In a male-dominated industry, a new concert series in Kenya aims to provide a platform for emerging female talent to showcase their skills.
The Goethe-Institut in Nairobi will be launching the Women In Music concert series on Saturday 16 April.
Maia von Lekow brings a dynamic new colour to Kenya's contemporary musical landscape. Born in Nairobi to a German/Italian mother and Kenyan musical pioneer Sal Davis, Maia's unique heritage is combined into a fresh sound that weaves jazz, funk, folk and blues, all sprinkled with Swahili spice. Since returning to Kenya in 2007, Maia has established her current live act, a high-energy six-piece band that has been making waves throughout East Africa, gracing the stages of prominent festivals across the region.
Prisca Ojwang’ is a soulful Kenyan performing artist and songwriter. Over the past five years she has developed her own unique style, using hilariously witty monologues to reel the audience into her soulful musical genius. In September 2015 Prisca held a solo performance at the Michael Joseph Centre in Nairobi dubbed ‘Me, Myself & I’, in which she shared with her fans the pressures of being a young Kenyan female creative fighting conservative thinking through her art. An alumni of the Sauti Academy (under Penya Africa), in 2014 she released her debut single, ‘Lies I Told’, and has since shared a stage with the likes of US-based Sudanese singer Alsarah, Dela from Kenya and South Africa’s Zahara.
Mishel Muriuki, meanwhile, is a musician with a soothing voice and an incredible self-made repertoire. Though not strictly a jazz musician, her songs have a definite jazz influence that can be heard through her work. Her music is an enticing blend of a sweet, serenading voice, poetic lyrics, melodic guitar licks and Kenyan rhythms. She accompanies her soulful ballads with classical guitar, then flips it up and dances energetically to her Benga, Kapuka and Chakacha-infused songs. Mishel is also a graduate of the Sauti Academy (like Prisca) and a woman of many talents, including being a hairstylist.
For more details about the Women In Music concert visit the Goethe-Institut website.