Kenyan husband-and-wife musical duo of Winyo and Nina Ogot arrive in Kigali this Thursday morning, ahead of their highly anticipated “Live and Unplugged” concert on Friday.
It will be the couple’s debut performance in Kigali. The “Live and Unplugged Kigali” music series is organised by AFROGROOV, a local creative company. It features live and acoustic performances from world class performers to a small intimate audience.
Previously, the series has featured musicians Thais Diarra from Mali/Senegal, Keziah Jones and Nneka from Nigeria, Joss Stone from the UK, and Rwanda’s own music legend Cecile Kayirebwa.
“It will be our first time to brace a Rwandan stage and to debut this new acoustic performance out of Kenya. We hope a new musical connection will be established with the people of Rwanda who love to listen to authentic African music,” said Ogot in a press conference.
The Afro-acoustic songbird made her musical debut in 2009 with the album Ninairobi. Known to sing in Kiswahili, English, French and Dholuo, Nina’s music celebrates her Luo roots by giving it an urban interpretation.
Her husband Winyo Ogot sings in Dholuo, Swahili and English and his music tackles sensitive social issues ranging from courtship and love, to the plight of the homeless and downtrodden in society. His musical style ranges from afro-fusion and afro-jazz, to a contemporary and bluesy interpretation of Benga.
“The very fact that we have this wonderful opportunity to showcase our music in Rwanda means that we are already making a huge attempt to tap into the Rwandan Market,” Winyo commented about the Kigali show.
The couple’s participation in the Live and Unplugged Kigali music series is a result of the ONGEA Eastern Africa Music Summit that was held in the Kenyan capital Nairobi in February this year. The four day summit focuses on introducing East African music acts to new markets and festival organizers who then book them for events in their respective countries.
DJ Eric Soul, the founder of AFROGROOV and an Events/festival organizer represented Rwanda at the summit: He participated in one of the panel discussions and also held a joint Rwanda showcase performance with Deo Munyakazi and rapper Angel Mutoni under the Components project:
“One of the acts that really stood out for me was Nina and Winyo Ogot because of the aesthetics and classiness of the music, and the fact that they represented Benga music from East Africa –very traditional music specific from Kenya,” explained Eric Soul, adding: “They’re preparing the first show as husband and wife exclusively for Kigali.”
The organisers behind ONGEA 2017 and AFROROOV share a common objective of promoting authentic Eastern Africa musical sounds.
Eric Soul further explained that the Live and Unplugged Kigali music series seeks influence music promoters, marketers, media, venues and policymakers to explore a wider musical scope and think differently about music and live performances in general.