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Who was Ayub Ogada

The only man to have taken Kenyan musical culture to new heights

18-02-2021 di redazione

Job Seda aka Ayub Ogada, born in Mombasa in 1956 but originally from the Lake Victoria region bordering Uganda and who passed away in 2019, has been recognised as one of the most influential musical artists of the last two decades in the Dark Continent and has been included in the list of the best African composers and performers, along with sacred monsters of contemporary music such as Angelique Kidjo, Lokua Kanza, Femi Kuti and Sally Nyolo.
The first Kenyan to receive this award, Ogada began his career in the 1980s with the group African Heritage, combining the tradition of 'luo' music with rock and soul.
Then as a solo artist he went on to combine modern sounds with an exploration of Kenyan folk, using popular and ancient instruments.
This is how success came in England, thanks to Peter Gabriel's very attentive record label "Real World", which had already launched his Ugandan friend Geoffrey Oriema. In 1993, the first album 'En mana kuoyo' was released on the British label, followed in 2000 by 'I dreamed Africa'.
Then, in 2005, a song that went around the world, 'Koth biro', which became the soundtrack for the film 'The Tenacious Gardener', based on the book by John Le Carrè. "Koth biro", a masterpiece of refinement and emotional tension, also ended up in the Mexican film "The blue room" and in several compilations of African music, and Ogada's name became a cult in South Africa and other countries on the continent.
After a few years around the world, Ogada returned to live in Kenya in 2007 and released the album 'Tanguru'. Then back to Europe (residency in France, land of African exiled volunteer musicians) with the great accolade of hearing his "Koth biro" at the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics during the award ceremony of legendary cross-country skier Kipchoge Keino, broadcast in place of the Kenyan national anthem.
Recently, American hip-hop artist Kanye West used samples of 'Koth Biro' for one of his international hits.
For all those 'sick' of Africa and lovers of the enveloping sounds that seem to be part of the nature of this continent, we recommend listening to Ogada, and his wonderful 'Kothibiro'.

 

TAGS: ayub ogadakenyan musicianmusica kenyamusica bengatradizione kenya

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