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Ayub Ogada on music, writing & marrying Nyatiti.

Black Roses

Internationally renowned Kenyan folk music singer/songwriter Ayub Ogada’s music style is defined by the matrimony between his deep smooth voice and the soothing sounds of the nyatiti (a traditional lyre famed of the Luo people of Western Kenya). With just [one] solo album and award, an Academy Awards nomination, countless tours around the world and more than 80 compositions, Ayub is now set to release his sophomore album.

On a breezy warm August evening, I am at the Godown Art Centre sitting at its restaurant patio, minutes early for my interview with Ayub—who I wouldn’t have recognized had he not called on arrival (and on time). “I am at the parking lot, will be with you in a few.”

Ayub is known for his conspicuous stage regalia— African dresses and ornaments. Today, off duty, he’s bespectacled and dressed down in plain jeans, a stud, cap and a black leather jacket—coming…

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