Yunasi Band, undoubtedly one of the best afro-fusion band in the country are back matter music. Yunasi Band has been off the radar for a couple of years now with individual members pursuing different musical projects but this is set to change after the band’s main members: Thobias Imani, Erick Odhiambo, Davis Ngalah and Simon Maranga signed up with Sub Sahara Entertainment label.
The music label already boasts of some of Kenya’s most successful and internationally acclaimed music artists such as Mercy Myra, Abbi, Kanja, Camp Mulla, Kusma, Tiri, Shappaman and a host of stellar up and coming artists such as Military Swagg Team, Sequiera and Biko.
Yunasi Band has developed a unique East African music style called Sesube which is a combination of Sega, Isikuti and Benga. It takes sounds and inspirations from local Kenyan communities, cultural styles and languages and fuses those sounds with a European component. The sound is achieved by playing a variety of instruments, both traditional and modern. The band sings in several languages including Swahili, English, French, Luo, Kisii and Luhya.
The group is best remembered for outstanding numbers like my all-time favourite Ji opogore and Usilewe ndi ndi ndi. Other songs by the Band are Don’t Go, Feel It featuring Wyre the Love Child and Shamaheri.
Yunasi Band has managed to collaborate with international artists for recording and joint performances: The band collaborated with a Belgian Blues artiste, Rolandvan Campenhout, in the album, Atomic Power which won the best folk album in the 2006 Belgian ZAMU Awards. This was preceded by joint concerts in Nairobi and Belgium. They also collaborated with a French singer, Nicoletta to perform concerts in Nairobi and Paris. The band also co-performed with the South African rapper Tumi and the Volume at the Blankets and Wine festival, Nairobi.
- Winners of the December 2007 BBC’s Next Big Thing Competition – December 2007
- US International Songwriting Contest- March 2006
- Yunasi were announced 2nd runners up at the prestigious US International Songwriting Contest for the song Ji Opogore (The Difference of People) obtaining 3rdplace in the World Music category out of 16,000 entries from all over the world.
- Kisima Award -2004 Kisima Award (Kenya) for best afro-fusion band in Kenya
- Nomination at all-African Kora Award – 2004