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Sauti Sol Joins Universal Music Africa

Polycarp Otieno (left), Bien-Aimé Baraza, Adam Granite, Delvin Mudigi, Andrew Kronfeld, Willis Austin Chimano and Sipho Dlamini (back row) at the signing ceremony

Prolific Kenyan Afro-Pop band, Sauti Sol has signed a recording agreement with world leading music-entertainment company, Universal Music Africa (UMA), a division of Universal Music Group (UMG). The band comprises of vocalists Bien-Aimé Baraza, Willis Chimano, Savara Mudigi and guitarist, Polycarp Otieno.

The agreement will give Sauti Sol 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.
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.

On the development, Sipho Dlamini, MD of UMG South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa said, “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 talents 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.”
Sauti Sol was formed in 2005 in Nairobi as an a cappella group, until Otieno joined them and they became known as Sauti (Swahili for sound). The band later added Sol (Spanish for sun) to make voices in the sun. The four members are all university graduates, Baraza and Chimano have degrees in Journalism, Savara studied Commerce and Finance, while Otieno boasts an Actuarial Science Degree.

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