We bring to you a detailed biography of the popular African band mfrom Kenya. Sauti Sol is one of the best bands ever in Africa with amazing music and hits to their name. Below you will find a bio documentary on each of the band’s members; songs, background, personal life and more including social media accounts. Enjoy the piece below
Table Of Contents
- All To Know About Sauti Sol Band Members
- Sauti Sol Members Bio
- Bien-Aime Baraza biography
- Polycarp Otieno Biography
- Savara Mudigi Biography
- Willis Austin Chimano Biography
- THE BAND BACKGROUND AND HISTORY
- CAREER AND SUCCESS
- Sauti Sol Awards
- Sauti Sol Songs (Singles)
All To Know About Sauti Sol Band Members
Sauti Sol is a Kenyan afro-pop band formed in Nairobi by vocalists Bien-Aimé Baraza, Willis Chimano and Savara Mudigi in 2005. Initially an a cappella group, guitarist Polycarp Otieno joined before they named themselves Sauti. Sauti Sol released their debut studio album Mwanzo on 1 November 2008, to critical acclaim. Their second studio album, Sol Filosofia, was released on 25 February 2011, earning the group a number of accolades and nominations in the process.
The band has had successful tours in Africa and Europe, topped Kenyan charts and gained international attention with shows in Europe and the US, as well as television appearances and various accolades and nominations, including their 2011 concert performance in Kenya with South African a cappella group Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The band has also received both local and international accolades and nominations like; Kisima Music Awards, Channel O Music Video Awards, MTV Europe Music Award for Best African Act and BET Awards 2015.
Sauti Sol Members Bio
Bien-Aime Baraza biography
Bien-Aime Baraza is a vocalist, songwriter and guitarist. His style of singing is soulful and his songwriting skills celebrated by many.
Since Sauti Sol’s inception in 2006, Bien-Aime has remained active in the group and part of the creation of Sauti Sol two albums: Mwanzo (2008) and Sol Filosofia (2011). Bien-Aime occasionally writes songs for other artists like Elani, Amos & Josh and Wendy Kimani.
He says of songs from Sauti Sol’s first two albums: Mwanzo and Sol Filosofia, “I love to write songs. And women inspire me. My thought process equates songs to women; to an extent I call our songs my women. Lazizi is the hot girl at the bar. Zosi is the good sweet girl who goes to church. Mama Papa and Soma Kijana are the voices of my mother.
“While on stage, these hit singles are among my trophies. Some women like Wera, Subira, Mapacha, Awinja and Asubuhi are wife material–girls who knew me in the hood before the lights, camera and action. They remind me of Sauti Sol days before success and the magical struggle that our music has been. They are show for sacrifice and represent the road we’ve treaded.”
Bien-Aime studied Journalism and Media Studies at the United States International University and graduated in 2011.
Bien Baraza Songs
- Kuliko jana
- Sura Yako
- Shake Yo Bam Bam
- Live and Die in Afrika
- Coming Home
- Soma Kijana
- Still the One
- Blue Uniform
- Nipe Nikupe
- Say Yeah
- Sol Generation
- Asante sana baba
- Sunny Days
- Mafunzo ya Dunia
- Range Rover
- Love or leave
- Kiss me
- Sambo Party
Bien Baraza Parents
Little is known about Bien Baraza’s family however it has been recently confirmed that Bien-Aime is the son of former Deputy Chief Justice Nancy Baraza, she of the (in)famous “you should know people” phrase.
Sauti Sol’s Bien Aime Baraza is a mama’s boy. The singer recently talked about his family and it turns out his dad hasn’t approved of him being a musician.
Most people still don’t know who Bien’s biological mother his; early last year former Deputy Chief Justice, Nancy Baraza, revealed Bien was his step son in an interview with Larry Madowo on NTV.
Bien shared photos of his dad and mom; he was playing for them Sauti Sol’s next single. The singer revealed his dad was still wondering why he hadn’t gotten a real job.
“Playing our next single for my parents. I doubt my dad likes it. He probably still wonders when I’m gonna get a real job #africandads #lovingmothers” Bien wrote.
Bien’s mother loves what her son does. Sometimes in 2016, Bien revealed the song ‘Awinja’ was named after his mother and that he always cries whenever he sings the song.
“I always feel like crying everytime we perform AWINJA because it was named after my mom. A dedication to all African mothers out there working hard to provide for their families and raise their kids. I hope i make you the proudest mom in the whole wide world and never let you down!” Wrote Bien
Awinja (Bien’s mother) even attends Sauti Sol’s concerts.
Bien-Aime Baraza Personal Life; Girlfriend
The beautiful Nigerian fitness queen worked with Slim Possible for its sixth season before landing a morning show at the same station.
Chiki Onwekwe was the envy of many girls after she was sported holidaying with Bien-Aime Baraza at he English Point Marina. As it turns out, Chiki was not just some arm candy but she had been Bien’s girlfriend for about a year.
The two have shared a sizzling romance that has had many hopeless romantics and cynics alike swooning in admiration.
