Sauti Sol, the renowned Kenyan boy band, revealed on Saturday, May 20, 2023, that they will be taking an indefinite break from the Kenyan music scene following the conclusion of their upcoming world tour, which commences on May 21.
NAIROBI, KENYA | NOW THEN DIGITAL — After a remarkable 18-year journey, Sauti Sol, one of Africa’s most sought-after music groups, has announced their decision to take an indefinite hiatus from the Kenyan music scene.
The news was shared by the band on Saturday, May 20, 2023, stating that the hiatus would begin after the conclusion of their upcoming world tour, which commences on May 21.
Kenyan Afro-pop band Sauti Sol, known as one of Africa’s most sought-after music groups, has announced that they will be breaking up after 18 years of working together. The band revealed their decision to take an indefinite hiatus from the Kenyan music scene following the conclusion of their upcoming world tour, set to commence on May 21.
Farewell Tour and Final Performance
Before the much-talked-about breakup, Sauti Sol has planned a series of performances in the United States, Europe, and Canada. They will captivate audiences in five cities in the US, ten cities in Europe, and four in Canada.
The tour’s grand finale will be an unforgettable performance alongside Boys II Men on June 10 and 11 in Nairobi. The band will conclude their musical journey with a final show at the third edition of the Sol Fest in Nairobi on December 16, 2023.
A Bittersweet Announcement
Expressing their heartfelt gratitude for the unwavering love and support they have received over the years, the band members, Bien-Aime Baraza, Willis Chimano, Polycarp Otieno, and Savara Mudigi, shared their emotions in a statement released on their social media platforms on May 20.
They acknowledged the incredible journey they have experienced as both musicians and friends and expressed their commitment to their friendship and shared business ventures.
Although the band will explore their individual and collective passions during the hiatus, they reassured fans that their bond remains unbreakable and expressed excitement for what the future holds.
Mixed Reactions from Devoted Fans
The news of Sauti Sol’s impending hiatus has left their fans in shock, prompting a wave of responses on social media. Many expressed disappointment and urged the band to reconsider their decision, recognizing their prominent position within the Kenyan music industry.
Others questioned the timing and reasons behind the hiatus, citing the band’s potential for longevity and the need for greater support for the arts in Kenya.
“Guys, just fix it. We are really rooting for you guys. You are the face of the Kenyan music industry but if you think that it will do more good than harm so be it,” Bespoke Kenyan suit designer, stylist and tailor Nimrod Nick commented on the band’s post on Instagram.
“Extremely disappointed in Sauti Sol’s decision to take an indefinite hiatus. They had the potential to match the longevity of Boyz II Men, if only our leaders valued arts the way others do. This abrupt exit leaves a sour note. It’s a shame we’re left in the lurch this way.” A Twitter user @FavreauNormal commented.
Another Twitter user @jessykigen commented and said: “Great way to sell an album, don’t be tricked.. sauti sol can’t afford to break up yet”.
Uncertain Future: Breakup or Break?
While the band’s statement suggests an indefinite breakup, it remains unclear whether this is a permanent separation or a temporary break, similar to their hiatus in 2021.
As fans eagerly await further updates, Sauti Sol has pledged to release a final album as a testament to their remarkable musical journey, comprising five albums and over 40 songs.
East African Music Industry and Unity
In August of the previous year, while in Uganda, Bien shared his thoughts on the East African music scene. He emphasized the need for unity among East African musicians, stressing that without collaboration and collective efforts, they would continue to fall behind their West African counterparts.
He advocated for a solid attempt to export East African music and highlighted the significance of unity, urging artists to shed their individualistic mindset and approach the global music industry as a united force.
“The unity is the problem. We pick poverty over unity. We work in silos. You wanna shine alone, so you make other people look bad. East Africa or ‘Swahili Nation’ as Diamond calls it, should go to that table as one person. Nigeria has over 200 million people, yet East Africa combined still doesn’t have that kind of population,” the inauma singer explained.
The future of Sauti Sol remains uncertain, but their legacy in the African music landscape is undeniable.
As fans await the band’s final performances and album, the impact of their music and their call for unity in the East African music industry resonates strongly.
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