Sauti Sol–The Most Successful Male Band in Kenya

Updated on August 6, 2020
alambientertainment profile image

The writer is a creative Content Strategist, who loves to write about global entertainment and issues concerning Africa.

Sauti Sol Members
Sauti Sol Members

Music is one of the greatest art forms out there. It helps to uplift low spirits, express feelings of love, offer words of encouragement and send other types of thoughtful messages. I listen to all sorts of music from different parts of the world, but one of my favorites is Afro pop. And, one of the most famous Afro pop acts is the Sauti Sol band from Kenya.

Sauti Sol is an exceptional Afro pop group that has won numerous awards over the years for their creativity, talent and hard work. The band was created in Nairobi, Kenya and is made up of four members: Bien-Aime Baraza, Willis Austin Chimano, Savara Mudigi and Polycarp Otieno. Bien, Chimano and Savara had met each other while attending the same high school and sang in the school’s music group. The three men met Polycarp later at the Alliance Francaise (a French language school) in Nairobi. “Sauti” is the Swahili word for voice.

Sauti Sol "Short N Sweet" Video

Sauti Sol’s Discography

The first debut studio album release from Sauti Sol was “Mwanzo” in 2008, which received a positive response from fellow Kenyans. Three years later, the award winning afro pop group released “Sol Filosofia” as their second studio album, which won them several accolades and nominations.

In June 2012, Sauti Sol went ahead to grace their fans with a self-titled extended play (EP) in collaboration with Spoek Mathambo (a rapper and record producer from South Africa). The EP’s lead single was “Range Rover” and its video was shot in the Netherlands. Another Sauti Sol track (“Slow”) featuring Mathambo and Kenyan songstress, Dela, was shot in Amsterdam.

In addition, the afro pop group released an attention-grabbing song called “Nishike”. The steamy content in the song’s video caused it to be banned from local TV stations.

A third Sauti Sol studio album was released in November 2015 under the title, “Live and Die and Afrika”. The album was availed online and fans could download it for free for 2 days as an early Christmas gift.

The band’s work has led them to receiving high acclaim on local charts in Kenya and gaining international attention. The former US President, Barack Obama (who also has roots in Kenya) once mentioned that Sauti Sol’s song, “Sura Yako” had influenced the pop culture in America.

Sauti Sol’s forth studio album was released in 2019 under the name of “Afrikan Sauce”. The track showcased a departure from the group’s previous acoustic sound, and featured guest appearances from the following artists:

  • Bebe Cool from Uganda
  • Burna Boy from Nigeria
  • C4 Predo from Angola
  • Jah Prayzah from Zimbabwe
  • Khaligraph Jones from Kenya
  • Mi Casa from South Africa
  • Nyashinski from Kenya
  • Patoranking from Nigeria
  • Tiwa Savage from Nigeria
  • Vanessa Mdee from Tanzania
  • Yemi Alade from Nigeria

The “Afrikan Sauce” album consisted of 13 songs and was backed by previously released singles, namely “Short N Sweet”, “Melanin”, “African Star”, “Tujiangalie” and “Girl Next Door”.

Sauti Sol "Suzanna" Video

On 7 February 2020, Sauti Sol released the single, “Suzanna”, which talks about the controversial anomaly of women being sponsored by older men in return for romantic favors. “Suzanna” is the band’s first single under their new record deal with Universal Music Group. The accompanying music video was captured in Nigeria and follows a 70s disco ball theme.

In addition, one of Sauti Sol's song was featured as the soundtrack for "Queen Sono" in February 2020. "Queen Sono" is the first African Original Netflix series.

On 17 April 2020, Sauti Sol released "Brighter Days", which is the third single of the album "Midnight Train". They collaborated with a South African choir in the uplifting song that talks about brighter days ahead after the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Sauti Sol Soundtrack in "Queen of Sono"

The following are some of the awards that Sauti Sol has gotten during their illustrious career:

  • Museke Online Africa Music Award for the Best Group in 2010
  • Two Kisima Music Awards for the Best Fusion Artist or Group of the Year, and Best Music Video for their track “Coming Home” from the album “Sol Filosofia”
  • MTV Europe Music Award for Best African Act in 2014
  • Google Recognition for Most Watched Music Video on YouTube (in Kenya) in 2014 for “Nishike”
  • Channel O Music Video Award for Most Gifted East African Video in 2012 for the song “I Don’t Want to Be Alone”
  • Kilimanjaro Tanzania Music Award for the Best Song in East Africa in 2015 for “Sura Yako”

Sauti Sol "Brighter Days" Video

Biography of Sauti Sol Members

If you’re interested in knowing more about each member of the Sauti Sol band, read on below. It’s interesting to know that all the band members were born in the same year, with Bien-Aime Baraza being the youngest and Savara Mudigi being the oldest. Belonging to the same age group is probably why the artists have managed to stay together for more than thirteen years.

Bien of Sauti Sol
Bien of Sauti Sol

1. Bien-Aime Baraza

Born on 28 December 1987, Bien is a talented songwriter, guitarist and vocalist. He is the most outspoken Sauti Sol member and possesses a degree in Journalism and Media Studies from the United States International University. Apart from being a Sauti Sol member, Bien has also written for artists such as Wendy Kimani, and Amos & Josh. The musician’s tall height, toned abs and astounding vocals have for the longest time made girls go crazy for him. So, many were disappointed when the gifted musician proposed to his girlfriend Chiki Kuruka, who is a dance fitness enthusiast and model, in 2019. They tied the knot on 6 March 2020 in a private wedding ceremony.

Chimano of Sauti Sol
Chimano of Sauti Sol

2. Willis Austin Chimano

He is a vocalist, keytar player, performer, and saxophonist, and was born on 9 July 1987. Before the creation of the Sauti Sol group, Chimano participated in a music contest at the French Cultural Centre and won. Additionally, the talented artist visited Paris for two weeks to sample music translations, and holds a Journalism and Media Studies degree from the University of Nairobi.

Savara of Sauti Sol
Savara of Sauti Sol

3. Savara Mudigi

Sauti Sol’s Savara Mudigi was born on May 25, 1987. He is a bass guitarist, producer, drum player and vocalist. In collaboration with Polycarp Otieno, Savara produced a majority of the songs on the “Live and Die in Afrika” album. The gifted vocalist has also worked alongside Elani (a famous Kenyan band) and has networked with well-known Disk Jockeys and international producers.

Polycarp of Sauti Sol
Polycarp of Sauti Sol

4. Polycarp Otieno

Polycarp was born on 14 November 1987, and serves as an arranger, songwriter, guitarist and producer on the Sauti Sol band. He received free lessons on playing guitar at the All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi. During the lessons he discovered his adoration for guitar, and continued to play even after the classes ended. In addition to guitar, Polycarp also learned French at the French Language Centre and attained an Actuarial Science degree from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture. He is currently married to a Burundian fashion stylist, Amanda, who is popularly called Lady Mandy.

© 2020 Alice Njambi


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)