KENZO – KEN KAY-ONGO performing at the UgandaUK Convention on 27th August

Kenso was born into an amazing family of politicians and God fearing parents. He grew up in a small American Church called good Shepherds on the outskirt burbs of Nairobi’s Ngong road. He was spruced on Sunday school sermons, Merge’s ice tea and the church choir, while pop locking on the corner of suburban estate streets. It was this after church gig as a b-boy that started him on the trek towards the music industry. He was born as Ken Daniel Kayongo but dropped the government name for the more stage friendly Kenso.

While living in Ngumo estates in Nairobi, pop locking and a minuscule effort at b-boying energized the idea of turning this new found passion into a full blown career. His infatuation for entertainment was indisputable and while that seed was being nurtured, he developed real affection for music and slowly roved his way through the industry.

7 years later, he was on a British Airways plane looking outside the tiny oval window at what seemed to be infinite miles of white scenery. He was only a 17 year old cat, unscathed like a diamond in the rough, somewhat timorous but ready for whatever his new home had in store for him. He had arrived in Sweden. A country he knew nothing about except for a mythological god called Thor, rein deer’s, Vikings and Santa Clause. Destiny had found a way of bringing him to the right place and the right time.

It was in this Island city of gothic buildings and beautiful blondes that Kenso bumped into 2 kenyan brothers who offered him a spot in a new upcoming rap group called Swahili Nation. From living in the gated life of a sheltered nerd, Kenso was thrown into a world he was perfectly alien to. It was the planet of rap battles, studio sessions, groupies, wannabe’s and the fast lane of chasing superstar dreams. 

His professional career was on the fast track with Swahili Nation for certain. He was by now the lead member, writing hooks, verses and choreographing dances at the same time. Those embarrassing times when his mom would make him and his siblings sing for her friends in perfect harmony had finally paid off. Leading his group to a second place position during the world rap telephone competition, Kenso had finally set himself as a power house in the industry.

With a few struggles in the beginning, a few deals gone bad, a few diva members acting out and tons of bad luck, Kenso finally penned down the song the has become synonymous with Swahili Nation; “(Mpenzi) Hakuna Matata”. It was this record that jump started the fire for a pop market in East Africa and through Kenso’s ability to pen melodies and spit lyrics on them like a Philadelphia cheese spread on some fresh bread; Swahili Nation came and changed the game in the EA.

Kenso has been on stage with many major artists as an opening act with his band Swahili Nation. They shared the stage with international acts like jamiroquai, Kci and Jojo, Mark Morrison, Boyz 11 Men, Spice Girls, and many more and performed on big stage events like the Stockholm jazz festival…  

After a long winding road in the entertainment industry, Kenso makes an audacious move back into the limelight as an artist and joins forces with Da Griot, one of Stocktowns hottest Rappers. A former US marine that is well too aware of the live action on a battle field in Afghanistan or a battle on a mic between MC’s.

Their collabo merges a new African style R&B, Southern hip hop and pop which makes up the new group they call “AYKONIK”. It’s a mishmash of diverse flavors that are both alluring and critically valid in today’s market. It was more than a decade that this veteran artist was part of East Africa’s pioneer boy band Swahili Nation. Growing up in several countries like Uganda, Kenya, Sweden the UK and the USA have given Kenso an amazing international stance on the entertainment world. He transmits a touch of quality in his sound that brings the African style to a whole new level. This new direction for Kenso takes him to a vulnerable place where he has to re-define himself as an artist, vocalist and as a performer.

Thanks to the amazingly skilled Swedish producer Ari L, Kenso breaks back into the market with positive vibes and looks to a bright future. As the African market gets chock-a-blocked with new talent every day, the rivalry for a spot in the limelight gets
Juicier. Kenso only loves it more with these defying elements because they only augment his own aptitude to create the most adaptable style for the market. As a songwriter, this writing veteran prides himself in story telling but the gist of his career is his stage show which comes with lots of dancing, high energy performance and a powerful stage presentation.

From his very first single “Mpenzi”, to the newest single 1 in a Million, Kenso brings amazing melodies, creative lyrics and great performance on every distinct delivery. It’s this measure of passion for his music that has kept him coming back time and time again.
This summer, he releases his newest single 1 in a million, features Da Griot and showcases his ability to touch on positive messages while still keeping a pop feel in the sound and production.
The Kenso experience is getting ready for a major takeover and whichever way you look at it, this is East Africa’s finest and his musical genius has opened doors for many young cats today. Brace yourself….

 

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