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Country Kenya Genres band fusion Website www.yunasi.com Festival Sauti za Busara 2008 Recordings
Recordings: Nang'I Amana (2002), Shamaheri (single) (2004), Ndi Ndi Ndi (single and video) (2006), Nairobi (2007)
Yunasi wins BBC World Service's Next Big Thing 2007 competition in London http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/thenextbigthing/2007
Yunasi have won the recent BBC Next Big Thing competition. The band was voted "easily the best" from over 2000 acts from 88 countries. Yunasi have also won other major international awards including a 3rd place in the prestigious US International Songwriting Contest in 2006 out of 16000 entries for their song Ji Opogore and winning the 2004 Kisima Award for best Afro-fusion band in Kenya
Eight Kenyans from the ghettos of Nairobi, and a French woman playing accordion mix voice, percussion, electric and traditional instruments. Yunasi creates an original sound, combining gospel influences, traditional local music and a pop sensibility to great effect, giving voice to the aspirations of African youth faced with the reality of underdevelopment.
Yunasi call their music sesebuse. A combination of sega, isukuti, benga and other Kenyan rhythms, combined with modern music styles. Yunasi take sounds and inspirations from their local Kenyan communities, and fuse these with the best of Europe. They sing in different languages, including Luo, Luiya, Teso, Swahili, Kisii, French and English.
Their music is not only popular and progressive but also emphasises the theme of social responsibility and harmony. Yunasi has regularly worked at a youth project in the Mathare slums to show the youth that music and sport can be a way to escape poverty as well as a way to avoid the pressures to use drugs and engage in crime.
Yunasi won the 2004 Kisima award for best Afro Fusion band and were nominated for an All Africa Kora award in South Africa 2003. In March 2006 they were announced as prize winners at the prestigious US International Song Writing Contest for the song Ji Opogore (The Difference of People), obtaining third place in the world music category out of 15,000 entries from all over the world.
Since 2001 the group has performed in Kenya, France, Germany, Belgium, Mayotte, Djibouti and Tanzania. Their shows are "tight". With fantastic instrumental and vocal harmonies, soulful and contemplative one minute and pumping explosive rhythms the next, they guarantee satisfaction to those who enjoy listening as well as dancing.With thanks to Alliance Francaise de Nairobi