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Kenya Kondo    

Music, technology and the world

Kenya is a singer, songwriter and composer based in Edmonton, Canada. His music spans pop-rock, blues and acoustic ballads to instrumental compositions for film and TV.

Kenyas music has been described as 'British duo Butler/McAlmont meets Tracy Chapman'. His bands tight playing coupled with his powerful voice and catchy melodies enthrall audiences.When taking a break from music, Kenya is into running. When running gets too hard,he usually comes back to music.

As a solo artist, he explored the world of the lone singer-songwriter before forming his first band 'Leap of Faith'. He formed his second band 'Kitchen's Passport' adding a more prominent stage presence and fuller sound to his solo act. Playing alongside an ensemble of eclectic musicians, he covered the worlds of pop-rock, blues and folk-rock. Joining a second collaborative effort 'The Hidden Gemz' allowed him to explore more diverse styles of music honing his abilities as a songwriter.

Kenya returns to his roots as a singer-songwriter with his debut album 'WAIT' released in 2011.

Kenya's Story People who have come to hear singer-songwriter Kenya Kondo play are sometimes surprised that the Nairobi natives music isnt more sonically evocative of the country for which hes named. If not influenced by benga, soukous or the sounds coming out of Central Africa, Kondos impassioned pop songcraft is the undeniable product of the journey that brought him from Africa to Canada and launched him on his present musical course.

I got started in music by accident, confesses Kondo, who aspired to a career as an astronomer as a teenager in Kenya. My mother bought a second-hand guitar from a local carpenter and just had it lying around the house with the intention of learning how to play, because she loved music. I picked it up one day when the radio was on figuring out how to play the melodies by ear.

From picking out pop vocal melodies on the low E-string of an out-of-tune guitar, Kondo was writing his own songs within a couple of years and, in no time, recruiting his brother and other musicians to perform them at school and church functions, eventually winning a spot in the final five in a national star search competition.

I started out doing a lot of coversSimon and Garfunkel, Eagle Eye Cherry, Matchbox 20, MotownI love the Motown sound. Anything with a great melody, a catchy beat, thats what gets me going.

Seeking to enlarge on his solo sound, Kondo rounded up players from diverse background who cohered around his songs, founding the acoustic jam band Kitchens Passport, which allowed him to extend his reach onto Edmontons louder live music stages. Kondo also branched out into writing music for television and independent film, even lending his warm, sonorous tenor to voice work.

Kondo hooked up with LA-based musicians for a continent-spanning collaboration: a 10-song album entitled Wait.

The more I wrote, the more I found that when I was in a low place thats when things really flowed. Writing for other people, other voices, with other musicians in mind -- that helped me to keep writing without having to go to that low place.

Kenya returns to his roots as a singer-songwriter with his debut album 'WAIT'.

CHARTS 1. Album single 'Welcome To My High' debuts on the DMDS Charts for the week of December 20th, 2010 alongside The Far East Movement, Danny Fernandes and the Steel Magnolia's as the only indie artist song on the chart.

  1. Chart position #10 on Reverbnation's Edmonton singer-songwriter charts (August 21,2011-current)

  2. Album single 'Welcome To My High'gets to the number 4 position on Ontario station 91X FM's Indie Top 5 for the week of January 20th.

4.Finalist: 'The Indie Reviewer's TIR Indie Awards'

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