. Lilian attended school through Form One, the first year of secondary school in Kenya. On being a female in her village society, Jully has said:
“Then something unfortunate happened my mother could not afford to pay my school fees. To make matters worse, most people within my community had the notion that educating a girl was like watering someone else’s field, so boys were given the first priority. I was lucky to go up to Form One at Bikira Girls’ High School as many girls in my village did not get the same opportunity, but deep down I remained frustrated.”
Lilian became pregnant out of wedlock at a young age, and was rejected by the father. She soon thereafter met her husband, singer Julius Okumu (stage name Prince Jully), who accepted her pregnancy. After giving birth to her son Felix, she began to accompany Jully’s band as a backup singer
Swabri Mohammed (born 1 May 1981), better known by his stage name Redsan, is a Kenyan reggae and ragga musician. He is one of the most well renowned ragga and dancehall artists in East Africa. His popularity has extended to the rest of Africa, and parts of Europe, United States, and the Middle East.
Roger Whittaker (born 22 March 1936) is a Kenyan-British singer-songwriter and musician, who was born in Nairobi to English parents. His music is an eclectic mix of folk music and popular songs in addition to radio airplay hits. He is best known for his baritone singing voice and trademark whistling ability as well as his guitar skills.
He is widely known for his version of “Wind Beneath My Wings” (1982), as well as his own compositions “Durham Town (The Leavin’)” (1969) and “I Don’t Believe in ‘If’ Anymore” (1970). American audiences are most familiar with his 1970 hit “New World in the Morning” and his 1975 hit “The Last Farewell”, which is his only single to hit the Billboard Hot 100 (it made the Top 20) and also hit No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary chart. He is also known for his renditions of “Ding! Dong! Merrily on High” and “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” His final top-charting hit was “Albany”, which scored No. 3 in West Germany in 1982
Natasha Sanaipei Tande (born 22 March 1985), popularly known as Sana, is a Kenyan singer, songwriter, actress, karaoke host, radio personality and entertainer known for her sultry voice and Swahili lyricism. Born and raised in Mombasa, she rose to fame after winning the Coca-Cola Popstars (East Africa) talent search alongside two fellow contestants, Kevin Waweru and Pam Waithaka.
Following the disbandment of Sema, Sanaipei embarked on a solo music career, featuring in Kenyan rapper Jua Cali’s critically acclaimed hit single Kwaheri and collaborations with Madtraxx and Big Pin. Hot on the heels of Kwaheri, she released Najuta. She also ventured into radio, joining Capital FM Kenya in 2006 as a co-presenter on Eve D’Souza’s Hits Not Homework drive show and later Kiss 100 FM in 2007 to host the mid-morning show. Upon her departure from Kiss 100, she joined Easy FM (now known as Nation FM) in 2013, where her daily mid-morning show garnered the station’s largest listenership. In 2014, she released her hit single Mfalme wa Mapenzi as part of producer Wawesh’s Mahaba project, a showcase of Swahili love songs. The song achieved widespread critical acclaim for its well-crafted lyrics and tasteful visuals.
Sauti Sol are a Kenyan afro-pop band formed in Nairobi, Kenya by vocalists Bien-Aimé Baraza, Willis Chimano and Savara Mudigi in 2005. Initially an a cappella group, guitarist Polycarp Otieno joined before they named themselves Sauti Sol.
Sauti Sol released their debut studio album Mwanzo on 1 November 2008, to critical acclaim. Their second studio album, Sol Filosofia, was released on 25 February 2011, earning the group a number of accolades and nominations in the process. On 18 June 2012, the band released a self-titled extended play in collaboration with South African rapper and record producer Spoek Mathambo. Their third studio album, Live and Die in Afrika, was released online on 21 November 2015 as a free download, available for 48 hours as an early Christmas present
Linet Munyali (born 4 August 1987), professionally known as Size 8, is a Kenyan singer, songwriter and actress. Formerly a secular artist, Size 8 is known for her singles “Shamba Boy” and “Moto”. In April 2013, she released her first gospel single “Mateke”. As an actress, she had a small role in the legal comedy Mashtaka.
Stella Nyambura Mwangi (born 1 September 1986) is a Kenyan-Norwegian singer. Much of her music concerns the situation in her home country Kenya, and discrimination her family had to endure after moving to Norway in 1991. Her work has been used in films such as American Pie Presents: The Naked Mile and Save the Last Dance 2, and also in TV-series such as CSI: NY and Scrubs. In Norway, she won the Melodi Grand Prix 2011, and in that same year represented Norway at the Eurovision Song Contest 2011 in Düsseldorf, Germany.
