Shyam Shah, from UK to Nairobi with a deep love for rumba music

Orchestra Masika band, led by Shyam Shah, that performs rumba music in Nairobi. PHOTO| COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • The group seeks to infuse the East African beat with tunes from DR Congo. The band is adept at zilizopendwa, chakacha and other popular oldies.
  • The themes tackled in the lyrics range from corruption and tribalism to neo-colonialism.
  • Shah is the band’s crowd puller. Kenyan music fans have never really associated people of Indian descent with rumba music.
  • Shah, who plays the lead guitar and does back-up vocals, is a pioneering talent and he loves what he is doing.

There is a relatively new name on the national music scene that is drawing attention because of its alluring tunes. Orchestra Masika Africa Band has, in the short time of its existence, displayed great potential in entertainment. It has also excelled as one of the most promising dance bands with a niche for the rumba genre, popularised by such Congolese musicians as Franco, Tabu Ley, Papa Wemba, Koffi Olomide, Tshala Muana, Werra Son and JB Mpiana.

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