Sauti Sol have for the first time shared a little-known detail about who discovered them.
Bien-Aime Baraza, lead singer of the high-flying Afropop band, paid homage to singer John Katana, leader of the legendary band Them Mushrooms.
According to Bien, Katana spotted Sauti Sol at an event in Nairobi during their formative years about a decade ago. Katana was impressed and encouraged Sauti Sol to record their first-ever single and breakout hit Lazizi.
“When people say they discovered Sauti Sol, they are all lying. John Katana from Them Mushrooms discovered Sauti Sol. He was the first person to take us to the studio and encourage us to sing our own song, and ‘Lazizi’ was born,” Bien said.
Adding: “Sauti Sol is a Them Mushroom’s legacy.”
Bien said Sauti Sol draws a lot of inspiration from Them Mushrooms and strives to create good music that lasts generations just like Them.
Them Mushrooms will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary with a show at Carnivore on Sunday, December 11. Founded in 1969 as Avenida Success, The Mushrooms are renowned for their hit song ‘Jambo Bwana’, often referred to as ‘Hakuna Matata’.
A celebration 50 years in the making ✨ We are honored and beyond thrilled to announce our 50th Anniversary Show at the @CarnivoreKe Simba Saloon on Sunday 11th December 2022 💃🏾🍄🕺🏾
— Them Mushrooms (@themmushrooms) November 29, 2022
Bien also hinted that a little something something might be in the works between Them Mushrooms and Sauti Sol. He was however non-committal on the timeline.
Bien said they are revolutionising their music by incorporating classic music sounds with futuristic sonics to create a new vibe dubbed Future Rhumba.
Their new hit ‘Lil Mama’ is just a precursor of where they are taking their listeners to.
“Lil Mama is another step in the sound of our music. Future Rhumba. It is just to take our roots sound and fuse it with global sounds and take it to the world.”
The Sol Generation founders are also planning to bring on a female act into the stable in 2023.
“The vision is to at least sign two female acts. We will involve the fans in the process,” Bien said on the sidelines of the Sol Fest 2022 media briefing.
The annual Sol Fest will go down at the KICC on December 17, after a last-minute change of venue from Fox Drive-In, Thika road over security concerns.
“Expect a premium music experience. The first time was a whole success. For the second time, we just want to continue with the experience. We want people to leave there feeling better about themselves,” Bien assured.
He said the festival is about the people and the community.
“The artistes selected this year are people we love and whose art has impacted people, especially this year. We couldn’t put everyone. Konde Boy’s(Harmonize) team responded the quickest. We discussed the price and he was sent the contract and signed immediately,” Bien said.
Putting up the festival has not come cheap, with Bien saying up to Ksh61 million has been sunk to ensure fans get their money’s worth.
“It will be a success, we are pushing it to international standards and be bigger and better than continental ones like Nyege Nyege.
“Expect a phenomenal experience. The show is us celebrating our values of excellence. We are expecting more than 15,000 attendants,” he manifested.
Fans can also expect new music and surprises, particularly from Nviiri The Story Teller who said he has some tricks up his sleeves that some of the Sol Generation members do not know about.