Them Mushrooms band member John Katana: I discovered Sauti Sol

''Naogopa kusema lakini ukweli ni huo, mimi ndio niliwadiscover sauti sol.'' Katana John Harisson

Piece by: PAUL AMUKO

• Katana John Harisson, speaking with a sense of humility, reveals his pivotal role in discovering Sauti Sol.

Katana John Harrison
Image: Instagram

In the world of music, there are often hidden stories of mentorship and guidance that shape the trajectory of rising stars.

One such tale is the discovery of Sauti Sol by Katana John Harisson, the lead member of the popular old-school band known as Them Mushrooms.

Their influence on Sauti Sol's sound and their subsequent rise to international fame is a testament to the power of mentorship and collaboration.

Katana John Harisson, speaking with a sense of humility, reveals his pivotal role in discovering Sauti Sol.

He takes pride in having given them their name, encouraging them to adopt the Swahili moniker "Sauti Sol" from their original name, "The Voices."

''Sisemi kwa kujisifu, nasema kwa unyenyekevu, mimi ndio niliwadiscover Sauti Sol, mimi ndio niliwapa jina sauti, nilipowapata hawakuwa wamejulikana walikuwa wanajiita the voices.''

Recognizing their talent, Katana advised the budding group to infuse local beats and reduce excessive Western influences in their music.

It was his constructive feedback that inspired Sauti Sol to create hits like "Lazizi" and embark on a journey to find their unique sound.

''Bien aime alinitumia ngoma yao moja, nikawambia wimbo ni mzuri lakini wapunguze uzungu mwingi, pigeni beats za hapa, waka skiza ndio wakaja na nyimbo kama lazizi, kwa hivo nashukuru Mungu.''

Them Mushrooms Band
Image: Instagram

The turning point came when Katana offered Sauti Sol an opportunity to perform at a show he organized at Village Market in Nairobi.

Impressed by their performance, he personally introduced himself to the young musicians and shared his vision for their growth.

''Naogopa kusema lakini ukweli ni huo, mimi ndio niliwadiscover sauti sol.''

Katana's connection led to Sauti Sol participating in auditions at Alliance Française, where they emerged as winners.

It was during this time that Sauti Sol collaborated with Them Mushrooms band, marking the beginning of their illustrious journey.

Katana John Harisson affectionately refers to Sauti Sol as his "sons in music," acknowledging their immense talent and the significant role they played in putting Kenyan music on the global map.

He attributes their success not only to their own hard work but also to the mentorship and support he provided along the way.

Today, Sauti Sol's international recognition stands as a testament to the collective efforts of both Them Mushrooms and Sauti Sol.

''Kwa hivyo heshima kwao, ni vijana kwangu lakini heshima kwao wamefanya mziki wa kenya ukatambulika ulimwenguni, mungu awabariki zaidi, kwangu nawaita my sons in music.''

Them Mushrooms Band
Image: Instagram

In the ever-evolving music industry, the story of Sauti Sol's rise to stardom serves as a reminder that mentorship and collaboration can shape the destiny of talented artists.

The guidance and influence of Katana John Harisson and the creative synergy between Them Mushrooms and Sauti Sol have left an indelible mark on the Kenyan music scene.

As Sauti Sol continues to conquer new heights, their journey stands as a testament to the power of mentorship, collaboration, and the rich musical heritage of Kenya.

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