K.G. Omulo: Globally Minded Afropop | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

K.G. Omulo: Globally Minded Afropop

Play associated audio

When K.G. Omulo left Kenya for the U.S. at age 20, he had already begun to make a name for himself as a singer. But once he arrived here, he was forced to reconsider the music of his homeland and come up with a fresh new hybrid. Fortunately, he'd been raised to think globally when listening to music.

"Growing up in Nairobi, which is very metropolitan, and having parents who let me listen to a little bit of everything — I'm talking eastern, western, all the legends that came out of Africa back in the day, mixed in with some Motown records — kind of blended it all in together," Omulo tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz. "There was Bob Marley, too, and a little bit of the Beatles. It was a wide range of sound."

The influence of Marley is easy to hear on Omulo's debut album, Ayah Ye! Moving Train. He says that like the reggae icon, he feels compelled to make music that is progressive and conscientious of the state of the world.

"My goal was to make it positive, but also pinpoint what people need to think about now that we're getting toward the election year, both in the U.S. and in Kenya," Omulo says. "I was picturing a world where we can love one another, but also be able to tell each other the truth, and not fear, and understand where we are, where we need to go, and where we're coming from."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Not My Job: Boston's Dick Flavin Is Quizzed On The 'Worst Poet Ever'

Dick Flavin is an Emmy-award winning broadcaster, a PA announcer at Fenway Park and the Poet Laureate of the Boston Red Sox.
NPR

Culinary Siblings Give Pasta A Healthy Makeover

In a low-carb world, pasta has issues. But it's poised for a comeback, say Joseph Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali, who talk with NPR's Linda Wertheimer about their cookbook, Healthy Pasta.
NPR

Advice For Beleaguered Battleground State Residents: Leave Town

With the presidential campaign season already underway, NPR's Linda Wertheimer has a hot tip for swing state voters feeling besieged: Rent your house to a political operative and take a vacation.
NPR

Company's Secret Weapon To Make Videos Go Viral

Videos don't always go viral just because they're clever or show a cat prancing on a skateboard. Often a company finds the video, promotes it and sells its licensing rights to media buyers.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.