Born Issah Mmari, on May 20, 1981 in California Estate, and raised in South c estate Nairobi, Kenya, E-Sir was a Kenyan hip hop artist signed to the Ogopa DJs label who was famous for his deft lyrical ability and command of the Swahili language. He is still widely regarded as one the best rappers to emerge on the Kenyan hip hop scene. He first came to be known in 2001 by his song "Jo", a song done in the same style as Black Rob's "Whoa." The song proudly declared E-Sir's arrival on the Kenyan music scene and was featured on the Ogopa DJs debut album . He went on to release his debut album "Nimefika" in 2003 which was a big hit with virtually all the songs on the album becoming radio singles. He won 4 categories in the 2003 Kisima Music Awards.
E-Sir died in a road accident on March 16, 2003, while in the company of fellow label mate Nameless. He was on his way back from a concert in Nakuru town that was to help promote the album. His fans were shocked and grieved for days on end after hearing the news of his death. His death was considered coming at a time when his career was starting to take off. His other hits include "Mos Mos," "Boomba Train," "Hamunitishi" and "Leo ni Leo." His only posthumous song was the collaboration between him and Nameless called "Maisha".
E-sir's younger brother Habib is also an upcoming rapper in the Kenyan music industry. He has couple of singles to his name, some of them with his partner Manga.
Track listing for E-Sir's Nimefika album, which was released under Ogopa DJ's
He rose to fame in 1999 through a star-search contest on Kenya's urban music station 98.4 Capital FM, which he won with his original song "Megarider." The song was about a penniless young man who is trying to seduce a woman but only has enough money for Kenya Bus tickets, and not the rich lifestyle she desires. He later recorded the track with producer Tedd Josiah and it went on to be hot on the charts for weeks. This was the turning point in his musical career. He went on to sign with the Ogopa DJ's label in 2001 and collaborated with artists such as the late E-Sir on "Boomba Train," and Amani on the regional hit "Ninanoki" in 2002 which broke Kenyan chart records by remaining 110 days at number one.
He has gone on to tour across the East African region and in the U.S.A and U.K. In 2004, he released his debut album On Fire. In 2004, Mathenge married Ogopa DJ's label mate Wahu Kagwi. They have one child, a daughter who was born in 2006. He is also an architect and graduated from the University of Nairobi.
South African pop group Jamali’s wildly popular song "Maisha" was the subject to much scandal. It was alleged that Jamali stole the song from Nameless. However it was settled when Jamali released their CD/DVD of Yours Fatally and credited Nameless as one of the writers of "Maisha".
He was among the controversial list of the 100 most influential Kenyans as selected by The Standard newspaper in August 2007.
Cecilia Wairimu (born 1980 in Thika), better known for her stage name Amani, is a pop musician from Kenya. She has won various awards, including the Best Female category at the 2009 MTV Africa Music Awards.
She went to Bishop Gatimu Ngandu Girls High School, where she was part of the accapella group Sobriety. Amani signed to Ogopa Deejays in 1999, soon after graduating from high school. Her fist single "Move on" was a radio hit, and was followed by hits single "Tahidi" and "Papii" Her 2002 collaboration with Nameless 'Ninanoki', was a major national hit . Her later singles include "Talk to You" (featuring Patonee and Big Pin), "Bad Boy" (featuring Nyashinski of Kleptomaniax), Usiwe Mbali (featuring AY), "Tamani", "Missing My Baby" and "Tonight"
Kleptomaniax are a pop group from Kenya. The group consists of three members: Roba (Robert Manyasa), Collo (Collins Majale) and Nyashinski (Nyamari Ongegu).
Kleptomaniax were formed in 1999, when they were still high school students at the Nairobi School. The group joined the Ogopa DJ's label and released their first single, "Freak it" in 2002 and was followed by "Maniax Anthem" and "Haree". In 2004 the group released another single "Tuendelee", which became their biggest hit so far. The song was written as a response for the "Diss track" by various hip hop musician (including Bamboo), who criticised the commercial Kapuka music style performed by Kleptomaniax among others .
Their debut album M4E (an abbreviation for Maniax for ever) was released in 2005. Later that year the group received a MTV Europe Music Awards nomination for the Best African Act, a category awarded for the first time, but won by 2 face Idibia from Nigeria. In 2007 Kleptomaniax toured the USA .
After 2007 the group had a break while their members engaged isolo projects. The group has since made comeback, but have left Ogopa DJ's. The group is set to release their second album NITT (Now Is The Time) in 2009.
Bamboo was featured in the film Hip Hop Colony as one of the premiere rappers from Kenya, and in a clip featuring himself and emcees Big Mike and Attitude rapping over live guitar chords, Bamboo's style combines American and Kenyan content while being delivered in a markedly American accent and flow. When asked about the majority of his songs being in English, Bamboo stated, "Rapping in English is the only way to infiltrate the US rap game and get respect because without that respect no one will even bother with you.
