Nina Ogot (Kenya)
Nina Ogot, a Nairobi-based singer, songwriter, and guitarist, fuses her Luo heritage and diverse Kenyan cultural influences with Western sounds to create her own style of contemporary Kenyan music. Her journey began with the 2008 album Ninairobi, followed in 2014 with the album Yote Yote, a collaboration with Kenyan benga musician Winyo. While she usually performs with a trio, Ogot’s third album, 2019’s Dala, featured a 13-piece band. Ogot will soon release the album Ukumbu.KE, which features songs in the national language of Kiswahili and in her mother tongue Dholuo. Ogot’s music blends traditional and contemporary inspirations. It mixes the percussion of the Isukuti dance form of Western Kenya, melodic references from the Taarab music of the coast, traditional spiritual Luo gospel music and a vibrant horn section. Alongside her musical career, 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.
In her track “Pole Pole,” Ogot sings about how life and its challenges can stand in the way of love, but remains hopeful that “the best is yet to come.” She advises, “Should many days pass / He who takes things slow will never be trapped."