BY Fredrick Ngugi, 6:32am April 01, 2016,

Kenya’s Sauti Sol Brings Afro-Pop to Heads of State

This happened earlier today. @barackobama doing the #lipaladance #surayangu #statehouse #Kenya @ukenyatta #ObamaReturns #Homecoming

Posted by Face2Face Africa on Saturday, July 25, 2015

Meet Sauti Sol: a true African sensation. This top Kenyan band enjoys a global appeal, even among world leaders. In fact, most Kenyans refer to them as the only band that entertained Barack Obama when he made his first visit to Kenya as the sitting U.S. President in 2015.

Sauti Sol also performed for their own president, Uhuru Kenyatta, during his 53rd birthday at state house in Nairobi. At the request of Kenya’s First Lady, Margaret Kenyatta, the band also played an invitation-only party for the president and his immediate family members on the evening after the official celebrations.

Their most recent encounter with a head of state happened last month when the award-winning Afro-pop band accompanied President Kenyatta to Accra to celebrate Ghana’s 59th Independence Day. Important dignitaries from around the world attended this historic event, including President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana, and José Mário Vaz of Guinea-Bissau.

US President Barack Obama and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, far left, dancing to Sauti Sol's hit song

US President Barack Obama (center) and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta (far left) dancing to Sauti Sol’s hit song “Sura Yako.” Second from the right is Obama’s step-sister. Second from the left is Bien Baraza, a member of Sauti Sol.

The quartet was formed in 2005 and comprises of three vocalists, namely; Bien-Aime Baraza, Savara Mudigi and Willis Chimano, with Polycarp Otieno being the group’s sole guitarist. They have released several albums including Mwanzo, Sol Filosofia and Live and Die in Africa, climbing to the top of various Kenyan charts.


Sauti Sol has won numerous local and international awards including Kisima Music Awards, MTV Europe Music Award for Best African Act, BET Awards 2015, and Channel O Music Video Awards. They have traveled far and wide, making television appearances all over Africa, playing several successful music tours in Europe and the US, and sharing stages with some of the world’s most celebrated artistes such as Jay-Z, Beyonce, Usher, Coldplay and Ed Sheeran.

Check out the moves in this remix of “Sura Yako” featuring Nigerian sensation Iyanya below:

Last Edited by:Deidre Gantt Updated: April 1, 2016


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