Kenyan Vocalist & Nyatiti Player Awarded 10 Months UK Residency

Multitalented Kenyan artist and Nyatiti player Rapasa Otieno has been awarded a 10 month UK residency alongside 3 other artists.

Highlighting this major achievement and win, Music in Africa magazine disclosed that those selected will get a chance to stay at Sage Gateshead, an arts venue in the northeast of England, and participate in the programs linked to this award.

The selected will reside at the art center until June 2021 and will receive financial support for any project they would wish to work on and later showcase it to mark the close of the residency.

The residency is usually keen on selecting artists who are mainly focused on full-time songwriting, production, and performance; apart from working on projects and showcasing their talent, they will be treated to a residential retreat, provided with rehearsal space and one-on-one advice and support towards their work.

Otieno who is popularly known for his traditional tracks has revealed that he plans on working on a new album and promoting East African traditional instruments during his stay.

“I can happily say that I will release some more music next year. My main motive for doing anything is to improve the quality of my work. I love residencies because they give space for collaborations. It speaks volumes when an artist can identify an emerging concept and bring new complementary elements to the table. I look forward to more collaborations in the coming months.” he told the Magazine

Otieno who was seemingly disappointed in the fact that young and upcoming Kenyan artists tend to look down upon traditional music urged the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage to work towards narrowing the gap between the old and young artists.

“We need new young talents to be groomed for sustainable traditional music careers. The Ministry of Sports, Culture, and Heritage must formulate programs and masterclasses between old and young artists to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and skills,” he stated

Getting a chance to be part of this residency marks yet another milestone in his career as he pushes Kenyan traditional music to the international space.

Entertainment Journalist