Mutinda, a self-taught musician, first burst into the limelight during the 2005 Spotlight on Kenyan Music (a program for the development and promotion of Kenyan afro-fusion music) where he emerged the top male artiste.
And his star has been on the raise since then, with the recent award he won after being crowned as the first Kenyan to win the prestigious International Songwriting Award 2010.
His debut album, Matopeni, blends afro-fusion and jazzy styles but most of all it has a feel of authenticity and soul which is not so common with most his contemporaries. It maybe have something to do with the lyrics highly portent; speaking of adoration in “Mama”, nostalgic in “Vala Vandu” (Kamba for “That Place”), encouraging in Take Heart (“Osa Vinya”) and many more.
The authenticity, I guess, comes also from the comfort of the languages he uses (Kikamba and Swahili); Kikamba being his mother tongue and Swahili being a second language to many in Kenya. There is also the simplicity of it making his music easy to the ear combined with the soft playing of the guitar.
The Matopeni album features the likes of Abbi and Barbara Guantai; well known names in Afro-Fusion circles
I bet you’ll love this album and it deservedly should spot a prominent place in your music collection- pick it up, no regrets.
Mutinda is also featured in the complication CD Spotlight on Kenyan Music 2005 with two of his best creations “Mama” and “Vala Vandu”- pick it up too you'll surely like what you hear.
For more on Mutinda his bio,performances, videos, news and also the great work he's doing in Mathare Slum, Nairobi please visit his website- http://www.mutinda.com
My Favorite Picks:
- Vala Vandu
- Osa Vinya