Wanja Wohoro: The Multifaceted Kenyan Afro-soul Singer

Wanja Wahoro, the Afro-soul singer is a plethora of artistic talent. Not only is the Kenyan rising star a gifted composer and songwriter, the jazzy musician is additionally a multi-instrumentalist.

She started off covering songs and her sultry renditions of Amy Winehouse and Lauryn Hill that sparked her some notoriety speaks to her versatile influences in music.

Although she had been pursuing music for quite some time, her official introduction to the spotlight came to us by her five-track debut EP High Tide in 2014. The project was so mature considering her tender age of about twenty at the time of its release. She displayed deep and rich lyricism, and masterful production. Although there were a couple of standout tracks like the title track High Tide and Hope, it was Doors and Walls that permeated through, even getting a video.

2018 saw her release her nine track album Matriarch, which was enabled by crowd funding, proving yet again that she is no fluke. The beautiful cover art for the album is a mural that took her thirteen straight hours to paint and the project was recorded live. Her dedication to her art is relentless. The composition present in this project is something to be experienced. Keeping with the times of the MeToo movement, Wanja intertwines the theme of women empowerment into her metaphorical storytelling. All the while doing so with her commanding husky and soulful vocals.

The lead single off her sophomore project Mumbi , entwines local Kikuyu folklore in the melodies. The folklore theme continues in the stripped down You, resulting in a smooth Afrocentric vibe. Roots is one of the standout tracks if the local radio play is anything to go by. The album features Kato Change in Youth, Nairobi Horns Project in Home and Tetu Shani in Binti. 

Following the release of her album, Wanja was named Apple Music Africa’s favorite new artist. She is definitely one to keep an eye (and ear) out for!

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