But as she reveals in an interview, their first encounter was not as fiery, in fact Chiki didn’t know who Bien-Aime Baraza was and was not interested at first when Emmanuel Jambo introduced them.
But after she‘clicked’ and got entangled in an enchanting conversation and exchanged contacts at the nightclub where they first met, things kind of fell into place and now they are heading to their second year.
Chiki went on to reveal that she knows that there are haters who think that she is into Bien for the fame but she discloses what they have is real.
Bien-Aime Baraza and kids
Bien-Aime Baraza has for the longest time managed to steer his personal life away from the public eye but not anymore. Photos emerged of his two kids and his babies’ mama, Bijou Baraza.
Bien-Aime Baraza Social media; Instagram and twitter accounts below
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Polycarp Otieno Biography
Polycarp Otieno is a guitarist and producer. His signature style – guitar riffs blends with the group’s mix of soulful vocal harmonies and drum rhythm. His love for the guitar started early when he attended free guitar lessons at All Saints Cathedral. The lessons were terminated soon after but he continued to play at the French Cultural Centre (FCC), where while studying French.
Since Sauti Sol’s inception in 2006, Polycarp has remained active in the group and part of the creation of Sauti Sol two albums: Mwanzo (2008) and Sol Filosofia (2011). He is currently involved as a guitarist and producer in the band’s final production of their upcoming album.
Polycarp has also produced music for several acclaimed musicians including Suzanna Owiyo and Dela. He says of his career advancement and experience being from being involved in Sauti Sol’s first two albums: Mwanzo and Sol Filosofia, “Since my childhood days, I have loved music. In fact, it was my best subject in class while at primary school. At some point, I even made guitars out of containers and strings, not knowing that I would one day be a guitarist.”
Polycarp graduated from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology with a degree in Actuarial Science. He remains active in Sauti Sol’s Soma Soma Initiative which champions education among youth.
Polycarp Otieno Social media; Instagram and twitter accounts below
Savara Mudigi Biography
Savara Mudigi is a vocalist, producer,drummer,Dj and actor. His versatility in the band has played an instrumental role during tour and in the establishment on their imprint label: Sauti Sol Entertainment.
Since Sauti Sol’s inception in 2006, Savara has remained active in the group and part of the creation of Sauti Sol two albums: Mwanzo (2008) and Sol Filosofia (2011). He is currently the main producer working on the band’s upcoming album.
Inspired by Sauti Sol’s first two albums: Mwanzo and Sol Filosofia, Savara says, “I write music differently as compared to any other artists out there. Much as my music will rule the world, heroism and power are at the least of my priorities. I simply want people to feel what I feel when am doing my music.”
Savara has produced most of the songs from Sauti Sol’s new album #LiveandDieinAfrika working closely with Polycarp Otieno aka Fancy Fingers. He occasionally produces for numerous artists like Elani and is constantly networking with international producers and DJs.
Savara completed a Bachelor in commerce/finance from Africa Nazarene University of East Africa in 2012.
Savara Mudigi Social media; Instagram and twitter accounts below
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Willis Austin Chimano Biography
Willis Austin Chimano is a vocalist, keytar and saxophone player. His deep voice and flamboyant style makes him stand out in the group. Before the formation of Sauti Sol, Chimano contested and won in the annual Fête de la Musique music competition at the French Cultural Centre, while studying French. After the competition Chimano went to Paris for a two-week experience where he got to sample new music translations.
Since Sauti Sol’s inception in 2006, Chimano has remained active in the group and part of the creation of Sauti Sol two albums: Mwanzo (2008) and Sol Filosofia (2011). He is currently involved as a guitarist and producer.
Chimano says: “I met Sauti Sol members individually in three different scenarios. And it’s the dynamics of how we all came together as a band that still baffle me irrespective of the fact that three of us were in the same high school. It was pure serendipity that despite different career dreams, music brought us together in a way inexplicable.”
Chimano graduated from University of Nairobi with a degree in Journalism & Media Studies. He remains active in Sauti Sol’s Soma Soma Initiative which champions education among youth.
Willis Austin Chimano Social media; Instagram and twitter accounts below
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THE BAND BACKGROUND AND HISTORY
The band was formed in 2005 as an a cappella group by Baraza, Chimano and Savara, who had met at the Upper Hill High School and performed in Voices in the Light, a music group at the school. They then met guitarist Otieno, who attended Strathmore School, at the Alliance française in Nairobi, where they would frequent and decided to form Sauti (Swahili for “sound “) and immediately wrote their first song, “Mafunzo ya Dunia” (Literally: lessons of the world), which would later feature in their debut studio album Mwanzo. The band later added the Spanish word “Sol” (sun) to their name and formed Sauti Sol (supposed to mean “voices in the sun”). In 2006, the band participated in the Spotlight on Kenyan Music competition, hosted by the Alliance française in Nairobi. They were included in the album compilation recording and later got signed to Penya Records. The four members all completed their university education in Kenya. Baraza studied journalism at the United States International University, while Savara studied commerce and finance at Africa Nazarene University. Chimano studied journalism at the University of Nairobi, while Otieno studied actuarial science at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.
