His music is properly arranged, carefully thought and highly danceable
Kenya’s music scene is witnessing the birth of a new Rumba star Johnny Junior. This promising young musician has been giving sleepless nights to some of the established Rumba musicians in the country since releasing his famous hit “Herana”.
Some local musicians have even carefully staged what can be described as character assassination attempt to discredit Johnny Junior. But this young man is already proving to be an exceptional musician whose music is properly arranged, carefully thought and highly danceable.
Born John Odhiambo Orondo, Johny Junior started performing in 2004. He first performed with Hit Sound International Band headed by Otieno Jagwasi before joining Musa Juma’s Limpopo International Band for four years as a vocalist. He released his debut LP in 2005 while still with Hit Sound International Band.
In 2009 he decided to launch his solo career and formed B-V Band. Johnny Junior is now one of the best vocalists in Kenya. During his first years in music, he was mainly playing drum sets and drums. With time, he kept on developing the desire of singing. Since trying and liking what he heard, Johnny Junior has fully concentrated on improving his singing skills.
Johnny Junior’s favourite foreign musicians are the Zimbabwean Oliver Mtukudzi and the Congolese Ferre Gola. He, however, draws his musical inspiration from the late Kenyan Rumba musician Ochieng’ Kabaselleh – Ogolla. “Not only does Kabaselleh inspire me, I love his music,” he says.
Johnny Junior is convinced he has a role of educating the public through his music. This is in fact quite evident in his lyrics. For instance in the track “Kalisto Baba”, he praises a friend who is a reliable, honest, trustworthy and generous person.
Johnny Junior holds that lack of unity amongst Kenyan musicians is contributing to their countless problems. “We don’t know what is called togetherness,” he says, adding that with unity “we can go far.” Most Kenyan musicians are full of envy, he says.
Like all Kenyan musicians, the biggest problem Johnny Junior faces is piracy. “It is too much and it’s really pulling us down,” he says.
Johnny Junior has so far produced three LPs: “Jacky”, “Sweet Love” and “Kalisto Baba”. He is working on a new LP to be released next year. Johnny Junior says he is determined to succeed in his career as a musician. “I have big plans, but my top priority is to work hard so that I can continue producing good music that people will love. With that I’m sure all my dreams will come true.”
He is now based in Nairobi where he performs every weekend at Club Melladen, in Upper Hill Estate.
Johnny Junior would love to see Kenyan musicians united and working together to support each other. “Let’s come together, let’s unite, it will take us far, let’s love each other, tuwache chuki – (stop envy),” he says.
He is grateful to his fans for their support. “Thank you ladies and gentlemen, without your support we are nothing. I truly appreciate your love and support. God bless you all,” he says.
JOHNNY JUNIOR & B-V BAND’S CONTACTS AND LINK
By Stephen Ogongo Ongong’a