If you follow the Kenyan music scene, chances are you know of the band Sauti Sol. The group began as a a Capella group at Upper High School. They named themselves Sauti Sol, which means “Voice of the Sun”. After meeting their guitarist Otieno, the group shifted to a full band, incorporating their love for harmony and passion for instrumental music. The band’s sound incorporates a range of musical influences by artists such as Lokua Kanza, Fadhili Williams, Daudi Kabaka, Fally Ipupa, as well as American artists Coldplay and Jason Mraz. Their lyrics pull from their lives growing up in Kenya, in particular the choices and challenges that the Kenyan youth face on a daily basis.
After performing at the Spotlight, a Kenyan music competition, the band quickly got signed to a label and began working on their first debut album. Sauti Sol released their first debut album in November of 2008 titled ‘Mwanzo’. Three years later, the group followed up on their debut with their second recording ‘Sol Filosofia’ which landed them a number of awards and recognition. Their third album ‘Live and Die in Afrika’ was released in 2015 and the band is currently touring internationally.
Awards and Recognition
Sauti Sol has had an amazing run over the last few years and have built a name for themselves both in their home country of Kenya and globally. After touring Europe in 2010, they made their American debut at South by Southwest Music Festival (SXSW) in Austin, Texas in 2011. From nominations at the 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards, to receiving the Best Group Award in 2011 at the Kenyan CHAT awards, Sauti Sol continues to make waves in the music scene.
The SOMA SOMA Initiative
The band recognizes how influential they are and in 2012, they decided to take their fame and fortune to the next level by forming the SOMA SOMA Initiative. This peer to peer program offers mentorship for school children throughout Kenya. Focusing on career talks and leadership workshops, Sauti Sol has reached hundreds of students and teachers over the years with their program. To learn more about this initiative, or to keep up with their cause, visit their Facebook Page.
The Future of Sauti Sol
Sauti Sol recently sat down with Star Kenya to talk about how they plan to setup their future tours. The band recognizes that the fans want to see their live shows, but wouldn’t commit on a standard format for future tours saying that “we may not represent ourselves as this type of tour, as a compass tour, or other kind of tour, but we have to find a way to reach out to our fans.”
As the music scene continues to explode throughout Kenya, Sauti Sol knows that they are in a unique position to help influence, change, and empower the next generation of Kenyans through inspirational music. Combined with the SOMA SOMA initiative, international tours and a deep passion for music, we can only expect to see the brightest of futures for these four talented artists.