SCENES Live Sessions continues this Friday, February 24th at 12 PM EST, with its third featured artist, Kenyan singer-songwriter, Naomi Wachira. Named Best Folk Singer by Seattle alt publication, Seattle Weekly in 2013, this celebrated musician calls the Pacific Northwest home.
When you listen to Naomi’s songs, you’ll hear the lifelong influence of two powerful, groundbreaking female songwriters: Miriam Makeba and Tracy Chapman.
Makeba became one of the biggest stars on the continent through her socially aware songwriting. Naomi admired the way Makeba “carried herself, her grace and character…She was able to maintain her integrity as an African. She didn’t need to change who she was to fit with Western audiences.”
That’s why you won’t hear any stereotypical African music on Naomi’s albums. She’s making music inspired both by the music she discovered in America and the music she grew up with in Kenya, employing a musical vocabulary all her on.
Click on the video to sample her music (and keep an eye on Naomi’s website for information on her new album, available May 17th).
The daughter of a Kijabe pastor, Naomi joined the traveling family band at five years old, spreading the good word through gospel music.
The beautiful close harmonies on her album trace back to this time. “In my family everyone sang and everyone knew their part. Harmony was second nature for us.”
Larger African concepts also play a role in Naomi’s music, like the Zulu idea of Ubuntu. This concept means “I am because we are,” and it’s a community-based worldview that focuses on caring for each other.
Naomi’s music draws upon diverse influences while consistently delivering an upbeat message.
Listen to Naomi’s acoustic EP, “I am Because You Are” here and join us at the SCENES Facebook page this Friday, February 24th, at 12 PM EST, for a live performance from this acclaimed singer-songwriter.