Meet Harry Richie the 'Vaida' hit song composer

Harry Richie

Harry Richie composer of the hit song "Vaida"

Photo credit: Pool

Harry Richie, the composer of 'Vaida', the Luhya love song that has since gone viral, may not have expected the song to appeal to his fans in a short time.  

But to his delight, the song with lyrics in Luhya language (Kinyore dialect) has not only been shared widely by his fans but above all the numerous dance challenges of the song on Tik Tok platform.,

Notably, popular Tik Toker Azziad Nasenya is among those who have posted dance challenges to the song.

Speaking to Nation.Africa on Friday, Richie said that buoyed by the popularity of Vaida online, he was planning to soon launch more singles from the new album containing the new hit song.

“I have been encouraged by the support I got from fans both in Kenya and outside with many sending me messages of encouragement in the field, ” he says.

 He has lined up two albums - Siraeli and America’ which he is currently putting the finishing touches on.

For most music fans the use of the catchphrase Vindu (things or situations) in the Vaida song has proved most appealing.

Having started as a gospel artiste, he owes his initial musical prowess to having first worked with gospel singer Joseph Shisia of Omundu Omulosi hit song fame back in 2008. It was Shisia who encouraged him through music lessons and live recordings.

Richie’s debut tracks include ``Ingokho ya Mwambesia” and later in 2014. a Swahili album titled Nifungue Macho.

Buoyed by the desire to release more songs in 2016 he recorded three songs among them Yesu Yestanga.

 He, however, took a break from recording until 2020 during the onset of Covid-19 when he got inspired to write more songs in Luhya like the Spoken word.

“I recorded some of the songs in Luhya during the time of Covid-19 initially just for fun with some shared in WhatsApp groups. This was 

inspiring and went viral among many fans in the USA and Germany,” he said. 

To him, this also involved writing songs for some Kenyan celebrities and some up-and-coming musicians.

 Born Harrison Ondunyi in Bunyore, Vihiga County, Emang'ali Emuhondo, Richie is the third born in a family of eight and also the first son of the late Richard Makomele.

 Back at home, he went to Emuhondo Primary School from 1997 and later joined Ebunangwe Boys, then Kisumu Industrial training centre and finally Kenya Polytechnic. Away from music, Richie is involved in building construction.

 Bunyore is home to music legends like Shem Tube, Isaiah Symekher, Laban Ochuka (of Maroon Commandos fame) and the Jabali Afrika group. Others include Man Kale, Clayton Omwanga and. Sila wa Sila .

As Richie pointed out, Tube (who died in February last year) is famous for songs like  Ägneta Mama and Mrembo Sofaa was from a neighbouring location. While Symekher was best known for his gospel songs with the IFC Jericho Choir like Yesu ni Uzima.


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