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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Trendsetter: Guitarist Tom Olango out to make a difference

Tom Olango
Tom Olango

At the age of 15 in high school, Tom Olango became a guitarist simply because he wanted to impress girls and to get attention. But he realised he could achieve a lot more through music, and right now he is one of the top guitarists in Kenya.

For the multi-instrumentalist, his skill level on the acoustic and bass guitar have placed him rightfully on some of the biggest stages with the will to impact and change the world. Whether he is part of a band or playing solo, he certainly pulls it off.

Despite the tremendous success enjoyed by his older brother Polycarp Otieno of Sauti Sol, Tom basks in his own glory. However, he admits that Polycarp has been a great influence on his music and career. He also derives inspiration from other artistes such us Andrew Ngatia, Franco and Fela Kuti.

The guitar virtuoso has managed to put himself out there, and he can ramble on about how he has performed alongside accomplished and dexterous artistes. For him, working with a variety of artists has been a learning experience.

His undying drive for music prompted him to come up with Jamhuri Jam Session, a platform he is now hosting once a week at Mama Nyama, Westlands, to offer up-and-coming artistes an opportunity to exhibit their skills. Since its inception, he has brought together over 200 artistes, both budding and established, to perform original as well as cover tracks.

Tom Olango’s dexterity on the guitar is undeniable. His talent is certainly to be cherished. When it comes to music, it’s not just about him, but the difference he can impact through music.

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