Ngeli ya genge cover poster
|Birth name||Paul Julius Nunda|
|Born||September 12, 1979 (1979-09-12) |
|Occupations||Producer, rapper, musician|
|Associated acts||Mejja, Clem|
Jua Cali whose real name is Paul Nunda (born September 12 1979) is a Kenyan MC. In 2000 together with producer Clement Rapudo aka Clemo they founded Calif Records where Jua Cali has stayed since. Jua Cali performs in Swahili in a popular Kenyan style of rapping called genge.
Jua Cali was born Paul Julius Nunda on September 12, 1979 in Eastlands, Nairobi. His parents, Doreen Onditi and Evans Onditi (deceased) were both schoolteachers. Jua Cali grew up with a strict Catholic upbringing in California Estate to the east of Nairobi city. He began rapping at age 10, encouraged by his elder brother Christopher Sati. He was known as an introverted teenager who was often quiet, hardly ever socializing.
He attended Ainsworth Primary School (Standards 1 to 6); Shepherds Junior Buruburu (Standards 6 to 8); Jamuhuri High School and eventually Kenya Christian Industrial Training Institute (K.C.I.T.I) Eastleigh where he received a diploma in Information technology. There, he played basketball with ambitions to make it to the Kenyan National Basketball Team. He never made the team, blaming his height. His earlier foray into music included singing in a band called ‘Sita Futi’. Sita Futi disbanded almost as soon as it was started but for Jua Cali and his close friend Jemmoh. The departing group members left to pursue careers outside music. Calif Records came into being after Jua Cali teamed up with childhood friend Clemo to form the record label that quickly became a hit factory, gaining prominence in the East Africa music scene with chart topping artists and music. Calif Records also invented the Genge genre of Kenyan hip hop. Jua Cali often cites his brother, Chris, and mother as his greatest influences in life.
His first recorded track was Ruka, released in 2001 and was followed by Nipe Asali in 2002. In 2004 He collaborated with Pilipili in track "Kamata Dame". Like most Kenyan artists, it took several years before his first full album was released. His album "Juacali Sekta" reached the stores in 2006, containing mostly previously released singles.
His single Kwaheri (featuring Sainapei) was a major hit in Kenya in 2007. At the New Year's Eve 2008/2009 he released a new album, Ngeli ya Genge . He has toured the US and other countries . In August 2007, he was among 100 most influential Kenyans as selected by The Standard newspaper .
His stage name Jua Cali, is derived from California, an estate in Nairobi (as is the name of Calif Records). It also resembles Jua Kali, a Swahili term meaning fierce sun, which has been taken to refer to Kenya's informal sector of the economy.
Besides being talented, he's a commercial success, thanks to his appeal to the young and the not-so-young alike. For instance, he became Kenya's first artiste to get an endorsement deal when in 2007 he signed a reported Sh1-million-a-year deal mobile phone giant Motorola for its W model.
And, according to the company, he was quite a catch. " Jua Cali is part of the Motorola family, and we are honoured to have worked with him in the recent past," says Joanne Doyle, the marketing manager for East Africa. "He has been a great ambassador and, like Motorola, he is all about creativity, style and substance, so we could not be happier that his hard work has been recognised at the prestigious Kisima awards."
Juacali is arguably today’s most successful artist in the Kenyan music scene as far as endorsements and pay per show income is concerned. Early 2009, Telkom Kenya appointed him as the Orange Ambassador for their youth market and began his one year sh10-million shilling contract by fronting the ‘hello tunes' advertising campaign. Following the successes by the Kenyan Rugby Sevens team, Orange went on to shoot a series of infomercials on Rugby featuring top Kenya rugby players and the genge artist. Also featured in the informercials were label mates Mejja, Jimwat and their producer Clemo.
Pamoja Mtaani, Swahili for “together in the hood” is a new video game in Kenya developed by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. Its basically about a youth band together making their way through a maze of challenges throughout the East African city. The game has a subtle but deliberate agenda: HIV prevention. Players don't directly confront the threat of HIV; instead, they encounter challenges throughout the adventure that lead to lessons about risk and self-confidence. Jua Cali recorded the video games anthem “City in the Sun”.
The artiste has also been involved in other major advertisements such as Protex bath soap and Pilsner beer, and the deals have raked in big cash. He's also the Bloodlink Foundation Kenya ambassador. Bloodlink Foundation Kenya is a non-profit charitable trust established in Kenya seeking to assist Kenyan people achieve better health and improved quality of life through patnership with communities, corporate organizations and public sectors.
Peter Gatonye (born November 1980), known better for his stage name Pilipili is a musician/singer from Kenya. At the beginning of his career, he collaborated with another musician, Gun B. Their best known song was "Nampenda".
He is an award winner in Kisima and ofChaguo La Teeniez held in East Africa. Pilipili's debut album "Fungua Mlango" was released in late 2005 produced by Clemo through Calif Records in Nairobi, Kenya. During the same year they both became artist of the year and producer of the year respectively. He is a respected songwriter especially in Swahili language. He has worked with great music producers like Tedd Josiah, Chris Adwar, Ogopa DJ's among others.
