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Eric Wainaina seems to have been born to “speak truth to power”. His earliest songs, Daima and Nchi Ya Kitu Kidogo became anthems sung across the country – powerful indictments of corruption  and divisive politics. His two award-winning records, Sawa Sawa(2001) and Twende Twende(2006) are still amongst the highest selling records in Kenya. His most recent release, Love + Protest (2011) received wide critical acclaim.

He has collaborated in on his records with leading African musicians including Lionel Lueke, Oliver Mtukudzi, Baba Maal, Nneka and the  Soweto Gospel Choir. 

His lyrical and melodic prowess make him a highly sought-after composer in collaborative projects as well as on-screen music.  He was commissioned to write the music for a United Nations MDG campaign entitled “8 Goals for Africa” which featured African greats such as Angelique Kidjo, Baaba MaalOliver Mtukudzi and Yvonne Chaka Chaka.

He also wrote and starred in the musical theatre production, Mo Faya!, which was presented  to sold-out houses in at the New York Musical Theatre Festival and at the The Godown Arts Centre in Nairobi. He has subsequently been a Sundance Institute fellow with the same play, which goes into production in June and is slated to open in London in 2014.

He was also commissioned to write the musical score for the 52-part animated series Tinga Tinga Tales produced by Tiger Aspect and commissioned by the BBC for is CeeBeeBee’s channel.

In 2013 he was invited to the role of Principle on Tusker Project Fame (S6) East Africa’s most widely watched television show.

Berklee Experience:

During his years at Berklee, Eric worked to produce a sound that would be distinctively Kenyan; both in the music and lyrical content.  He maintained a solid presence in Nairobi, traveling home every year and releasing tracks that earned and kept his place in the local music charts and in the hearts of the Kenyan Public. He was awarded the Jack Maher Scholarship for his distinction in song writing and the Yo Team award for excellence in music among other distinctions. He maintains a close relationship with Berklee where he serves as a member of the African Scholars Award Board.

Festivals and International Performances:

An accomplished stage musician, Eric has appeared on African and Global stages ,putting East Africa on the map as a space to look to for dynamic performers. Some of the events he has graced include:-