Home / CULTURE & SOCIETY / Award-winning Kenyan band signs exclusive deal with Universal Music
Member of the band at the signing ceremony today in Johannesburg with officials of UMA. Front row, from left: Polycarp Otieno | Bien-Aimé Baraza | Adam Granite | Delvin Mudigi | Andrew Kronfeld | Willis Austin Chimano/Photo: Katie Brook/UMA

Award-winning Kenyan band signs exclusive deal with Universal Music

Universal Music Africa (UMA), a division of Universal Music Group (UMG), today (30 January) announced the signing of an exclusive recording agreement with award-winning Kenyan Afro-Pop collective Sauti Sol.

The Kenyan Afro-Pop band is comprised of vocalists Bien-Aimé Baraza, Willis Chimano, Savara Mudigi and guitarist, Polycarp Otieno.

The agreement will give the band access to UMG’s global network around the world, and will allow greater opportunity for the band to reach new audiences globally, whilst continuing to satisfy and excite their dedicated fanbase with bold, creative campaigns that will engage a new generation of fans throughout Africa.

The band released their well-received debut studio album, ‘Mwanzo’ in 2008, followed by, ‘Sol Filosofia’ in 2011, which amassed multiple accolades in the form of awards and nominations. The music video for the single ‘Coming Home’ earned them the Best Music Video award at the Kisima Music Awards, as well as, the Best Fusion Artist/Group of the Year award.

Their collaboration EP with South African rapper and producer, Spoek Mathambo was released in 2012. The music video for the single ‘Range Rover’ was shot at an old Dutch ammunition factory in Zaandam, Netherlands, which has since become a cultural heritage site. ‘Live and Die in Afrika’, their 2015 third studio album was released for free download for 48 hours. This early Christmas present to their fans garnered 400,000 downloads in that period alone.

Members of the band at the signing ceremony today (30 January) in Johannesburg. Back row from left: Naim Mcnair | Bien-Aimé Baraza | Delvin Mudigi | Colin Gayle | Adam Granite | No I.D. — ront row from left: Moriasi Omambia | Andrew Kronfeld | Willis Austin Chimano | Yvette Gayle | Polycarp Otieno| Joe Chialo | Sipho Dlamini/Photo: Katie Brook/UMA

 

Having toured successfully across Africa, the US, Europe and Australia, the chart-topping band has received the recognition and respect of both their fans and the industry, taking home international awards including, BET Awards, an MTV EMA for Best African Act and MTV AFRICA Award for Best African Group.

Last year the band opened their own record label; Sol Generation Records, with the sole mission of developing and introducing new iconic live African acts. Founded on the ethos of discipline, order, passion and endurance (DOPE), it’s pitched to attract authentic songwriters and shape shifting musicians, who will pen soundtracks to peoples’ lives.

Sipho Dlamini, MD of UMG South Africa & Sub-Saharan Africa enthused, “We are delighted to announce our partnership with Sauti Sol, one of the most innovative and creative groups to have broken through from Africa in recent years. Universal Music Africa is dedicated to helping the best African music talent reach new audiences around the world and we are excited to welcome them to our global UMG family. We look forward to working together with them to ensure they are able to authentically celebrate Africa through music and to help introduce their unique blend Afro-pop to new listeners everywhere.”

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About Universal Music Africa (UMA)

A division of Universal Music Group (UMG) – the world leader in music-based entertainment, UMA has offices in South Africa, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire and Kenya and over the past 18 months has signed some of Africa’s biggest artists including Tiwa Savage, Nasty C, Yemi Alade and Cassper Nyovest.

2020 looks to be a breakout year for African artists on the global music stage, with Tiwa Savage and Nasty C recently making history by performing at UMG Chairman & CEO, Sir Lucian Grainge’s exclusive 2020 Artist Showcase in Los Angeles, ahead of the 62nd annual Grammy Awards alongside the likes of Billie Eilish, Lewis Capaldi & DaBaby.

As streaming opens up the opportunities for African artists to reach new audiences around the world, UMG is committed to helping African talent achieve success both across the continent and beyond. In addition, Universal Music Group was the first global music company to license music content to African streaming services including Boomplay, UDUX and other platform services across the continent.

 

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