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Rapasa Nyatrapasa Otieno: ‘Unite’

Rapasa Unite

Together we are stronger. Rapasa Nyatrapasa Otieno has released a vibrant song titled “Unite” this summer. Unite got released on 2nd August, 2023 and it’s available on digital platforms Including Bandcamp, Spotify and iTune.

“He’s based in the UK and his East African sound is centered on the double-necked string Instrument called a nyatiti and propelled by a backdrop suggestive of soukous but more acoustic-tinged. Think of it as a perfect meeting of rawness and sophistication. The song is danceable as well as Follow on seasonal, touching upon the difficulties faced by city dwellers at Christmas time.”

Torn Orr AKA Orrator (World Music Central) – Jan 2023.

unite

The song is a call for African nations to be one and unite. It follows on nicely from the difficult topics raised with the mellow song Ukalo Matek. ‘Unite’ came about in a traditional way by Rapasa opening up conversation with his audience and having them participate in the song, with them being able to comment on Issues affecting them.

The song developed in stages as It Inspired a number of showcases locally In Kenya. It also had a special live recording performance organised by radio Jolly Papa before making its way to the album JOPANGO which will be released later this year.

Some of what music Influencers have said about his previous releases:

About Ukalo Matek:

“Deeply rooted in traditional style. African Inspired sound. Mellow rhythm and rawness and sophisticated at the same time. A melody to dance to and chill too.”

Power Ace Radio on Groover.co April 2023.

Jopango single:

“I was lucky with the music this week In terms of me seeking to play more clearly African Inspired and rooted music”

Debble Golt (Resonance FM) – Nov 2022

about the artist

Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist from Kenya, Rapasa Nyatrapasa Otieno is a virtuoso of the nyatiti, a traditional eight-string lyre from the shores of Nam Lolwe (Lake Victoria). The music he creates is deeply rooted in traditional storytelling from the Lüo community, nilotes who settled in Western Kenya and who are known to play the nyatiti.

Rapasa has been looking at democratizing East African Music through solo projects and collaborations. He has been volunteering at Hakuna Matata since 2018, a music and art family festival based in the suburbs of Hamburg. Rapasa was a facilitator at Making Tracks 2022 and a fellow participant in 2019 during the pilot of this project.

his next project

Teasers of his latest album JOPANGO have been released since November 2022. The full work which was supported by Help Musicians will be released on the 29th of November 2023.

During his participation in Sage Gateshead Artist in Residence program in 2020/2021 he developed KWECHE which looks at taboos and how to adapt in a new environment.

With this project he started looking at a different way to perform his work and furthered this idea supported by the Arts Council of England to develop skills in live media interaction.

The film of his Snape Malting residency in Feb 2022, where he performed a full set of nyatiti music with live media projection, was showcased at the Festival of New Screening in Sep 2022.

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