Saturday, November 15, 2014

Afro-fusion gaining a foothold in Kenya…….Here are the Top Afro-Fusion Artists In Kenya

Afro-fusion is fast gaining currency in Kenya. Most lovers of this genre will attest to the growth that has been experienced in the recent past with the entrant of new artists. Afro-fusion is a blend of African traditional music laced with pop, folk and Euro styles. This genre that has been popularized with the likes of Winyo, Makadem and Abura is associated with the affluent and foreigners. Here are some of the established Kenyan Afro-fusion artists.
Suzanna Owiyo: A cut above the rest
She is one of the most celebrated afro-fusion musician in Kenya today. Her sultry soul strong vocals backed up with unparalleled stage performance bellows her immense talent. Before she ventured as a solo act, the Kisumu 100 hit maker was a backup singer for Sally Oyugi and Bora Bora band. To spice her music and give it that authentic African touch, Suzanne Owiyo uses traditional instruments like the nyatiti and orutu. The veteran artists whose music is mostly in her native dholuo dialect has traveled far and wide wowing African music lovers with her blend of music. The humble Afro-fusion musician has featured such greats as the legendary Zimbabwe Oliver Mtukudzi, DRC Mbilia Bel on her latest album. Her crowning moment came when she gave a sterling performance in London to mark Nelson Mandela 90th Birthday in 2008.
Asali Msanii: Her voice is akin Honey
Live performance is for a select few and Asali Msanii falls in that category. Her voice like her name Asali-honey in English- is sweet to the ear. The multi-talented musician, poet, actress cum songwriter effortlessly blends afro-jazz and spoken word making her artistry the envy of her contemporaries. Asali Msanii performance at the Harare International Festival of Arts was electrifying lending credence that she is one of most promising afro-fusion from Kenya. Some of her hits include Asali Tungu, Sauti, Moyo and among others.
Ohanglaman Makadem: The full Package
He is a vocalist extraordinaire, outstanding performer and his brilliance in songwriting is incomparable. Makadem is a reincarnation of the legendary Nigerian Fela Kuti when he steps on stage to pelt his songs in his native Luo dialect. Ohanglaman as he is also known spices his music with different genres to give the rhythm that contemporary touch. The artist who first came to the public limelight in 1999 courtesy of his hit single Mr. Lolova has toured in European cities performing in well attended concerts. The prolific guitarist songs are laced with conscious political undertones on various ills that bedevil African countries.
Wakake: World class Percussionists
He is arguably the most accomplished percussionists and musician on this side of the Sahara. He has backed world class acts like renowned U.S.A Sax player Gerald Albright, the mercurial guitarist Chuck Loeb among other great names. The Afro-fusion artist musician plays music that touches issues that afflict the common man in Kenya.
Kambua: The Gospel Afro-star
She has many success feathers in her cap. The Afro fusion gospel artist voice is priceless and her videos are of the highest quality. Kambua rise to fame was hastened by her stint on the popular gospel music show Kubamba and Inuka where she was the host. Her melodious voice has seen her land commercial voice over with Mumias Sugar, Sunlight and Delmonte. Some of her compositions include Umitenda Mema, Bado nasimama among many other hits.
Achieng Abura: The Afro fusion Veteran
The veteran afro-fusion musician journey started in way back in the 90s. Her soulful voice and deep conscious songs saw her scoop the Best East African Female in the 2004 Kora Award that she co-shared with Ethiopian Tsedenia Gebremarkos. Her shows in the diaspora including the Festival Mundial in Netherlands have received rave reviews from music critics. Achieng Abura has in the best been engaged by East African Tusker Project fame as a principal. The artist has been involved in fighting poverty through Global Call to Action Against Poverty. She is the Goodwill ambassador for UNDP.
Abbi: Taking Afro fusion to a new level.
He stands out as one of the leading afro fusion artist in the country. Abbi musical journey started in the 1993 were he was part of the gospel accapella group The Boyz that was to rebrand itself to Safari. He was to join Achieng Abura where he further honed his skills before he went solo. In 2003 he released his debut album Mudunia that earned him two Kisima Music Awards for Best male and Best Promising artist. Abbi Nyinza has travelled widely with backed by Kikwetu band performing in well attended concerts. He is comfortable singing in English, Swahili and in native Kenyan languages.

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