CAREER AND SUCCESS
Sauti Sol released their debut studio album Mwanzo on 4 August 2009, via their record label Penya Records, to critical acclaim, and followed up with their second studio album Sol Filosofia two years later. The music video for the album’s second single, “Coming Home”, earned them the Best Music Video award at the 2011 Kisima Music Awards, with the group itself also winning the Best Fusion Artist/Group of the Year award. Sauti Sol and Live and Die in Afrika (2012–present) In July 2012, Sauti Sol released a self-titled extended play, a collaborative effort with South African rapper and record-producer Spoek Mathambo, who produced the EP in Nairobi and Johannesburg. The music video for its lead single, “Range Rover”, was shot at the Hembrug in Zaandam, Netherlands, in an old ammunition factory that is now an official cultural heritage site popularly referred to as “the cathedral”. Kenyan singer Dela, who previously collaborated with the band “Mama papa” from Mwanzo, appeared in the song “Slow”, which also features Mathambo. Its music video was shot in Amsterdam.
The band then released “Love or Leave” as the EP’s second single, with its music video also shot in Amsterdam during the band’s stop in the city as part of their European tour in 2012. Their song “Gentleman” with rap group P-Unit earned them a nomination for the “Teeniez’ Group or Collabo” award at the 2012 Chaguo La Teeniez Awards, losing out to alternative hip hop group Camp Mulla. It was the second time they were nominated for the award, losing to P-Unit the previous year. Sauti Sol’s recognition continued to rise in 2012, as they were nominated for and won the Most Gifted East African award at the 2012 Channel O Music Video Awards for their song “Shukuru” with Tanzanian rapper AY. On 29 April 2014, the band released “Nishike”. Its music video caused an uproar in the media due to its steamy content, and ended up getting banned from most local TV stations. Baraza later expressed his anger with the ban, stating that he refuses “to be a secular artist boxed by society to restrict my freedom of expression.”
They received a nomination for the Best Group award at the 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards, but eventually lost out South African group Mafikizolo. The music video has received a 2014 Nomination as East Africa’s Most Gifted Video by Channel O Music Video Awards After “Nishike”, Sauti Sol released their third studio album, Live and Die in Afrika. The album, released online on 21 November 2015, was available to Sauti Sol fans globally for free download (48 hours) as an early Christmas present. The album was released under their imprint label Sauti Sol Entertainment as a self-produced work by Sauti Sol for Sauti Sol. A total of 400,000 downloads were made during the free download period. The band released their fourth single off Live and Die in Afrika entitled “Sura Yako” (Your Face).
This was introduced by a spin-off Lipala dance competition run on Instagram that sparked an online dance movement in Africa and across the globe. Following the success of the competition, the band released the single’s music video on 12 September 2014. Influences The band members have named musicians such as Fadhili William, Daudi Kabaka and other established African artists such as Salif Keita, Lokua Kanza and Fally Ipupa, as well as British band Coldplay and American singer Jason Mraz as their influences. Band members
Sauti Sol Awards
Sauti Sol are nominated for the Best Worldwide Act MTV EMA after winning the (Best African Act) 2014 MTV Europe Music Awards.Having won the inaugural Soma Awards in 2013, Sautisol has been declared Winners of the 2014 OLX SOMA Awards in the Best Use of Social Media for Entertainment category.Their music video, “Nishike” has been nominated as East Africa’s Most Gifted Music Video at the 2014 Channel O Music video Awards (CHOAMVA14) as well as 2014 All Africa Music Awards (Best African Group).
In 2013 Sauti Sol received two nods at CHOMVA (Most Gifted Afro Pop Video and Most Gifted East Africa Video) with the hit single, “Money Lover”. In 2012, they won East Africa’s Most Gifted Music Video at CHOMVA with their song “Shukuru” with Tanzanian rapper AY.
Sauti Sol has also been nominated as Africa’s Best Group at the 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMAs) and African Muzik Magazine Awards (AFRIMMA). Crowned as Artist of the Year at Kenya’s inaugural Social Media Awards (SOMA 2013), the band has been nominated at SOMA 2014 for Best Use of Social Media in Entertainment.
In 2012 the band also won Best Collaboration at Kenyan Chaguo La Teeniez (CHAT) Awards after
bagging the Best Group Award in 2011. In 2011, they also won two Kisima Music Awards for Best Afro-Fusion Group and Best Music Video with “Coming Home”. In 2010 they received a Museke Online Africa Music Award (MOAMA) for Best Group and a nomination for Best African Newcomer at the 2010 African Music Awards (AMA).
Sauti Sol Songs (Singles)
- Unconditionally Bae
- Kuliko Jana
- Sura Yako
- Shake Yo Bam Bam
- Still the One
- Soma Kijana
- Mafunzo ya Dunia
- Sunny Days
- Blue Uniform
- Sol Generation
- Mama Papa
- Live and Die in Afrika
- Coming Home
- Row Your Boat
- Love or Leave
- Asante sana Baba
Watch video documenting a Sauti Sol interview below
CREDITS: tinamagazine.com, wikipedia.org, sauti-sol.com