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Exclusive: It took a year to get signed to Sol Generation – Analo Kanga

Sauti Sol, the renowned music group, has officially welcomed Analo Kanga to their Sol Generation record label.

Analo, a multi-talented female artist who excels as a saxophonist, vocalist, and performing artist, shared her enthusiasm during a recent Q&A session with Nairobi News.

Analo Kanga is the second female artiste to ever work under Sauti Sol.

Nairobi News: Can you tell us about the moment you found out you were going to be part of this team? How did it feel?

Analo Kanga: I’m really happy to be part of the team. It wasn’t a magical moment but rather a process that took about one year in total, with us signing in June 2023. It takes time to negotiate contracts, and my team as well as the lovely team at Sol Generation were patient as we want to do things the right way. It feels great to be part of one of the most revolutionary record labels in East Africa.

Nairobi News: What attracted you to this particular record label? Were there any specific factors that made you choose them over other options?

Saxophonist Analo Kanga signed to Sauti Sol’s Sol Generation record label. PHOTO| COURTESY

Also read: Bien: Sauti Sol has lasted longer than your Kanairo marriages

Analo Kanga: The track record is excellent. The artists Sol Gen has produced have and continue to make the most popular music in Kenya as well as pushing Kenyan music forward. This particular label also aligns really well with my sound and brand. I am an Afrojazz pop star, so I fit in well at Sol Gen and the music made there.

Nairobi News: Can you give us a glimpse into your musical journey so far? What inspired you to pursue a career in music?

Analo Kanga: I’ve been playing saxophone for nine years and doing music in general for over 10 years. I love music so much, and I’m such an extrovert, so I really enjoy music and performance. Jazz music has really inspired my journey; it’s such a complex yet freeing musical form and it opens up your musical taste. It’s been great.

Nairobi News: What are your musical influences and inspirations? Are there any artists who have had a significant impact on your style and sound?

Analo Kanga: Jazz music and afrojazz in particular. So artists such as Hugh Masekela, Fela Kuti, Daudi Kabaka have really influenced my music and African identity. My biggest inspiration, though, is definitely Beyonce. The excellence, the drive, and the passion she portrays is admirable.

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Nairobi News: What can fans and listeners expect from your upcoming music? Are there any exciting projects or collaborations in the works that you can share with us?

Saxophonist Analo Kanga signed to Sauti Sol’s Sol Generation record label. PHOTO| COURTESY

Analo Kanga: I’m making a lot of music all the time! I’ve currently released my debut EP “ANALOGIES” on October 6, 2023, available on all streaming platforms. This project shows my Afro Jazz and Pop influences; it has great production, and I’m a stickler for good sound as well! It also has a feature from Hornsphere and Earlwin! I worked with close to 30 people to make the dream work! The lead single is “Rhumba ya Warembo,” and you will love it!

Nairobi News: How do you envision your music evolving now that you have the resources and support of a record label behind you?

Analo Kanga:  My vision is for “ANALOGIES” to be the top EP in Kenyan pop music for 2023! The music has been greatly received so far, and the label is supportive of my dream. My biggest niche is my live performance, and I’m excited to perform more in Nairobi and around Kenya with my full band, The Unit!

Nairobi News: Many artists have a message or theme they want to convey through their music. What message or themes are important to you, and how do you plan to incorporate them into your songs?

Analo Kanga: That’s easy. AFROJAZZ IS NOT DEAD! I love afrojazz and I make music that mixes afrojazz with pop music elements, and it’s evident in my work and music. The main theme I have is becoming self-aware through having honest conversations and honest songwriting. Excellence is imperative to what I do, so I always want to finish an interaction with someone inspiring them to be excellent.

Also read: Exclusive: Sauti Sol’s Bien finally addresses Bensoul’s exit

Nairobi News: Could you tell us a bit about your creative process? How do you go about writing and producing your music?

Analo Kanga: For me, as a musician, I start with music theory. I pick a theoretical concept I want to explore in music and write lyrics and arrange music that brings out certain emotions and feelings. I collaborate a lot with producers and other musicians as well. After that, I get into the studio, record, and ask my producer for their opinions and allow them room to make changes as well. It’s pretty seamless.

Saxophonist Analo Kanga signed to Sauti Sol’s Sol Generation record label. PHOTO| COURTESY

Nairobi News: The music industry can be quite competitive. What do you think sets you apart as an artist, and what do you hope to bring to the industry?

Analo Kanga: I’m a kickass live performer and a professional saxophonist. My live shows always stand out because I invest heavily in my live music sound. That being said, music is not really a competition; it’s about sharing emotions and inspiring people, so everyone who does music is making a contribution to improving people’s lives.

Nairobi News: Finally, what are your long-term goals and aspirations as an artist signed to this record label? Where do you see yourself in the music industry in the next few years?

Analo Kanga: In the next few years, I see myself as the top afrojazz pop star from the African continent. I have what it takes, and the label agrees, so we are working towards that! I’ll play my saxophone all over the world and share music more! I look forward to more festivals and bigger stages and bigger collaborations!

Also read: Exclusive: What next for Bensoul as he departs Sol Generation?