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Eric’s music is a blend of Kenyan Benga rhythm and East African guitars, with some modern Western harmony, but what makes him one of the most well loved musicians in Kenya is the political consciousness of his music.

One of his earliest compositions, “Kenya Only “, later renamed “Daima” became an unofficial anthem and a critical call to unity during several crises in Kenya. Throughout the 2007/2008 Post-Election Violence  period, every Kenyan radio and television station adopted the song as a call for peace.

Eric again topped the charts with his release of  Nchi ya Kitu Kidogo‘ in 2001, a song that launched his crusade against corruption in the country. Its success was a testament to his ability to have his finger firmly on the public pulse.

Transparency International invited him to be an ambassador and in 2001, Africa Almanac.com listed him amongst the top 100 Africans of the year 2000, which included high profile names such as Nelson Mandela, Joseph Kabila, Yash Pal Ghai, Baaba Maal and Ousmane Sembene.

So provocative in its day was the song,, that the the Moi government quietly banned it on the government-run national broadcaster, Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, but through the private media stations, the song and its music video propelled Eric to countrywide fame. The song also earned him a prestigious KORA awards nomination for Best East African Artist, which he won.

 

“Sawa Sawa”

His first record, Sawa Sawa, released in 2001 remains one of the highest selling solo albums in the country. In writing the record, Eric was making a decided attempt to break away from the all too common American influences in new African music. The result was a record which won critical and popular acclaim. His adaptation of a Kikuyu folk tune ‘Ritwa Riaku‘ was added every radio station’s playlist in the nation, as was the title track “Sawa Sawa”, which 10 years down the line, still receives regular airplay.


“Twende Twende”

Eric’s Second Album – Twende Twende was released in 2006 and displayed the musical maturity that comes from a full-time career in the music industry.  The title track featured a collaboration with the legendary Zimbabwean Musician, Oliver Mtukudzi who had been a long-term musical influence of his. The popular tune was adopted by the telcom giant Orange to mark their entry into the Kenyan market.

Eric’s Twende Twende album bagged 3 awards in Kenya’s Kisima Awards : Best Music Video, Best Afro-Fusion Artist and Best Song.


Current Record – “Love and Protest”

Eric’s much anticipated 3rd album has been  due for release since 2008 but he has pulled it back into the studio twice, determined to put out a record that completely reflects what it is he wants to say – musically and lyrically at that time. The album is now slated for release in 2011.


Live Performances

Eric has often been credited with re-energizing an ailing live music scene in Nairobi when he started playing weekly gigs first at Club Soundd and later the famous Thursday nights at Club Afrique.  In media  that was rapidly becoming obsessed with “celebrity culture”, Eric broke away from the norm and made it OK, as a musician, to be accessible and readily available to audiences with no fear of becoming “played out”. The weekly gigs became prominent feature of the entertainment scene and an available stage for many musicians to introduce themselves to audiences.