- The African beats and sweet lyrics of Sura Yako put a wide smile on any one’s face and tremor down and through your torso to get up, throw caution to the wind and get down to shake a leg. So the lyrics go:
Nimekuchagua wewe, nikupende
Mama, sitaki mwingine;
Aushi usiniache, usinitende
Mama, usipende mwingine
Moyo wangu ni mwepesi
Umenikalia chapati, nafanya vituko kama chizi…..
All Kenyans across the divide, whether young or old, poor or moneyed, pastor or drunk fella know the song. In social event such as weddings, the introduction of the song gets the crowds down in a frenzy especially the sweet African dance to the sweet flowing lyrics of the chorus:
Sura yako mzuri mama, aaaaaah [Your face is beautiful, woman]
Mzuri mama…[So beautiful]
Na tabasamu lako mama… [And your smile sweet like a flower…]
Sauti Sol, an all men’s band made up of 4 is definitely going places with their unique way of presentation, with each production a new revelation to music lovers and enthusiasts. Initially a capella group, it evolved into an afro-beat heart-throb that continuously hit our airwaves and media. Three members of the group (Chimano, Mudigi and Baraza) met and formed a band back in Upperhill High school in 2005. Another member joined them later (Otieno) and together they formed Sauti Sol, and together they performed and grew in the profession. Not only are they creative, but have sharp brains as graduates from various Kenyan Universities.
Sura Yako is just another number to their growing songs which are coming as fast as they are consumed by a hungry following. The whole branding effort, from identifying a unique name, a market niche, creative production and well orchestrated tours and performance make the band a success story today.In a chronological order, here is a summary of their hit albums, from debut to date:
- Mwanzo (2008)
- Sol Philosophia (2011)
- Live and Die in Afrika (2015)
Who makes Sauti Sol?
The unique strengths and contribution of each of the for guys that make Sauti Sol have contributed immensely to their success and stability. Watching them perform a live gig is just organismic and immensely satisfying especially for those who seek raw, masculine performance that involves muscle, sweat, moves and of course vocals.
Mudigi beats the drums. A vocalist, producer and actor, he fits his role in the Band perfectly to enable it reach such high heights. A B.Com graduate from Africa Nazarene University of E. Africa (2012), his skills in as an accomplished producer has enabled to maintain its edge in its productions (albums). As a producer, his contribution to the industry remain outstanding, and is recognized with other big names that make the entertainment industry in music production.
Willis Austin Chimano
Austin is quickly recognizable from his flamboyance and deep voice. A saxophone player and vocalist, he brings another unique dimension to the dynamic group with his creative contribution. A University of Nairobi graduate (Journalism and Media), Austin stands out distinguished in style, performance and eloquence.
Polycarp is synonymous with the guitar. An enthusiast of the instrument from early life and he developed to master it. a lover of music like a second nature, his passion and mastery of playing it like a pro earned him the name Fancy Fingers. You can’t miss his signature style, and how the guitar synchronizes with the drum rhythm and vocals of the band. Behind the artistry and wizardly is a level-headed man with a degree in Actuarial Science from JKUAT! Eish……
Biggie Bien is a journalism graduate from USIU, where he graduated back in 2011. He is not only a song writer, but also a vocalist and guitarist. He always works the keyboard, a creative man indeed. His inclination to women in his compositions saw great characterization to Lazizi, Mama Papa and Zosi all which he effected his writing prowess. I visualize him already in giving life and personality to the epic, Sura Yako.
The Band’s Achievement
For a band brimming with talent,experience, strong personalities and not short of ambitions, their achievements from time of formation to date.With 3 albums under the belt, Sauti Sol been on a success. in 2011, they scooped the Best Kisima Music Award for a single hit called Come Home. Another single hit wonder Gentleman, released in 2012 after collaborating with P-Unit (damn good song) was an anthem back then, recognisable from the sweet rhythm and vocal flow of rap and RnB. Sura Yako n most downloaded single in 2015 in the Mdundo Awards. The video for the song was the winner in Pulse Music awards, deservedly! In Africa and across the globe, the group is recognised and being nominated and awarded in various music forums such as the MTV awards, African Music Awards (MAMAs), BET Awards, Chagua La Teeniez Awards, Kisima Music Awards, Kora Awards, Pulse Music Awards, Nigeria Entertainment Awards, MTV Europe Music Awards, KORA Awards amongst others. The sky is the limit for Sauti Sol.
Thinking ahead and thinking big, the band is working well on its strategies especially on collaborations. Melanin, another controversial hit by Sauti Sol featuring Patoranking shows the ambitions of the band to collaborate with other artists globally to attain a global reach and exposure.
This will definitely work well for them. With a well crafted brand that has global recognition, commercial endorsement such as EABL’s Chrome. Bigger things would be coming for the band, especially with the influence it has on social media and fashion sense.