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
- No events
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Makadem @ Festival International Ollin Kan 2012 & Cannes Film Festival
With only a few weeks left before the end of his 3 months music residency in Cite international des Arts in Paris France, Makadem has had a very busy and exciting schedule.
Earlier this month Makadem was in Mexico where he performed at the annual Festival International Ollin Kan. Makadem was accompanied on stage by the One World All Stars band which comprises of musicians from Copenhagen and Berlin.
Upon his return to Paris last week, Makadem performed at the openning of the Cannes Film Festival, one of the world’s most prestigious and publicized international film festival, in Cannes south of France.
During his stay in Paris, Makadem also had the opportunity to meet and rub shoulders with a number of dignitaries from Kenya when they visited France. They included the current Minister For Justice Hon Eugene Wamalwa and the Chairman of IEBC Mr Ahmed Isaak Hassan.
Makadem whose residency comes to a close at the end of this month, will be returning home shortly where he will then headline at the Sawa Sawa festival.
Stay tuned for more updates on this and other stories from Ketebul Music.
Makadem In Paris
Contributions by Stefano
Today marks the 3rd week since Makadem went for his kalimba and guitar residency in Paris, under the Atelier du Monde programme of the Institut Francais. The Ohanglaman (soon to be Kalimbaman) reports that he is already knee deep in class and the groove is on!
Makadem started his first sessions with the Angolan Kalimba maestro Lulendo Mvulu and Togolese guitar virtuoso Amen Viana (www.reverbnation.com/amenviana) on 16th of March. He was, in his own words, blown away by the skills possesed by his 2 mentors and their generosity and willingness to share with him their time and talents.
Makadem is glad not to be alone in the residency programme. Fellow musicians also in Paris for the residency with Makadem are Allis Naaba (www.myspace.com/alifnaaba) from Burkina Fasa and Naby (www.myspace.com/demrek) from Senegal, both of whom he describes as gifted and inspirational.
The Ohanglaman who for the duration of his residency is residing at Cite des Arts in Paris, also took some time off for sight seeing like most tourists would do. The streets of Paris are sure to provide inspiration to Makadem for future compositions.
In true Kenyan style, Makadem was sure not to forget the essentials during his travel. Apart from his guitar and kalimba, the Ohanglaman carried with him his survival kit..!
We wish Makadem all the best and we hope he aquires as much knowledge as possible. We are looking forward to sharing the experience with him when he gets back home.
Message from Ketebul Music to Makadem, “Come back with a new kalimba. The better for you to practice your newly acquired skills on..!”
For more pictures and daily updates from The Ohanglaman himself, follow Makadem on facebook by CLICKING HERE
Featured Pictures courtesy of Makadem
Makadem For Music Residency In Paris, France
It seems like globe trotting will again be the order of the day for Ketebul Music artist Makadem. The Ohanglaman will soon be packing his bags as he takes off for a 3 month music residency in Paris, France.
Supported by the Institut Francais under the Ateliers du Monde programme, Makadem was selected for the residency programme which will see him study under internationally reknown kalimba maestro, Lolendo Mvulu, with the intention of improving his kalimba playing skills.
Makadem who spent the better part of last year in Europe, will also use his time in Paris interacting with other musicians like the critically acclaimed Congolese guitarist Syrian M’Benza.known for his collaborations with the likes of Sam Mangwana, Vicky Longomba and Nyboma to name but a few. Syrian M’Benza is widely acknowledged as one of Africa’s finest and most accomplished guitarists (quoted from African Musician’s Profiles).
We at Ketebul Music extend our gratitude to Institut Francais for giving Makadem this opportunity.
Featured photo ©Paulo da Costa