Blinky Bill Joins Global Music Initiative, “Sounds Right”

Kenyan musician Blinky Bill has been selected to participate in the prestigious Sounds Right initiative, a global music project aiming to raise a staggering KES 5 billion ($40 million) for conservation efforts. Bill, whose real name is Bill Sellanga, joins forces with renowned international artists, including British singer Ellie Goulding and Norwegian singer-songwriter AURORA, to create music that integrates natural sounds.

Blinky Bill, a celebrated musician, producer, and DJ based in Nairobi, is well-known for his genre-defying music, which blends traditional Kenyan sounds with electronic elements, creating a unique and captivating musical experience. His journey into the limelight began with the Kenyan art and music collective Just A Band, which he co-founded in 2008. The group’s breakthrough came in 2010 with the viral success of their hit single “Ha-He”.

In 2018, Blinky Bill released his debut solo studio album, “Everyone’s Just Winging It And Other Fly Tales,” which not only received critical acclaim but also found its place on the original motion picture soundtrack of the 2018 film Rafiki.

Being the only African artist selected for the Sounds Right initiative, Blinky Bill expressed his deep honor to be part of such a significant project. He will collaborate with Ellie Goulding and AURORA to create new music or remixes that incorporate the sounds of nature, aiming to raise awareness about conservation issues.

Sounds Right, launched by the Museum for the United Nations-UN Live in April 2024, just ahead of Earth Day, is set to make a substantial impact. The initiative aims to generate KES 5 billion ($40 million) for conservation efforts in the first four years through music streaming revenue. By integrating natural sounds into their music, the artists involved hope to help people connect with the natural world and understand the importance of preserving it.

Blinky Bill’s cultural impact extends far beyond his music. Recognized as a TED Fellow and featured on the Yerba Buena Centre of the Arts’ 2018 YBCA 100 list of people shifting culture and creating change, his influence is undeniable. His latest album, “We Cut Keys 2,” released earlier this year, showcases his commitment to pushing Kenyan sounds into the modern consciousness of African music.

Throughout his illustrious career, Blinky Bill has collaborated with various international artists, including Nneka, Goldlink, and Sampa The Great. He has also partnered with Emirates to create a “pan-African anthem,” celebrating the talent and achievements of young Africans as part of Emirates’ “New Africa” campaign.

Not only a musician but also a dedicated advocate for arts and culture in Africa, Blinky Bill’s efforts have been recognized by prestigious organizations such as TED and the Yerba Buena Centre of the Arts. Through his music and activism, he continues to inspire and empower young Africans, leaving an indelible mark on the cultural landscape of the continent.