KENYAN AFRO-POP BAND SAUTI-SOL
I was thrilled by the song titled Suzanna sung by East African Musicians called Sauti-Sol. This song actually was soul lifting for me while I was enjoying my leisure period and thanks to my friend for sharing the song with me because I really enjoyed it. So, I said to myself I need to share this jarring band and everything I found out about them with you, I shouldn't be the only one to benefit from this.
Photo Credit Afrovideo
Sauti Sol are a Kenyan afro-pop band formed in Nairobi Kenya by vocalists Bien-Aimé Baraza, Willis Chimano and Savara Mudigi in 2005. Sauti Sol released their debut studio album Mwanzo on November 1st 2008, to critical acclaim. Their second studio album, Sol Filosofia, was released on 25th February 2011, earning the group a number of accolades and nominations in the process.
HISTORY(SOURCE FROM WIKIPEDIA)
The band was formed in 2005 as an Acapella group by Baraza, Chimano and Savara, who had met at the Upper Hill High School and performed in Voices in the Light, a music group at the school. They then met guitarist Otieno, who attended Strathmore School at the Alliance Française in Nairobi, where they would frequent and decided to form Sauti (Swahili for "sound") and immediately wrote their first song, "Mafunzo ya Dunia" (Literally: lessons of the world), which would later feature in their debut studio album Mwanzo. The band later added the Spanish word "Sol" (sun) to their name and formed Sauti Sol (supposed to mean "voices in the sun"). In 2006, the band participated in the Spotlight on Kenyan Music competition, hosted by the Alliance Française in Nairobi. They were included in the album compilation, recording and later got signed to Penya Records. The four members all completed their university education in Kenya. Baraza studied journalism at the United States International University, while Savara studied commerce and finance at African Nazarene University. Chimano studied journalism at the University of Nairobi, while Otieno studied actuarial science at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.
ABOUT BAND MEMBERS
Bien -Aimee ( Photo credit Bonnita on safari)
BIEN-AIME (French for beloved) BARAZA is a vocalist, songwriter and guitarist. His style of singing is soulful and his songwriting skills are celebrated by many. Since Sauti Sol’s inception in 2006, Bien-Aime has remained active in the group and part of the creation of Sauti Sol's two albums: Mwanzo (2008) and Sol Filosofia (2011). Bien-Aime occasionally writes songs for other artists like Elani, Amos & Josh and Wendy Kimani. He says of songs from Sauti Sol’s first two albums: ”Mwanzo and Sol Filosofia”, “I love to write songs. And women inspire me. My thought process equates songs to women; to an extent I call our songs my women. Lazizi is the hot girl at the bar. Zosi is the good sweet girl who goes to church. Mama Papa and Soma Kijana are the voices of my mother.
Willis Chimano ( image from instagram)
WILLIS CHIMANO is a vocalist, guitar and saxophone player. His deep voice and flamboyant style makes him stand out in the group. Before the formation of Sauti Sol, Chimano contested and won in the annual Fête de la Musique music competition at the French Cultural Centre, while studying French. After the competition Chimano went to Paris for a two-week experience where he got to sample new music translations. Since Sauti Sol’s inception in 2006, Chimano has remained active in the group and part of the creation of Sauti Sol two albums: Mwanzo (2008) and Sol Filosofia (2011). He is currently involved as a guitarist and producer.
Polycarp Otieno ( Photo credit Mudundo)
POLYCARP OTIENO is a guitarist and producer. His signature style – guitar riffs blends with the group’s mix of soulful vocal harmonies and drum rhythm. His love for the guitar started early when he attended free guitar lessons at All Saints Cathedral. The lessons were terminated soon after but he continued to play at the French Cultural Centre (FCC), where he studied French. Since Sauti Sol’s inception in 2006, Polycarp has remained active in the group and part of the creation of Sauti Sol two albums: Mwanzo (2008) and Sol Filosofia (2011). He is currently involved as a guitarist and producer in the band’s final production of their upcoming album. Polycarp has also produced music for several acclaimed musicians including Suzanna Owiyo and Dela. He says of his career advancement and experience from being involved in Sauti Sol’s first two albums: Mwanzo and Sol Filosofia, “Since my childhood days, I have loved music. In fact, it was my best subject in class while at primary school. At some point, I even made guitars out of containers and strings, not knowing that I would one day be a guitarist.”
Savara Mudigi (Photo credit Instagram)
SAVARA MUDIGI is a vocalist, produce, drumme, Dj and actor. His versatility in the band has played an instrumental role during tour and in the establishment on their imprint label: Sauti Sol Entertainment.
Since Sauti Sol’s inception in 2006, Savara has remained active in the group and part of the creation of Sauti Sol two albums: Mwanzo (2008) and Sol Filosofia (2011). He is currently the main producer working on the band’s upcoming album. Inspired by Sauti Sol’s first two albums: Mwanzo and Sol Filosofia, Savara says, “I write music differently as compared to any other artists out there. Much as my music will rule the world, heroism and power are at the least of my priorities. I simply want people to feel what I feel when I am doing my music.”
Savara has produced most of the songs from Sauti Sol’s new album #LiveandDieinAfrika working closely with Polycarp Otieno aka Fancy Fingers. He occasionally produces for numerous artists like Elani and is constantly networking with international producers and DJ's.
MUSIC CAREER, NOMINATION AND AWARDS
Photo credit Pinterest
Their first two albums „Mwanzo“ and Sol Fillosofia“, which were produced by Penya Records, obtained a lot approval and successfully placed thems in the Kenyan charts. Through numerous festival-performances and TV-appearances in Africa, Europe and the USA, the band gradually started to attract international attention and was finally awarded with a MTV Europe Music Award in the category “Best African Act” – a prize that marked the bands international breakthrough.
The third album “Live and Die in Africa” was published in November 2015 and was produced under the bands own Label “Sauti Sol Entertainment”. During the first 48 hours, the record was available for free download worldwide, an offer, which was used 400.000 times. The increasing success then enabled the band to extend it's international presence, which is why “Sauti Sol” was able to perform at big Events like the Expo in Milan or at the „Global Citizen Festival“ together with artists like Pearl Jam and Coldplay-frontman Chris Martin in 2015. This year, the band was over-heaped with nominations and awards and were appointed to be the best African band by the African Muzik Magazine Awards (AFRIMA) and the MTV Africa Music Awards.
Through their inimitable sound, their harmonies and their energetic rhythms, the four musicians wrote music history and breathed new life into the African music scene. This is why “Sauti Sol” today is a celebrated band and an important role model for a lot of up-and-coming talents in Africa, who, just as “Sauti Sol” once did, dream of a successful international career.
That is all about Sauti-Sol guys, download their songs on Google and enjoy yourself. Comment below your favorite songs and share this post. Thank You.