There are various music genres associated with the Luo people. These include: Benga, Ohangla, Rhumba, Afro-fusion among others. By “Luo music”, I mean those songs sang, partly or fully, in Dholuo language, and not necessarily songs by musicians who hail from the Luo tribe. Luo music is arguably the most progressive. We decided to create this un-ordered list of some of the most notable artists.
1. Ayub Ogada
His song “Koth Biro” has been covered more than 20 times, allover the world. It was used as a movie soundtrack for “The Constant Gardner”, the 2005 Hollywood film shot in Kenya. He recently released a new album, Kodhi“, with Trevor Warren and it was later reviewed in the Guardian and Financial Times. Below is a rendition done by Andetag, a Swedish vocal quartet.
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2. Madanje Perimeter
He is a singer and a record engineer. He does Rhumba music, with most notable song being “Elector Nyarkano”.
3. Johnny Junior
One of the top two of the biggest names in Luo/Rhumba. He has released many hit singles and albums.
4. Lady Maureen
The undisputed Queen of Ohangla. She writes songs about current or trending issues. Her song for Gor Mahia, the KPL giant, is stands as one oh her biggest records.
5. Dola Kabarry
He is one of the last of the popular Benga era. His songs had rented the airwaves around the beginning of the millennium. He’s recently broke the hiatus with the release of a new album.
6. Prezda “Igwe” Bandasson
His elegant grooming will definitely leave an impression on you. His smooth Rhumba songs are inclined towards romance.” Nyisuba” and “Yamo Oloko Kido” are two of my favorites from Prezda Bandasson.
7. Onyango Alemo
There is a time when his songs “Kuche Kuche” and “Tho Luro” could never miss a club session. He has gone underground but these songs remain on top.
8. Otieno Aloka
Well, “Kanungo Eteko” is definitely a party-starter. It is the most popular Luo song among young and middle-aged Kenyans.
9. Emma Jalamo
Jalamo is not very old in the game but the artist has come up with a unique Ohangla/Rhumba fusion that has taken the country by storm. Young and old alike, folks are hooked on to an Emma song. He started off as a Gospel music singer. His new album, “Sherry” is a masterpiece with hits like “Wivu mbaya”. We highlight “Simba Ja Uriri”, his first secular hit.
He is a seasoned musician who has traveled wide. He is one of the pioneers of Ohangla sound. His singles made the genre popular.
11. Osogo Winyo
He has taken a low profile of late but he has some of the best Ohangla sounds of this decade.
The artist, once signed to signed to Ketebul Music, is known internationally. Known as Ohanglaman, he plays the Nyatiti and has added modern energy to it.
13. Suzanna Owiyo
She is one of the first female artists to fuse the Nyatiti tune with modern sound. She is most know for her breakthrough song, “Kisumu 100”. She is contemporary and remains relevant.
14. Anyango, Nyatiti Diva
Also known as the Nyatiti Diva, Anyango is a Japanese-born singer who traveled to Kisumu, Western Kenya to learn the Nyatiti. She is now regarded to be the first woman to play the lyre. She sings in Luo and Swahili, by the way. She had to learn these two languages. She’s won awards back home for her Nyatiti sound.
15. Awilo Mike and Jamnazi Band
Jamnazi band comprises of Awilo Mike and Milton Ongoro Jakarachuonyo. They gave us songs like “Am Not Sober” and “Riziki”, which are still hits right now.
16. Musa Jakadala
This is the artist whose rise has been quite phenomenal. He has gone on to receive much buzz with his “Hera Remo” hit.
More artists continue to enter the scene but not very many manage to make it to the top. We will, thus, continue to update this list.
17. Osito Kalle
A benga music legend with many hits, Osito Kalle remains active in the Luo music scene.
[Thank you for reading this. We hope this article leads you to more posts on Aipate.]
Musa Juma should be on top of the list
The list is not ordered.
emma jalamo should be at the top guys
The list is not ordered
Musa jakadala should be on the top
Where is Kabaselleh?
Dolla kabarry should be at the top following by john junior
You gotta be kidding. You made no mention of notable players like D.O Missiani, George Ramogi and Le grand Maitre Okatch Biggy.
the list include only those who are alive, can you notice Musa Juma is not in the list?
Odos.. watch the space
thumbs up for one and only Emma jalamo despite the young age .
[…] You all know me. I’m a village boy. The closest I come to partying in Nairobi is listening to Ohangla artists in dingy pubs and drinking beer. The most expensive drink I’ve ever bought is a […]
oma onge gima ing’eyo kata achiel. kwanza ere kaka papa j onge e list ni? onyango jakadenge? odhiambo tusker, omondi long’ lilo, osito kale? opiyo bilongo?
Who sung Akinyi Nyogenya of 1989 – 1992 top list song?
John junior should be at the top.