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Sauti Sol Takes a Bow

Kenyan Afro-Pop band Sauti Sol has announced an “indefinite hiatus” together as a group after their upcoming world tour from 21st May to 3rd September, 2023, ‘Sol Fest’ performance and the release of their final album later this year. 

In a press statement, the boy band comprised of vocalists Bien-Aimé Baraza, Willis Chimano, Savara Mudigi and guitarist Polycarp Otieno said, “While we take this hiatus to pursue our individual and collective passions, we remain committed to our friendship and our shared businesses. The bond between us is unbreakable, and we are excited for what the future holds.”

The band released their well-received debut studio album, ‘Mwanzo’ in 2008, followed by, ‘Sol Filosofia’ in 2011, which amassed multiple accolades in the form of awards and nominations. 

The music video for the single ‘Coming Home’ earned them the Best Music Video award at the Kisima Music Awards, as well as, the Best Fusion Artist/Group of the Year award. Their collaboration EP with South African rapper and producer, Spoek Mathambo was released in 2012. The music video for the single ‘Range Rover’ was shot at an old Dutch ammunition factory in Zaandam, Netherlands, which has since become a cultural heritage site. 

‘Live and Die in Afrika’, their 2015 third studio album was released for free download for 48 hours. This early Christmas present to their fans garnered 400,000 downloads in that period alone.

‘Midnight Train’, released in 2020 took fans through the journey of life, embracing the trials. The first single to be  released was Suzanna, then Brighter Days and Disco Matanga featuring Sho Madjozi and Black Motion, which enticed fans as the lead song from Netflix’s Queen Sono.

Having toured successfully across Africa, the US, Europe and Australia, the chart-topping band has received the recognition and respect of both their fans and the industry, taking home international awards including, BET Awards, an MTV EMA for Best African Act and MTV AFRICA Award for Best African Group.

In a bid to mentor upcoming Kenyan artists, the group formed Sol Generation Records, with the sole mission of developing and introducing new iconic live African acts. Pitched to attract authentic songwriters and shape shifting musicians, the record label saw the popularity of (now) house hold names Nviiri the Storyteller and Bensoul.

Fans raised speculations in 2021 regarding the possible disbandment of the boy band after they began pursuing solo projects. This saw the release of Savara’s ‘Savage Level’ album, Chimano’s EP album ‘Heavy is The Crown’ , Polycarp’s stab at authoring a children’s book ‘Written in the Stars’ and Bien’s 50 million record deal signing with Sol Generation. 

As to the future of Sauti Sol after two decades, “the indefinite hiatus marks the end of a specific chapter,” they said. 

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