Nina Ogot ist definitiv

eine Kosmopolitin in Zeit und Raum. —

Luigi Lauer (SWR)

Nina Ogot is a singer, songwriter and guitarist. Born, bred and based in the capital city of Nairobi, her compositions are a reflection of her Luo origins and that of a few other Kenyan tribes. The songstress infuses Western influences into her songs to create a new melodic contemporary sound that represents the current traditionally diverse yet cosmopolitan Kenya. The musician makes an important contribution in preserving this evolving dynamic Kenyan culture by keeping it lively and relevant through her music.

Nina Ogot startete ihre Karriere 2008 mit dem Akustik-Album „Ninairobi“, gefolgt von zwei Afro-Pop-Singles „Wololo“ und „Aheri“ zwei Jahre später. 2014 legte sie gemeinsam mit dem kenianischen Benga-Musiker Winyo den Tonträger „Yote Yote“ vor. Dieses Album dokumentierte bereits das Bekenntnis der Sängerin zur eigenen Musiktradition und verschaffte ihr eine neue Fanbasis, denn durch ihre Fähigkeit zur Verknüpfung von modernen und überlieferten Stilen heben sich Nina Ogots Songs von kenianischer Popularmusik klar ab.

For more than a decade, the vocalist and guitarist performed in a trio band set up until 2018 when a 13 piece band lineup was formed for an event in Cologne-Germany dubbed “Jambo Day” by the Treasures of Kenya Initiative. This is a nonprofit trust based in Kenya and Germany dedicated to the conservation of Kenya’s natural and cultural heritage. Together, the new team recorded Nina Ogot’s third album “Dala” (home) in 2019, followed by a series of performances in both countries.

Singer songwriter Nina Ogot’s fourth and most current album Ukumbu.KE takes her audience on a journey through memory lane of her country Kenya . The Kiswahili root word -Ukumbu (memories)- and the word -Ukumbuke (Let us remember)- brings us into the- Dot KE- society, which is a reference to modern-day Kenya. Nina’s artistic agenda is to invite her audience to indulge in some of the sweet memories of her Kenyan culture that are threatened by extinction in today’s modern society.

Ukumbu.KE carries her memories forward into the present in order to restore their relevance in modern -day Kenyan society. The songs are predominantly sung in the national language of Kiswahili and in her mother tongue dholuo. The sounds and rhythmical references in the music are drawn from the Coastal and Western regions of Kenya with percussive sounds of the Isukuti, melodic references from Taarab music, traditional spiritual Luo gospel music and a vibrant horn section from Germany that reinterprets the music with modern melodies.

Whether or not you understand a word in her songs, her warm expressive voice transports you into an exotic world far beyond the restrictive borders of language. Her soulful sound, unforgettable melodies and delightful rhythms usher you into a foreign universe that promptly begins to feel comfortable and familiar. As a composer, she succeeds in translating her experiences into notes and lyrics that speak to listeners in many parts of the world.

The Kalasha 2011 Award winner for Best Original Score has braced numerous international stages including global festivals such as the Afrika Festival (The original)-Wurzburg , The Chiala Festival in Austria, Afro-Asia Festival in Kerala-India, The Bayimba Festival in Kampala-Uganda, The Moshito Festival in Johannesburg-South Africa and many more. She joined the OneBeat musical and cultural exchange program where she utilized the American platform to advocate for the plight of the Kenyan street child. Her efforts – together with the Kuruka Maisha Foundation – were awarded with the prestigious American National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards-NASAA, a project initiated by former America’s First Lady Michelle Obama.

Alongside her musical career, Nina Ogot is known nationally as an actress and the former presenter of one of Kenya’s most popular television shows. She is also a former radio host of a cultural show aired on Radio France International-RFI.

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