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Country Kenya Genres hiphop Website www.octopizzo.com Festival Sauti za Busara: 2015 Recordings
Chocolate City (2014); Blackstar (2014); Hala (2014); Youth (2014); Vile inafaa ft Muthoni (2013); So Alive (2013); Mama (2012); Ivo Ivo Ivo (2012)
Born Henry Ohanga, in Kibera, one of Africa's largest slums, Octopizzo is an artist on a steep curve of rising popularity. A true hiphop lover, he was greatly influenced by his early years in Kibera. Aged 25, he looks up to old school hip hop artists as being major inspirations, including KRS-One, Immortal Technique, Big L, EPMD, CL Smooth and others.
Octopizzo has performed with local and international rappers including Dead Prez, Burnt Face (Ethiopian American hip hop group), Wyre, Nonini, Jua Cali, Ukoo Flani, Jaguar and others. He has won various freestyle competitions in Kenya, including G Pange Hip Hop Challenge, Hip Hop Halisi Freestyle Challenge, and Usanii Kona Hip Hop Challenge. As well as performing in UK, Germany and South Africa, he made regular shows in Kenya including WAPI (Words and Pictures), Sprite Challenge, Ghetto Radio Serious Request, Translating Hip Hop (Goethe Institute), International Hip Hop Summit, Grand National Peace Concerts, Global Development of Peaceful Environments, and several university, charity, and HIV awareness concerts.
To date, Octopizzo has recorded three mixtapes: S.O.N. (Stragglers of Nairobi), Y.G.B. (Young, Gifted and Black) and The White Shadow. His album Chocolate City is released on iTunes.
Octopizzo is active in his community and his music reflects this, with lyrics urging Kenyans to vote, and the need for peace, unity and economic equality. He is the founder and Chairman of the Young, Gifted and Black community organization, consisting of rappers, poets, graffiti artists, graphic artists, and dancers.
Octopizzo is an entrepreneur, managing the YGB Wear clothing line, several foundations, and also has acting roles under his belt. He has been a youth ambassador for organizations such as UMaY (Uplifting Men and Youth in Africa) and Universal Peace Federation Kenya. He runs Chocolate City Tours, a company that guided 50 Cent around the Kibera slum.
2012 was a good year for Octopizzo. He was nominated for Artist of the Year in Kisima Awards, and his song On Top was nominated for Best Hip Hop Video. He won "Best Male Artist of 2012" during the Coastal Nzumari Awards.
Like most of his peers in Kenya's hiphop scene, Octopizzo usually performs playback. He is busy rehearsing with a band for a rare and special performance at Sauti za Busara 2015, 100% live!