Sauti Sol is a Kenyan boy band consisting of three vocalists; Bien-Aimee Baraza, Willis Chimano, and Savara Mudigi, and a guitarist Polycarp Otieno (Magero, 2012). The three vocalists met at the Upper Hill High School where they all studied and were members of Voices in the Light music group in the same school. They formed an a cappella group before meeting the guitarist, Polycarp, from Strathmore School at Alliance Francais Nairobi. They decided to form a group which they named Sauti (sound) after which they added the Spanish word sol (sun) to it, making it Sauti Sol (meaning voices in the sun). They all completed their university education in different universities in Kenya Pursuing different courses.
They have had a number of studio albums namely; Mwanzo (2008), Sol Filosofia (2011), Live and Die in Afrika (2015) and Afrikan Sauce (2019). Sauti Sol has a creative style of music which is rich in African culture. In 2017, they released a song ‘’Friendzone’’ which had an emoji lyric video. They have also had numerous hits such as “Blue Uniform”, “Soma Kijana”, “Coming Home”, “Money Lover”, “Nerea”, “Live and Die in Afrika”, “Shake yo Bam Bam”, “Nishike”, “Unconditionally Bae”, “Africa”, “Sura Yako”, “Isabella”, “Short and Sweet”, “Girl Next Door”, “Afrikan Star”, “Melanin” among many others. They have worked with various artists such as; P Unit, Suzanna Owiyo, Willy Paul, Kaligraph Jones, Nyashinski, Ali Kiba, Tiwa Savage, Burna boy, Patoranking, Yemi Alade, Venessa Mdee among others.
Some of their biggest releases were “Africa” which they did with Nigerian Yemi Alade, “Girl Next Door” featuring Tiwa Savage, “Melanin” featuring Patoranking and “Afrikan Star” featuring Burna Boy. When they released their third studio album, Live and Die in Afrika online, they made it available for fans to download 48 hours after release whereby it had four hundred thousand downloads. The album was made under imprint label Sauti Sol Entertainment as a self-produced work by Sauti Sol. Sauti Sol has a record label, Sol Generation Records, where they have signed one artist, Ben Soul. He has released two singles, “Lucy” and “Favourite Song” under the record label.
Sauti Sol has had several successful tours across Africa and the United States which have earned them international attention. They also performed with South Africa’s a cappella group Ladysmith Black Mambazo at a concert in Kenya in 2011 (Njambi,2011). Many of their hits have made them top Kenyan charts. The band has named musicians such as Fadhili William, Daudi Kabaka, Salif Keita, Lokua Kanza, Fally Ipupa, Jason Mraz and British Band Coldplay as their influences. They also signed a multi-million endorsement deal with the Kenya Breweries Limited Chrome Vodka Brand.
Awards and Nominations
Sauti Sol has received several awards including; Abryanz Style and Fashion Awards, African Entertainment Awards, African Muzik Magazine Awards, All Africa Music Awards, Bingwa Music Awards, Channel O Music Video Awards, Google Recognition, HiPipo Music Awards, Kilimanjaro Tanzania Music Awards, Kisima Music Awards, Mdundo Music Awards, MTV Africa Music Awards, MTV Europe Music Awards, Museke Online Africa Music Awards, OLX Social Media Awards, Pulse Music Video Awards and Sound City MVP Awards Festival. He has also been nominated for other awards such as; African Music Awards, BEFFTA Awards, BET Awards, Chaguo La Teeniez Awards, East Africa TV Awards, The Headies Awards, International Achievements Recognition Awards, Kora Awards, Nigeria Entertainment Awards, tooXclusive Awards, and Uganda Entertainment Awards.