Tony Nyadundo is a musician from Kenya. He performs the Ohangla a traditional style of music by the luo community. He is backed by the Ohangla Boys band. He is now branded the “King of Ohangla”. He was born in Kal in Tanzania. Tony’s twin sister died while he was young. His family moved to Nyahera, Kisumu District, Kenya in 1978 and later to Kongoni in Nzoia. He went to Kongoli Primary School and then in 1985 moved to Bukembe Secondary School but dropped out the next year due to lack of funds. He worked as a tailor until 1992.
Rosemary Wahu Kagwi, professionally known by her mononym Wahu, is a Kenyan singer-songwriter, former fashion model, actress and entrepreneur. She is married to fellow artist David Mathenge aka “Nameless” since 2005 and together they have two girls. She released her first single “Niangalie” which received positive reception all over Africa and the world at large. She is the inaugural recipient of the MTV Africa Music Awards 2008, for Best Female Artist category. Moreover, she has won the Pearl of Africa Music Awards, Chaguo La Teeniez Awards and Kisima Music Awards. In the acting industry, Wahu had a leading role in the television series Tazama. In 2017 she released a new gospel song “Sifa”.
Wilson Abubakar Radido is a Kenyan artist and songwriter from Nairobi. He is the chief executive officer and founder of Saldido international entertainment.
Paul was named male artist of the year at the 2013 Groove Awards alongside his mentor Gloria Muliro, who took the female artist of the year award. Some of his well-known singles are “I do” featuring Alaine from Jamaica, “ Njiwa” featuring Nandy from Tanzania, “Hallelujah” featuring Nandy, “Sikireti” featuring Cecil from Jamaica, “Nobody” featuring Yemi Alade from Nigeria, “Mmmh” featuring @rayvanny from Tanzania, “Jigi Jigi, Kanungo, Malingo”, and “You Never Know” which earned him recognition and a US tour.
He first gained recognition after recording the song “Sitolia” with Muliro which was an object of controversy after several claims by Willy that he was not earning much from the song because Muliro allegedly owned exclusive copyrights to the song. They settled their differences and recorded another hit song, “Kitanzi”. In 2012, he was nominated for the Kisima Music Awards’ Male Artist of the Year.
Kevin Waire, known by his stage name Wyre, is a Kenyan R&B and reggae musician. He is known for being a member of the groups Necessary Noize and East African Bashment Crew, as well as his solo career.
He has released two solo albums. The latest album, Ten Years Wiser, was named for his 10-year spanning career in music. As a solo artist, he has performed in various African countries, including Nigeria and Uganda. He has collaborated with various artists, including P-Square, 2Face Idibia of Nigeria. Other notable collaborations that he has done have been with Jamaica’s Alaine, Cecile, and Morgan Heritage.
He is reputed for his consistence and relevance in the music industry having maintained an industry presence actively since the late 90s. One of the ways Wyre has maintained this longevity is having several collaborations locally and internationally. Among the local Kenyan artists that he has collaborated with include Nazizi, Kidis, Prezzo, Khaligraph Jones, Vigeti, Nonini, JB Maina, Benjamin Kabaseke
Well known for his stage performance, alongside Ian and Qqu of N.I.X. He is undoubtedly one of Africa’s most entertaining performers.
He also worked as a producer at Tedd Josiah’s Blu Zebra Studios and has established his own record label Love Child Records where he has signed among others, Verbal, another Kenyan dance hall artist
The Wanyika bands refer to the various offshoots of the prominent Tanzanian/Kenyan band Simba Wanyika. These bands were all Kenya-based, although their central leaders – Wilson Kinyonga, George Kinyonga, Omar Shabani, John Ngereza and Issa Juma – all hailed from Tanzania. Listed here are also their Tanzania-based precursors.
Jamhuri Jazz Band was founded in Tanganyika in the late 1950s, and was one of the more popular Tanzanian music groups. Wilson Kinyonga & George Kinyonga joined it in 1966 and played with it for the next four years before leaving in December 1970 to found Arusha Jazz Band.
Arusha Jazz Band was founded in Arusha, Tanzania in 1970 by Wilson & George Kinyonga, along with their brother William Kinyonga and three other musicians.
