Hello all, we are now in March, 2012... 'RizMum' blog sure is getting slower now, but as promised I will try my best to keep on going... and its been awhile now since my last post (T_T) and to update this took me almost a year, anyhow, this will be my final year so you guys know how it is when the big "E" comes. So guys, see you in my next post and keep on SHREDDING!!!! And as always please feel free to drop a suggestion/ideas via e-mail, Thanks

Friday, 3 September 2010

Suzzana Owiyo

Name: Suzanna Owiyo
Born: Unknown (Kasaye village, Nyakach, Kenya)

Profile: She is a Kenyan musician. A singer-songwriter, and Owiyo has been called as "the Tracy Chapman of Africa".

History: Owiyo was introduced to music at a tender age by her grandfather who was a prolific Nyatiti player.

In high school, she helped her school to win many trophies during the provincial and national music festivals. In 1998, after high school, Owiyo joined a Nairobi based singer Sally Oyugi as a backup vocalist, and 2 years later she parted ways with Sally to team up with a local band in Nairobi; "Bora Bora sound" and later on went back to sing in Kisumu. It was here that a young business entrepreneur with a keen ear for music spotted her talent and offered her, her first guitar. She then went back to Nairobi and undertook music lessons at the Kenya Conservatoire of Music.

It was while preparations were being made for the centennial celebrations of the city of Kisumu, that Owiyo was requested to compose a theme song for the opening ceremony. In front of a capacity crowd of 60,000 people 'Kisumu 100' was born and immediate success followed; a prolonged applause and a standing ovation.

Owiyo then decided to work on an album with Kenyan music producer Tedd Josiah. The album, which received great success on the radio, won her a nomination in the Kora Awards 2002 in the 'Most Promising Female Artist category'. The same album won her a Kisima Awards for the Most Promising Female Artist of 2003. Her new single 'Sandore' and the video clip with a powerful message on child labour was also a success.

In 2003, Owiyo represented her country at the Kenyan Festival in Paris, and in August the same year she represented East Africa at the Pan-African music Festival in Brazzaville where she sang alongside Youssou N’dour, Koffi Olomide and Rebecca Malope among other African greats.

In 2004, she performed at the Festival Mundial in Tilburg, Holland, and Owiyo beat a host of African artistes to clinch the single berth reserved for a female African artiste to perform at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert, where she performed with her band, and also performed the song 'Imagine' with artistes such as Cyndi Lauper, Andrea Bocelli, Chris Botti, Patti Labelle and Baba Maal.

In 2007, Owiyo was part of the Divas of The Nile supergroup, that featured four Kenyan female musicians. The others were Mercy Myra, Achieng Abura and Princess Jully. The group performed at the Festival Mundial. In 2008, she performed at the Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday concert in London and performed again at the WOMEX festival. She is among the Kenyan artistes who have been sponsored by the Alliance Fran├žaise in Nairobi.

Influences: Unknown

Axology: Acoustic guitar and other traditional African instruments

Signature song(s): Sandore - Suzzana Owiyo (2002)

Link(s): (Official website)

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