Nonini originally signed to Calif Records, but later joined Homeboyz Productions. He was introduced to the Kenyan urban music scene through his debut single "Nonini ni Nani?" His steady rise to national and regional popularity did not begin however until his 2002 track "Manzi wa Nairobi," a song which praised the beauty of Kenyan women and follow-up single "Weh Kamu". He went on to release his debut album Hanyaring Game in late 2004 which included the hit "Keroro" a sheng term for beer.Nonini is famed for releasing the first Genge hit early in his career.
Later, Nani Mwenza, his collaboration track with Tanzanian musician Juma Nature, became a regional hit. In his most recent great creations, he has collaborated with local artist Nameless to create a Friday anthem appropriately title "furahi-day" which has received much airplay over the weeks. Both songs were on his second album Mwisho Ya Mawazo, released in 2007. The album featured number of more guest musicians, including Nyota Ndogo, Mercy Myra, Professor Jay and Q-Chief. In August 2007, Nonini was among 100 most influential Kenyans as selected by The Standard newspaper . In 2009 he was named International Lifestyle Ambassador by the Limkokwing University in Malaysia.
He recently started up a whole new crew known as the P-Unit (pro-habo unit) that consists of rappers Bonnie, Frasha, Gabu and himself. The crew has released some songs most notably "Si lazima" which in swahili means it's not a must. "Si lazima" is a song that talks of times in a relationship where a couple doesn't need to have sex they can just go home and chill.People have found the song quite ironic to the messages he portrayed in his previous songs. At the 2007 Kisima Music Awards P-Unit won the Boomba Group category . For Nonini, it was the first time he won a Kisima Award, despite being on the limelight for years. Their second single is known as Kushoto-Kulia; meaning left-right. Both songs are on Nonini's Mwisho ya Mawazo album.
Kalamashaka (aka K-Shaka) is a hip hop group based in Dandora, a ghetto estate in Nairobi, Kenya. It comprises three members: Oteraw, Kama and Johny. The group was formed in the mid 90's. They became popular with Tafsiri Hii hit in 1997. The group curtain raised for several international rap stars among them Coolio and Lost Boyz and have gone ahead to collabo with Dead Prez and other international artists. They have performed in several countries like Nigeria, Sweden, Holland, South Africa, Norway among others. Kalamashaka crucially paved the way for swahili hip hop to become mainstream in Kenya. The group is popular with hardcore rap fans for their socially and politically conscious lyrics. Their first album Ni Wakati released in 2001 was a hit with South Africa's Channel O playing one of the videos "Fanya Mambo" from the album. The album addressed street crime, tribalism, politics and Africa's conflicts. Their popularity started to wane with the rise of Kapuka and Genge which were dancable and raunchy which a huge percentage of the youth prefer to the to listen to other than philosophical music. FM radio stations are reluctant to play socially conscious music typical of Kalamashaka leading to their fall from fame. However, the group has remained active and refuses to change with times and do commercial music. The group influenced others like Mashifta, Gidi Gidi Maji Maji, K-South, Necessary Noize and a horde of other artists.
The group has helped other Dandora youths to start their rap careers. They are credited with forming the group Ukoo Flani Mau Mau which is a collection of about 24 rappers from Nairobi and Mombasa with a few Tanzanians. Ukoo Flani Mau Mau released Kilio Cha Haki album in 2004 and followed it up with Dandora Burning released in 2006. Their huge contribution and influence to the album is very notable.They do not receive as much radio play as genge or kapuka musicians but still have a large following.
Kama (real name Kamau Ngigi) released his first solo album Kamaa in 2009. The album was produced by Ambrose Akwabi of Mandugu Digital. In the meantime, Kalamashaka is working on thein album Hakuna Case. The album will be produced by the Sweden-basd Kenyan musician Ken Ring, who previsouly features on Klamashaka's song "Fanya Mambo"
It was originally composed of female MC/singer Nazizi Hirji, singer Kevin Wyre and rapper Bamzigi, though Bamzigi later left due to personal and label disputes. The group was formed in October 2000 and released their self-titled debut album in 2000 under Audio Vault Studios (now Blu Zebra). This contained the hits "Clang Clang," and "La Di Da."
They steadily grew in popularity and were later to release a second album Necessary Noize II: Kenyan Gal, Kenyan Boy in 2004 which included popular regional hits such as "Kenyan Gal, Kenyan Boy" and "Bless My Room" . Although mainly hip hop based, the group also does some reggae and R&B tracks. They are appreciated for their socially conscious lyrics that deal with issues affecting youth such as AIDS, drugs and politics.
Together with Ugandan ragga musician Bebe Cool, they have released music under the name East Africa Bashment Crew. The group is nominated at the inaugural (2008) MTV Africa Music Awards. Necessary Noize has also collaborated with the Tanzanian hip hop group Gangwe Mobb with "Tunajirusha" hit. Guest on their debut album include Mizchif from Zimbabwe, Jerry Doobiez of K-South and Nyota Ndogo .
Nazizi and Wyre also have done solo productions, before and during the existence of the group.
He has released two solo albums. The latest album,Ten Years Wiser, was named for his 10-year spanning career in music . As a solo artist, he has performed in various African countries, including Nigeria and Uganda . He has collaborated with various artist, including P-Square of Nigeria .
He also worked as a producer at Tedd Josiah's Blu Zebra Studio.