Winyo

Profile: Winyo

Born Shiphton Onyango, Winyo adopted his artistic name ‘Winyo’, which is a Luo word (a tribe from the Lake Victoria region of Western Kenya) for “a bird”. The reason for this becomes apparent once you hear him sing. His voice has been likened to that of a singing bird.
Winyo is a singer and songwriter of great sensitivity and he also plays the guitar, backed by his 4 piece band of accomplished musicians.
Winyo derives his music and musical strength from his fore fathers whose African music was rich in melody and traditional harmonies. His musical style ranges from traditional Luo melodies infused with witty story lines, afro fusion and afro jazz, to a contemporary interpretation of Benga, transformed into an authentic acoustic sound. His powerful yet mellow vocals are the icing on the cake that makes listening to Winyo, an almost heavenly experience.
Winyo sings in his paternal language of Dholuo, Swahili and English. His stories address a myriad of social issues ranging from the plight of homeless children to courtship and love stories.
Winyo started off as part of the critically acclaimed and accomplished trio named ‘Rateng’ (which means Black in Luo), cutting his teeth as the composer, vocalist and guitarist of the group. Winyo was instrumental in the writing and composing of the group’s album titled ‘Thumology’, which was released in 2009.
In 2010, Winyo was shortlisted as one of the ten finalists in the Radio France International (RFI) Discoveries. He went on to be the overall first runners up. This was followed by a second nomination and top ten shortlisting in RFI Discoveries in 2011.
Come 2012, Winyo was once again nominated for an international award, this time from the Rolex Arts Initiative for a mentor and protege programme. Winyo went on to be invited as one of the four finalists who travelled to Rio De Janeiro in Brazil to meet with the legendary Gilberto Gil. Although Winyo was not selected as the protege, he did manage to work with Mr Gil.
Winyo is also a much sought after composer and song writer and has penned songs for many chart topping artistes in Kenya, including;

  • Niwe, Nguga ii Baiskeli, Malaika (Arrangement), Fever (arrangement) for Tusker Project Fame winner 2008, Valerie Kimani ‘s album Baiskeli
  • Angalia Saa for Ukoo Fulani Mau Mau
  • .
    He is also a professional photographer, actor and a TV producer. He is currently the executive video producer for a Kenyan media company called Big foot productions, which has produced several local TV shows.
    Winyo’s goal is to take African music to the world, and enliven people to dance and sing to the sweet and melodic sounds of African songs and music.
    To date, Winyo has graced the stage and performed at numerous shows and festivals both locally and internationally including the following;

    • Moshito, South Africa 2010
    • Bushfire Festival, Swaziland – 2010
    • The Rift Valley Festival, Kenya – 2010
    • Sawa Sawa Festival, alongside Jazz maestro Hugh Masekhela (South Africa) and Ayub Ogada (Kenyan nyatiti player based in England) – 2008
    • BBC Radio Journalist of the Year Award, Kenya. 2007
    • The Hon. Raila Odinga’s Presidential Campaign Launch (Kenya) 2007
    • Uzbekistan Cultural Music Festival 2006

    A special edition of Winyo’s debut CD as a solo artist titled Benga Blues, was released in Europe as an EP while he was on a tour that saw him perform in Germany, Italy, Romania, and France. The CD was well received and will be officially launched in Kenya and internationally in August of 2012.

Winyo-CD-sampler-cover

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Events

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24
Sep
2015

The Spotlight On Kenyan Music 10th Year Anniversary Celebrations

The Spotlight on Kenyan Music Programme marked its 10 year anniversary with a colourful concert held at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi Kenya, last weekend on the 19th and 20th of September 2015. The concert coincided with the Total Motor show, which is a major motor show event in East and Central Africa.

Spotlight on Kenyan Music is a cultural music programme initiated by the Alliance Française in 2005 in partnership with Ketebul Music, with the support of the Embassy of France in Kenya, Total Kenya Ltd, and the Department of Culture.

The concert featured spotlight selected Spotlight artistes such as Lelele Afrika, Juma Tutu, Makadem, Mzee Mwatela and Gargar among others.

On Saturday afternoon the show kicked off with a great performance by Walter Koga, a nyatiti player from Nyakach, Nyanza. He was followed by Mutinda, who is part of the first crop of the spotlight on Kenyan music volume 1, with his song ‘Matopeni.’ His song ‘Simama’ also saw him win the International Song Writing Competition.

Walter Koga on stage at the Spotlight On Kenyan Music 10th anniversary celebrations

Walter Koga on stage at the Spotlight On Kenyan Music 10th anniversary celebrations

Mutinda from performing 'Matopeni'

Mutinda performing 'Matopeni'

Next on line was Mzee Mwatela, a renowned percussionist hailing from the coastal town of Malindi. He is featured in the Spotlight On Kenyan Music volume 6 compilation.

Mzee Mwatela from the Malindi

Mzee Mwatela from the Malindi

The audience was amazed by the mellow voice of Winyo who, though not a Spotlight artiste but a good friend of Alliance Française. Winyo was twice  nominated for the Radio Funds International Discoveries Award and is a beneficiary of the Institut Français.

Winyo serving the crowd a taste of his Benga Blues

Winyo serving the crowd a taste of his Benga Blues

Makadem, also known as the Ohanglaman or Mganga Mkuu (the great healer) wrapped it all up with a high energy performance which had the crowd on their feet and left them yearning for more. His song ‘Nyar Nairobi’ is featured in the 1st volume of the Spotlight On Kenyan Music compilation.