Simba Wanyika, Wilson & George Kinyonga moved to Kenya in 1971 and changed the name Arusha Jazz Band to Simba Wanyika.
Les Wanyika. In 1978, a number of members including rhythm guitarist Omar Shabani quit Simba Wanyika and formed Les Wanyika, which also briefly recorded under the name Les Moto-Moto.
Orchestra Jobiso. Simba Wanyika was further diminished in 1980 when George Kinyonga quit and formed Orchestra Jobiso. He eventually rejoined Simba Wanyika.
Super Wanyika Stars. The remaining Jobiso members joined forces with former Les Wanyika vocalist Issa Juma to form another “Wanyika” splinter group, variously entitled Super Wanyika Stars, Wanyika Stars, Super Wanyika, Wanyika Super Les Les etc.
Simba Wanyika Original. Simba Wanyika added “Original” to their name to prevent confusion with Les Wanyika and its splinter group, Super Wanyika Stars.
MAS System, created by guitarist Abu Omar when he was laid off from Simba Wanyika after they decided to reduce from seven members to five.
Mavalo Kings, created by former members of Simba Wanyika and Les Wanyika.
Everest Kings, consists of various Wanyika veterans.
The Cheza Kama wewe hitmaker grew up in Umoja 1 estate in Nairobi. He was brought up by a single mother. He has an amazing bond with his mother who is also currently serving as his manager. The two are close and his mother is his number one fan. She is determined to support her younger son’s career and guide him through life. His older brother is also a mentor to him. He has always supported and encouraged TJ.
If there’s one sure thing from his background it’s the fact that he has a very strong support system. He has people who are ready to guide and support him as he navigates in the tumultuous music industry.
Born in Kasaye village – Nyakach, near the lakeside city of Kisumu, Kenya, Suzanna Owiyo was introduced to music at a tender age by her grandfather who was a prolific Nyatiti player. As she grew up, it was her privilege to watch him play to elated audiences not knowing that one-day music would be her calling in life.
In high school, her talent enabled her school to win many trophies during the provincial and national music festivals. After high school in 1998, she joined a Nairobi based singer Sally Oyugi as a back up vocalist. Two years later she parted ways with Sally to team up with a local band in Nairobi; Bora Bora sound and later on went back to sing in Kisumu. It was here that a young business entrepreneur with a keen ear for music spotted her talent and offered her, her first guitar. She then went back to Nairobi and undertook music lessons at the Kenya Conservatoire of Music whilst continuing to sing at a club in Karen.
Hubert Nakitare, better known as Nonini is one of Kenya’s most famous Urban Music Artistes. He is the Godfather of Genge (Mass Music), and the one artiste who brought to life one of Kenya’s biggest and most influential recording studios (Calif Records), Nonini has been in the industry for 11 years now signed to Pro Habo Records.
Nonini (born October 2, 1982), whose real name is Hubert Nakitare, is a Kenyan Genge/Hip Hop artist. He was introduced to the Kenyan urban music scene through his debut single “Nonini ni Nani?” His steady rise to national and regional popularity did not begin however until his 2002 track “Manzi wa Nairobi,” a song which praised the beauty of Kenyan women and follow-up single “Wee Kamu”. He went on to release his debut album Hanyaring Game in late 2004 which included the hit “Keroro” a sheng term for beer.
Daudi Kabaka (1939–2001) was a Kenyan vocalist and musician. The type of music he is known for is called Benga, a popular style in East Africa. His best-known songs include “African Twist”, “Harambee Harambee” and “Western Shilo”.
His song “Helule Helule” was covered by The Tremeloes and it became a hit in United Kingdom. Daudi Kabaka is also known for his Kenyan classic “Harambee Harambee” which largely reflects the aspirations of post-colonial Kenya to build their nation. One of his famous songs; “Msichana wa Elimu” is still popularly played in the Kenyan media houses as it advises about marriage. He collaborated with John Nzenze on three songs: “Masista”, “Bachelor Boy” and “Nyumba za Tobacco”. These songs were released by Jambo Records and became hits. Kabaka released the album Pesa Maradhi Ya Moyo with Maroon Commandos in 1986.
Lydia Achieng Abura (She was born in Eldoret, Kenya, died 20 October 2016) was a Kenyan singer, who performed Afro-jazz, Afro-fusion and gospel music.
