Eric Wainaina is a musical storyteller who has captured the imagination of a nation. A musician who has used his platform to engender change. Eric has been a seminal figure in the Kenyan democracy movement; a voice for equality, opportunity, and social change, a musical voice for peace and of Kenyas hopeful future.
Eric has been a staple on Kenyas music scene since the mid 90s, when he stepped into the limelight as part of the all-male acapella band Five Alive”. Their debut album Five Alive came hot on the heels of their domination of Kenyan airwaves at a time when Kenyan music received nary a mention amongst urban dwellers. This was followed by a series of tours in Europe.
In 1998 Eric wrote Daima Kenya which became the proverbial balm of Gilead for many Kenyans who found solace in its words and sentiments. The songs powerful message and riveting melody has carried Kenya through times when violence has almost brought this nation to its knees. In 2007 during the terrible violence that followed the presidential elections, the song was considered by many Kenyas second national anthem.
Not one to shy from controversy, Eric has consistently acted as the John the Baptist of Kenyas political scene, constantly bringing to the fore issues like bribery and corruption that the ruling regime would rather have the masses remain oblivious to. His song Nchi ya Kitu Kidogo ruffled feathers, starting off a chain reaction that saw the song banned from airplay on the countrys official broadcaster, KBC.
Following the successful release of Sawa Sawa his debut album as a solo artiste, the album saw him receive a number of accolades among them the MNET award for the category of Favourite Male Vocalist, as well as a number of KORA awards which irrefutably established his status as one of Kenyas top male vocal artists.
Other globally renowned podiums that have been graced by Eric Wainaina include Hollands Festival Mundial, North Sea Jazz Festival, Harare International Festival of the Arts, Sauti Za Busara as well as myriad concerts in Europe. His musical offering Lwanda Man of Stone, set the stage for a number of musical projects including Mo Faya in New York and Kigezi Ndoto.
2011 saw the release of the mega successful Love and Protest, which redefined how albums were sold in the country (2012). The albums were available in all outlets of East Africas biggest supermarket chain for the emerging middle class. Impromptu performances proved to be so popular that the album sold out. It was his sophomore offering.
In 2014, Sing Mercy and Selina were released, receiving a warm reception all over the country. In addition to the Smithsonian tour which saw a rainbow of artistes perform in the U.S, Eric and the Best Band in Africa played a six-city tour in the United States.
Five years after Love and Protest, Erics fourth studio album, Dreams in Stereo” was released in mid 2018. The album reveals the more personal side of this national figure.
This is a personal record. But its also a people record. Its specific but also universal. While Im talking about very personal things it is stuff that everyone has been through, says Eric of his new album.
Catch a glimpse and listen to Eric in the following video links
Js Fresh Kitchen accepts reservations so please make a reservation for a table should you know you will be coming for dinner.
The number for reservations is 0707612585.
Js Westlands is a 23 years and older venue.
The show starts promptly at 8.30pm so tables are held till 8pm after which they are opened to other customers