Makadem performing his song 'Mganga Mkuu' at the Spotlight on Kenyan Music stage

Makadem performing his song 'Mganga Mkuu' at the Spotlight on Kenyan Music stage

As a continuation to the celebrations, on Sunday, Mohammed Guyo from Marsabit opened the stage in style with Lelele Africa stepping in after him. Mohamed Guyo is featured in the Spotlight on Kenyan Music volume 5 compilation, which focused on music from Northern Kenya. Lelele Africa is a band made up of veteran Taarab musicians and are one of the few remaining groups that still play the  old style taarab music. They were featured in the volume 6 compilation.

Mohamed Guyo from Marsabit, North Eastern Kenya

Mohamed Guyo from Marsabit, North Eastern Kenya

 

Mwanate Kibwana of Lelele Afrika

Mwanate Kibwana of Lelele Afrika

 

Next on stage was Chepchumba from the Rift valley, featured in the volume 3 compilation. She was then followed by Juma Tutu, a Swahili jazz  musician whose song titled ‘Sukari’ was featured in the volume 1 compilation, going on to become became a runaway hit in Kenya.

Chepchumba on stage, singing the song 'kipla'

Chepchumba on stage, singing the song 'kipla'

Juma Tutu on his saxophone

Juma Tutu on his saxophone

The performances went on with Ontiri Bikundo from Kisii, whose song titled ‘Speed Governor,’ a call for responsible sexual behaviour, appears on  the Spotlight On Kenyan Music volume 2 compilation.

Ontiri Bikundo playing the obukano

Ontiri Bikundo playing the obukano

Gargar, a group  made up of Kenyan women of Somali origin from Garissa, North Eastern Kenya, were next on stage after Ontiri Bikundo. They are one of the major success stories from the Spotlight On Kenyan Music programme, having travelled to perform and showcase in numerous countries internationally. They are the only group that has been featured in two Spotlight On Kenyan Music compilations, the first being volume 4 with their song ‘Aids Wadila’ and the second ‘Shicir’ in the volume 5 compilation.

Gargar from Garissa

Gargar from Garissa

Sarabi are not Spotlight on Kenyan music artistes but in an effort to support young Kenyan talent, they too were invited to perform. They will be performing on Friday, 24th of September 2015, at the Alliance Française gardens in a show that seeks to raise funds for their upcoming trip to Budapest where they will showcase at WOMEX.

Mandela of Sarabi

Mandela of Sarabi

The event was also used to launch Spotlight On Kenyan Music Videos that had been shot and produced by Ketebul Music over a four month period, between May and August 2015.

 

Spotlight On Kenyan Music videos

Spotlight On Kenyan Music videos

 

 

 

 

SOKM-Avator
17
Jan
2014

Welcome to Festive Friday!

Happy Friday Ketebul Music friends and family!
Starting this and every Friday we will be sharing and reminding you of the festivals and events where our personnel and signed artists, and those within the larger Ketebul Music network will be attending, showcasing and performing.

We will call this, FESTIVE FRIDAY!

To kick us off this Festive Friday, we debut by featuring our very own Winyo.

Winyo @ The Stage

Winyo @ The Stage

Winyo will be performing @ MASA| Market for African Performing Arts which will be held in Côte d’Ivoire between 1st and 8th of March 2014. Masa created in 1993 by the Intergovernmental Agency of the Francophonie , is a festival of African Art ( theater , music and dance ) held every two years in Abidjan.

Winyo who is a gifted and talented singer, songwriter and guitarist, has one album/ CD to his credit titled Benga Blues, which was recorded and produced at Ketebul Music Studios.

Benga Blues CD Cover

Benga Blues CD Cover

Winyo started off as part of the critically acclaimed and accomplished trio named ‘Rateng’ (which means Black in Luo), cutting his teeth as the composer, lead vocalist and guitarist of the group. With the group Rateng, they went on to emerge 3rd in the Uzbekistan Cultural Music Festival in 2006. Winyo was instrumental in the writing and composing of the group’s album titled ‘Thumology’, which was released in the year 2009.

Winyo on Stage in Sweden 2013

Winyo on Stage in Sweden 2013

Winyo derives his music and musical strength from his fore fathers whose African music was rich in melody and traditional harmonies. His musical style ranges from traditional Luo melodies infused with witty story lines, afro fusion and afro jazz, to a contemporary interpretation of Benga, transformed into an authentic acoustic sound. His powerful yet mellow vocals are the icing on the cake that makes listening to Winyo, an almost heavenly experience.

Winyo letting his hair down in Lasi Romania

For more info and updates follow Winyo on facebook: CLICK HERE

For info on MASA, CLICK HERE

Winyo @ Gede
13
Mar
2013

Catch Winyo Live @ Treehouse Thursday 14th March

Following the release of his debut Cd titled Benga Blues, Winyo is set to do a number of shows to promote the CD.

Benga Blues

On Thursday the 14th of March, Winyo will be on stage at the Treehouse where he will play music from Benga Blues. Winyo will also throw in a special treat by playing new music that he has been working on.

Winyo on stage in Lasi, Romania

Benga Blues will be on sale at the venue, and Winyo will be available to personally autograph your copy after the show.

As always, keep tabs on Winyo, his projects and upcoming shows by following him on facebook.

Click HERE to like his page.

Winyo-treehouse