Sauti Sol is an award-winning afro pop group from Kenya. The winners Best African Group at 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, self-titled EP and collaborative effort with South African avant-garde innovative rapper/producer Spoek Mathambo.
The band has produced their anticipated third album , Live and Die in Afrika – Set for release in 2015
Sauti Sol has steadily built their professional international experience. In 2015, Sauti Sol’s notable showcases include a performance at the 2015 Global Citizen Festival alongside international acts Pearl Jam and Chris Martin (Coldplay), performing at the Milan Expo 2015, a 2015 #SautiSolRoad2BET American Tour (Washington DC, Minneapolis MN, Atlanta GA, Seattle, Dallas TX, New Jersey and Los Angeles CA), headlining at 2015 KigaliUp Festival, Sauti Sol Live in Kampala Concert, Sauti Sol Live in Dar es Salaam (Party in the Park 2015), Las Vegas Sauti Sol Valentines Show at the 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), Zanzibar International Film Festival, among shows in Europe. In 2013, they also headlined at Boombaataa Festival (Kenya) and 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 were 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 Kalorvy Vary International film festival and Colours of Ostrava 2012, 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 (2015 & 2014), Kenya’s 51st Independence Day (2014), 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).
2015 : African Muzik Magazine Awards ( Best African Group)
2015 : OLX SOMA ( Instagram Personality & Youtube Channel Award)
2015 : Best Song in East Africa (Sura Yako) at the Kilimanjaro Tanzania Music Awards
2015 : Most Downloaded Group (Sauti Sol) and Most Downloaded single (Sura Yako) at the 2015 Mdundo Music Awards
2015: Awarded Role Models by the Riara Group of schools (For their Soma Soma Initiative)
2015 : BBC’S 1Xtra – Top African Act to Watch
2014 : MTV Europe Music Awards (MTV EMA) – Best African Act
2014 : OLX SOMA – Best Use of Social Media for Entertainment
2014 : Bingwa Music Awards – Best Music Video in Kenya (Sura Yako)
2013 : Artist of the Year at Kenya’s inaugural Social Media Awards (SOMA)
2012 : East Africa’s Most Gifted Music Video Channel O Music Video Awards (CHOMVA) – I don’t want to be alone (Shukuru) with AY
2012 : Chaguo La Teeniez (CHAT) Awards – Best Collaboration in Kenya (Gentleman ft P – UNIT)
2011 : Chaguo La Teeniz (CHAT) Awards – Best Group in Kenya
2011 : Kisima Music Award Best Afro-Fusion Group
2011 : Kisima Music Award Best Music Video – Coming Home 2010 Museke Online Africa Music Award (MOAMA) for Best Group
2015 : Abryanz Style and Fashion Awards (Uganda) – East Africa’s Most Stylish Male Artiste
2015 : All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) – Best Collaboration “Nerea” feat Amos & Josh, Best African Group, Song of the Year & Songwriter of the Year, Video of the Year
2015: Africa Youth Choice Awards ( Best Song by a Group – Sura Yako)
2015 : AFRIMMA (Best Dance in a video -Lipala, Song of the Year – Sura Yako)
2015: Nigeria Entertainment Awards (Non – Nigerian)
2015 : African Entertainment Awards ( Hottest Group )
2015 : MTV Africa Music Awards (Best Group) and (Song of the Year – Sura Yako)
2015 : Best International Act – Africa at 2015 BET Awards
2014 : Best Worldwide Act MTV Europe Music Awards
2014 : Best African Act MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMAs)
2014 : Best African Act African Muzik Magazine Awards (AFRIMMA).
2013 : CHOAMVA Most Gifted Video East Africa – Nishike
2013 : CHOMVA (Most Gifted Afro Pop Video and Most Gifted East Africa Video) – Money Lover
Sauti Sol’s viral Lipala Dance featured in the 2015 BBC’s ‘A Richer World’ season and documentary for BBC World Service Radio, World TV and 1Xtra. Sauti Sol’s controversial video Nishike declared by Google Most Watched video in Kenya 2014.
Sauti Sol launched the SOMA SOMA Initiative (2012) that seeks to develop a peer-to-peer mentorship culture amongst school-goers throughout Kenya. By identifying various institutions, the group seeks to engage partners to go around to these institutions with this message. Through Soma Soma, Sauti Sol were involved in a library installation at Starehe Girls Centre (2015), visited St. Patricks High School in Iten, Musku Primary School in Kerio Valley and Fluorspar Primary School in partnership with The Field Marsham Foundation (2014). They were selected as 2013/2014 Story Moja Hay Festival’s Reading Ambassadors. Sauti Sol gave a talk on Careers in the Sports and Arts at Equity Group Foundation 4th Annual Education and Leadership Congress at the Kenyatta University. They have also mentored 700 students and 100 teachers from Kenya’s 47 counties at the Annual Secondary Schools Student Leaders National