Not many musicians can boast they’ve made President Barack Obama get up and groove to their tunes but Kenyan band Sauti Sol did just that with their mix of Afro-pop, soul and R&B, which has won a number of international awards.
Obama, whose father hails from a village in western Kenya, put his heritage on full display at a state dinner in Kenya last July when he boogied down to the traditional Lipala dance that the band revived with their hit song “Sura Yako.”
“Singing and dancing with the world’s most powerful man was incredible,” said Bien-Aime Baraza, a vocalist for the four-man band. “He really was feeling us. It was wonderful for Kenya.”
A savvy mix of catchy tunes, appealing looks and social media promotion has brought success to Sauti Sol, Swahili for voices in the sun. The band has worked to make traditional East African music cool again.
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