Otile Brown: From selling mutumba to Kenya's biggest RnB star

Otile Brown's story is a classic tale of 'from grass to grace'

 • When you want to do a case study of the flourishing Kenyan music industry, Otile Brown is among the names that you cannot dare bypass. 

 • After a successful breakthrough into the mainstream media, Otile Brown's success went from one glory to another and he has never looked back ever since.

Otile Brown
Image: Facebook

When you want to do a case study of the flourishing Kenyan music industry, Otile Brown is among the names that you cannot dare bypass.

Thanks to his immense contribution towards putting Kenya on the world entertainment map.

Kenya has for many decades relied on talented female artistes to fly the R&B flag, which they did fantastically well.

When a little-known Otile Brown joined the music scene, the scene has never been the same again.

Born Jacob Obunga, 28 years ago in Kisumu, Otile had a raw talent that housed a lot of potential deep within with music lovers and key industry players knowing it was just a matter of time before the light-skinned Mombasa-based singer blew up.

The 'Baby Love' hitmaker as he started singing and writing songs at the tender age of 13. He comes from a family of four - three brothers and one sister.

Life was not as easy for Otile especially after he lost his dear parents when he was just 14. He ended up moving to Nairobi where he was forced to sell second-hand clothes in a bid to survive.

His big musical break came back in 2015 when he released his single 'Imaginary love' featuring rapper Khaligraph Jones, when he was signed under Dr. Eddie's Dreamland Music Label.

His relationship with his record label didn't last long and both parties parted ways in 2017 in his bid to become an independent artist.

After a successful breakthrough into the mainstream media with his breakthrough being 'Mapenzi Hisia' in 2017. Otile Brown's success went from one glory to another and he has never looked back ever since.

He has one of the best music catalogs in Africa with some of his best-selling songs including; 

Alivyonipenda - 2016, Baby Love - 2018, Vera - 2018, Chaguo la Moyo - 2020, Dusuma - 2020, Such Kinda Love - 2021. 

That is not all, Otile Brown has become a darling to many that he holds the record for the Kenyan artist with the most watched YouTube music videos.

'Dusuma' has over 38M views while 'Such Kind Of Love' has over 19M views. His efforts haven't gone unnoticed as he has bagged numerous awards over the last few years.

Otile has garnered several awards and nominations including, "Male Video of the Year" at Pulse Music Awards 2018.

The 'Shujaa Wako' hitmaker now brags of two successful albums; 'Just In Love ' which he released in 2020 and 'Best Of Otile Brown' which was his debut album.

Otile has become a household name with bookings every weekend one of them being the much anticipated Yetu Festival which is set to take place on 30th July at the Carnivore Grounds.

Yetu Festival is a collaboration of Stanbic Bank and Radio Africa events that will see multi-Grammy award-winning American singer, songwriter, and record producer, Anthony Hamilton perform in Kenya.

Hamilton is a soul and neo-soul superstar.

Speaking at the launch of the event, Homeboyz Radio and Radio Africa events General manager Somoina Kimojino expressed her delight in partnering with Stanbic in a bid to keep supporting the industry and uplifting artists' welfare.

"This partnership didn't start today, it started a year ago and maybe the conversations started earlier. Then Covid happened and we had conversations of how do we support the industry still without going out, and we had an amazing virtual concert it was Kenya ni yetu we were celebrating Kenyans,"said Kimojino.

Adding, "we had about 10 Kenyan artists who put an amazing show that inspired and gave hope to everyone and really gave back to them financially."

For his part, Stanbic CEO, Charles Mudiwa said the bank's goal is to help local artists aspire for more by linking them with international acts.

"You might say why music? I think music is Africa's, it is something that symbolizes who we are," said Charles.

I mean we talk about ubuntu you can't complete that without talking about music. I mean Africans we do music when we are happy, when we are crying, mourning and every moment is a musical moment for an African." 

Tickets for Stanbic Yetu Festival can be found on www.ticketsasa.com or at Stanbic Bank branches.

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