Ricky Na Marafiki set to go global

There has been a perception that Kenya doesn't have music that can be played outside

In Summary

• They have released a project called 'Soko Huru', which they aim to hit global market with

Ricky Na Marafiki
Ricky Na Marafiki
Image: Courtesy

One of Africa's musical gems, Ricky Na Marafiki, has released a new project titled 'Soko Huru', a 10-track album they say will take the international market by storm.

Ricky told Word Is last week, "The album is a fusion of benga and afro-jazz. Here, we try to capture all the tribes in Kenya. There are songs of many Kenyan tribes. It started as an afro Jazz band. We wanted to reach our audience more so we merged up with John Were and Papi Odeq and we came up with this project 'Soko Huru'.

"Were is a guru in benga music and has been here for like 20 years. Odeq has been in theatre and he also has a band called Tamasha Beats. We came together to do music that will change our community."

He said they are thinking of doing an official launch of the album in February next year.


Having toured outside the country, Ricky has learnt to release fully baked projects, unlike what is mostly experienced in the country.

"We want to take Kenyan music in the international market. There has been a perception that Kenya doesn't have music that can be played outside, and having toured with bands like Les Mangelepa, Eric Wainaina, I saw there was a big potential just that sometimes, we don't package ourselves properly," Ricky said.

"We try to do things half baked and concentrate so much on marketing. For us, we concentrate on both. We are set to take it to the international market."

He says his tour with Les Mangelea moulded him into producing a project that will stand the test of time.

"I toured with Les Mangelepa for three years in Europe that is 2016,2017 and 2018. It was a very good experience for me," he said.

"These guys have been together for 4o years. They were passing on the baton to us. Having achieved all that success, they are still humble. You can correct them on stage and they'll listen to you. It was the experience of a lifetime."

This year, Ricky was in the US together with 150 bass players on a scholarship basis, which he describes as an awesome experience. "I learnt that people strive to be good and not compete. Here, we are competing at who is better than the other."

Ricky Na Marafiki began their musical journey in 2010. It was a four-piece band made up of friends who enjoyed making music together. The band has grown to six members.