Sauti Sol is an award-winning afro pop group from Kenya. The winner of Best African Group at the African Muzik Magazine Awards (2015 AFRIMMA) also won an MTV EMA Award for Best African Act in 2014. Comprising of Bien-Aime Baraza, Willis Austin Chimano, Polycarp Otieno, and Savara Mudigi; the group mixes their soulful voices with vocal harmonies, guitar riffs, and drum rhythm. Sauti Sol blends warm resonant pop with traditional Kenyan influences.
Their mélange of energetic rhythms has promoted the group to become one of Africa’s most celebrated and East Africa’s pioneers of a fresh sound that has inspired the sprouting of many other bands from East Africa.
Sauti Sol’s two albums, Mwanzo (2008) and Sol Filosofia (2011) have received high acclaim on Kenyan charts and gained international attention with shows in Africa (including their 2011 celebrated concert performance in Kenya with Ladysmith Black Mambazo), Europe, and the US, as well as television appearances and various nominations. In June 2012, Sauti Sol released Sauti Sol, a self-titled EP, and collaborative effort with South African avant-garde innovative rapper/producer Spoek Mathambo.
The band has produced their brand new third album, Live and Die in Afrika – Released in November 2015.
Sauti Sol has steadily built their professional international experience. In 2015 Sauti Sol’s notable tours and performances include the Las Vegas Sauti Sol Valentines Show at Hard Rock Café, Kenya’s Koroga Festival, Tanzania’s Jembeka Party, and Dubai’s Industry Nite, among others. In 2014, they performed at Blankets & Wine at 50 Festival (Kenya), and Zanzibar International Film Festival, among shows in Europe. In 2013, they also headlined at Boombaataa Festival (Kenya) and the City of Stars festival (Malawi).
A tour through Europe in 2010 took Sauti Sol to Sweden where they made a television appearance and recorded their sophomore album, Sol Filosofia. In February 2012 they debuted at the Festival sur le Niger in Mali where they performed alongside some of their African idols: Habib Koite, Salif Keita, and Lokua Kanza. In 2011 and 2012 the band performed at the South by Southwest Music Festival (SXSW) in Austin, Texas. In June same year, they performed at the Karlovy Vary International lm festival and Colours of Ostrava 2012, the Czech Republic’s biggest music festival. Between Sept-Dec 2012, Sauti Sol signed with Kenya’s Niko Na Safaricom Live Tour transporting their renowned electric live performances to their fans in major Kenyan towns and cities.
Sauti Sol has also performed at widely televised events including the MTV Africa Music Awards (2014), Kenya’s 51st Independence Day (2014), the inauguration of Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta (2013), Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards held in Nigeria (2013) and at Big Brother Africa Reality Show in South Africa (2012).
In 2015 BBC’s 1Xtra named Sauti Sol among the 5 Top African Acts to Watch. The BBC also interviewed Sauti Sol for the 2015 BBC Club Africa series and documentary – part of the BBC’s ‘A Richer World’ season for BBC World Service Radio, World TV, and 1Xtra. Winners Best Video in Kenya for Sura Yako at 2015 Bingwa Music Awards. In 2014, Sauti Sol made history as the first Kenyan to win Best African Act at the 2014 MTV Europe Awards (EMA). “Nishike” Sauti Sol music video was declared the Most Watched Video in Kenya by Google while receiving numerous nominations including East Africa’s Most Gifted Music Video at the 2014 Channel O Music video Awards (CHOMVA14). Winners SOMA 2014 for Best Use of Social Media in Entertainment. Winners SOMA 2013 Artist of the Year Award. Winners East Africa’s Most Gifted Music Video at 2012 CHOMVA with “Shukuru” featuring AY.
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