Influences: African , Caribbean
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Photo by: Makadem
Photo by: Makadem
Photo by: Makadem
Photo by: Makadem
Photo by: Makadem
Makadem also known as the Ohanglaman is of one Kenya’s most talented and promising performing artist. His command on stage, charisma and powerful vocal delivery, spiced with satire has made many describe him as Kenya’s own Fela Kuti. He has successfully fused different genres of music from Kenya, Africa and the world with his native Luo Benga music.

After completing his high school education, Makadem became a tour guide based in his hometown of Mombasa. He later began entertaining guests at the beach hotels along the Kenyan Coast by playing his guitar and singing cover songs, to supplement his tour guide income.

By 1999, he had become a fully fledged musician and performing artist, and went on to record and release a reggae dancehall single titled ‘Mr. Lololova’.

Years later, Makdem met and started collaborating with veteran afro fusion producer, Tabu Osusa. This collaboration saw Makadem successfully transform his style of music from raga to a Benga and Ohangla based style that he refers to as ‘Anglo-Ohangla’. Anglo Ohangla is a fusion of Ohangla (traditional Luo music based on Luo drums), Nyatiti (Luo music based on a Luo lyre), and Dodo (traditional Luo music singing style – Luo is a tribe from western Kenya, Lake Victoria region) styles of music mixed with other modern African beats with heavily accented Luo-English Vocals. Makadem went on to record his debut album titled ‘Ohanglaman’ under Tabu Osusa’s keen guidance, which was released under Ketebul Music in 2007.

Makadem uses his humorous and witty lyrics to address deep socio-economic struggles in modern day Kenya. He has toured in Morocco and Europe and performed in regional festivals including Sauti za Busara (Zanzibar), Bayimba (Uganda) and Fest’Horn (Djibouti). He has shared the stage with top international artists including, Gregory isaacs, mighty Culture, Glen Washington, Baaba Maal, Mahotella Queens and Lokua Kanza to mention but a few.

Makadem was also in the international limelight when he released a song titled ‘Obama Be Thy Name’ in support of current American president Barrack Obama, during his campaign bid in 2008. The video on you tube generated quite a stir with both negative and positive feedback.

Makadem has remained one of the busiest Kenyan artists to date with regular tours of Europe organized by One World. Some of the highlights of his career include opening for Seun Kuti in Copenhagen, Denmark in October of 2011 and performing at the opening of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France in May of 2012.

Apart from touring, Makadem also took some time of in March of 2012 after being selected and invited by the Institut Francais for a 3 month music residency at the Cite International des Arts in Paris France. During the residency, Makadem worked on improving his Kalimba playing skills as an understudy of Angolan Kalimba maestro, Lolendo Mvulu and also his guitar playing under the tutorledge of the legendary Syrian Mbenza.

Other selected career highlights of Makadem are as listed below:

September 2012 – Kilifi Festival, Kilifi Kenya

July 2012 – The GoDown Gig, Nairobi Kenya

June 2012 – Sawa Sawa Festival, Nairobi Kenya

May 2012 – Cannes Film Festival, Cannes France

May 2012 – Festival Internacional Ollin Kan, Mexico City Mexico

March – May 2012 – Visa Pour La Creation (Music residency), Cite International des Arts, Paris France

Feb 2012 – Thursday Night Live, Nairobi Kenya

October 2011 – Openning act for Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, Copenhagen Denmark

September 2011 – The Rift Valley Festival, Naivasha Kenya

August 2011 – Kisumu Peace Festival, Kisumu Kenya

July 2011 – African Culture Festival, Malmo Sweden

July 2011 – Copenhagen Jazz Festival, Copenhagen Denmark

July 2011 – Nuit d’Afrique Festival, Montreal Canada

July 2011 – Sunfest, Ontario Canada

June 2011 – Pointe Noir Festival Pointe Noir Congo Brazzaville

February – March 2011 – One World Scandinavian Tour, Denmark & Sweden

December 2010 – Gatwich Festival, Nairobi Kenya

December 2010 – Kikwetu Festival, Nairobi Kenya

September 2010 – Blankets & Wine, Nairobi Kenya

October – November 2010 – One World Tour, Denmark

February 2010 – Sauti Za Busara Festival, Stonetown Zanzibar

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