She debuted with a gospel album called I Believe around 1990. Her following albums were Way Over Yonder and Sulwe. In 2002, when she had shifted to Afro-jazz, she released the album Maisha. Later she released the album Spirit Of a Warrior. Her last album, titled Dhahabu Yangu was released in 2007 by the Blu Zebra label, owned by Tedd Josiah.
She was the voice of Crow from Tinga Tinga Tales.
Abura won the Kora Award in 2004 for Best East African Female; the award was shared with Tsedenia Gebremarkos of Ethiopia. She was a UNDP Goodwill ambassador. She toured abroad, for example in Spain.
She was part of the Divas of The Nile supergroup that featured four Kenyan female musicians. The others were Suzzana Owiyo, Mercy Myra and Princess Jully. The group performed at the Festival Mundial in Tilburg, Netherlands in 2007.
She acted as a principal of the East African Project Fame (TPF) in 2008. She campaigned for the Global Call to Action Against Poverty. She was among the Kenyan artistes sponsored by the Alliance Française in Nairobi. Abura was nominated for the social responsibility category at the 2008 Kisima Music Awards.
She had an MSc. degree in Philosophy and Environmental studies. She had one child. Abura died on 20 October 2016 after an illness at Kenyatta National Hospital. Kenyan musician Abbi was formerly Abura’s backing vocalist before he became a prominent solo artist. Achieng Abura biography | Last.fm By Achieng Abura Container: Last.fm Year: 2016 URL: https://www.last.fm/music/Achieng+Abura/+wiki
He was born in Matadi in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo. He moved to Kinshasa, where he finished secondary school, in the early 1970s (or in 1977 according to one source, but that year is contradicted by other information in the same and other sources). After finishing school he was a member of several 1970s Kinshasa bands: he sang with Super Tukina who recorded his first hit, “Satonge,” then he joined Super Bella Bella alongside Jean Bosco and Mongoley, a guitarist formerly of Orchestre Lipua Lipua, and he also played with Bariza and Saka Saka. Mapangala moved to Uganda in 1975 where he and some other Congolese musicians formed the Les Kinois band. They moved to Nairobi in 1977. He formed a new band, the Orchestra Virunga, in 1981. The band is named after Virunga volcano located in Congo.
Orchestra Virunga released their first album, It’s Disco Time with Samba Mapangala in 1982. In the early 1990s the group gained some international popularity through album releases like “Virunga Volcano” and “Feet on Fire”.
He has continued to record, and is still one of the leading musicians in East Africa. He is now based in the United States . Mapangala began performing with Occidental Brothers Dance Band International in the fall of 2009. Mapangala is considered one of the golden era of Kenyan Lingala music acts alongside Les Mangelepa, Baba Gaston and Super Mazembe. At the 2004 Tanzania Music Awards his album Ujumbe was nominated in the best African Album category
Yaseen Mohamed was a popular Taarab artist born in Mombasa, Kenya in the 1920s. In the early ’50s, while working for Assanand & Sons, a Mombasa record shop and music studio, Yaseen Mohamed learnt how to play the Taisho koto – a Japanese string instrument. The Taisho koto was introduced into Kenya in the 1940s and Yaseen helped popularise it. It was first used acoustically and later amplified. It has been referred to as a type-writer banjo’, with strings being stopped by an armature akin to a typewriter’s, with a piano-like outline of black and white keys. Yaseen had his hands full, recording his own music, performing as a session musician, acting as a studio technician, and scouting new talent for the in-house label, Mzuri. His band, Yaseen and Party, spearheaded innovation in Mombasa taarab by using instruments such as the Taisho koto, the accordion and the clavioline which came before the synthesizer.
Yaseen’s arrangements had influences from Indian and Egyptian film melodies, the twist, mambo, samba, rhythm and blues, and jazz. He would then use Swahili poetry to sing about his life, love and sometimes political issues in the region. Their small band was starkly different from the large orchestra approach of taarab music present during the 1940s and 1950s.
Yaseen’s songs were often accompanied by his wife Saada who was credited as Mimi in earlier records. Yaseen and Saada had their firstborn in 1962 which became a turning point in Yassen’s musical career as he then began to work regular jobs and music remained a hobby. Here you can hear him singing with his wife about their first child while incorporating a popular Swahili “Yaseen Mohamed: Kenya’s Japanese Harp Player – Hiistoriya,” Hiistoriya, September 16, 2021, http://hiistoriya.com/yaseen-mohamed. lullaby as the chorus in ‘Nimepata Mwana’.