Open House Artist Workshops

Penya Africa proudly presents the Open House Artist Workshop; a 4 day musical workshop for all prospective singers who’d love to get a taste of what it takes to become a professional musician.

Location: Penya Africa – Showbe Plaza

Workshop timings: 9.30am – 4.30pm (1 hour lunch break; carry lunch and warm it in our microwave OR buy food at the Tabasamu restaurant next door)

Dates: 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th of May 2014

Costs: KSH 5000 for the full 4-day workshop

Facilitators: Andrew Wambua, Dempsey Omwega & Vereso

Who can join? Everyone with a passion for singing who is 18 years and above (exceptions can be made as long as one has cleared form 4!)

Although we might all agree that singing is a talent, we at Penya Africa believe that hard work will differentiate a talented from a professional musician. Over the past few years we have received many questions from people on how they could improve their basic skills to get to a level where they could either join Sauti Academy or other professional music programs. Our Open House Artist Workshops will provide this opportunity to all who are ready to work on their musical skills.

This 4-day workshop for singers focuses on improving voice control, stage performance, musical interpretation, song writing & audition skills. Classes will be facilitated by the Sauti Academy staff, headed by Andrew Wambua & Dempsey Omwega and assisted by star performer & Sauti Academy alumni Vereso. Everyone who sings and who is ready to learn is welcome to join!

Sign up by paying a 50% deposit of KSH 2500 to Sylvia Wamaitha at the Penya office (Showbe Plaza, Entrance C – 2nd floor) OR on mpesa via 0706708781. You will receive a receipt for every payment made. The remaining amount should be paid on the first day of the Open House Artist Workshops.

For inquiries please email Andrew Wambua on: or call him on 0722626169


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The Sauti Academy is a one-year artist development program that includes singing lessons, performance coaching, event organizing experience and song writing workshops focused on lyrics & melody development. Ultimately, all singers who complete the program will have developed their unique musical identity and a confident stage performance.

We are looking for unique voices & talented, ambitious singers who are interested in exploring a musical career.

The program includes:

- voice lessons focused on voice technique, song interpretation and performance

- songwriting classes focused on lyric writing & melody composition

-events organizing skills development

At the end of each term the students organize a Sauti Academy showcase where they  present their musical progress to the world.


The fee is Ksh 21,000 per term (April, August & December are holidays), that is payable per month (Ksh 7,000) but we have scholarships available for talented vocalists who cannot afford the fees.  Please not that we however only discuss this after you’ve passed the auditions. All Sauti Academy students are encouraged to contribute to our outreach programs before completing the program.


We are organizing new rounds of auditions on the 24th and 25th of April 2014 from 9am. You don’t need to make an appointment; auditions will happen on a first come, first served basis during those two days.

Audition requirements:

-musicality; singing in tune, staying on beat, understanding of the song structure, use of dynamics

-performance; your interaction with the audience & your instrumentalist

-song interpretation; use of dynamics, variations in melody and understanding of the lyrics of the song performed

-uniqueness as a singer/performer; we are looking for memorable voices and unique personalities that can develop into memorable performers

Audition procedure

During auditions you’re expected to perform 1 or 2 songs  (with an accompanist, pianist or guitarist – instruments will be provided but then kindly choose from the list of songs below) & we’ll interview you about your motivation to join the program. 

Audition results

In the 1st round, there are two things that can happen;

-You can be invited to the 2nd round auditions (for which you will get an assignment to prepare at home!). The 2nd round will take place on Tuesday the 6th of May 2014.


-You can be told “No, Sorry” and asked to work on improving your voice &  performance and maybe come back another time.

During the 2nd round, you will perform your assigned song in front of the other candidates and if necessary take some extra tests on improvisation & musicality.

The result of the second round can be either one of these three:

  • Welcome to Sauti Academy
  • Welcome to Raw Talent (our 3-month preparation class for talented singers who need a little extra time and basic skills before joining the Sauti Academy program. There are weekly group sessions on Thursdays and after the three months you should be ready for the full program!)
  • No, sorry! Try again next time.

Auditions will take place at the Penya Africa studio in Pangani – Showbe Plaza (entrance C, 2nd floor) on Murang’a Road. You can take matatu nr 6 or 9 from fire station (Koja) on Tom Mboya Street. Tell the conductor you will alight at Guru Nanak which is just after the u-turn on Murang’a Road. Showbe Plaza is the orange building between Oilibya and the Forest Road fly over.

Please remember…..

You need to audition with a guitarist/pianist who plays for you while you sing (and of course you can also play for yourself!). Music gets better when you collaborate with others so even though it might be challenging to find the right person, you will have to search hard & put in the time and effort to practice and audition with an instrumentalist. If this is what you want to do, get to work and make it happen :)


For those who can really not get an instrumentalist, we will avail one of our great instrumentalists to play for you. In case you’d like her/him to play for you, you will need to choose from the following songs (if you bring your own instrumentalist you can sing whatever you like!). If you have any suggestions for additions to this list, leave us a message on

- Still the One – Sauti Sol

- All of me – John Legend

- Paukwa – Dela

- Can’t be my lover – John Legend

- Haya – Harry Kimani

- Titanium – David Guetta feat Sia

- Halo /// Best thing I never had – Beyonce

- Someone Like You /// Chasing Pavements /// Make you feel my love – Adelle

- No One /// If I ain’t got you /// Girl on Fire – Alicia Keys

- Brown Skin /// Promises /// I am not my hair  - India Arie

- Zuciya Daya – Bez

- Natural Woman – Aretha Franklin

- No one knows /// Jailer – Asa

- Lost without you – Robin Thick

- Thinkin’ bout you – Frank Ocean

- River // Next to me – Emeli Sande

- Diamond /// Stay – Rihanna

- Please don’t leave me – Pink

- Blown Away – Carrie Underwood



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Sauti Sol release “Still the One” video


Sauti Sol—East Africa’s Most Gifted Video of 2012 Channel O winners and Kenya’s high-flying recording/performing band finally release the music video to “Still the One.” The video of the single (released in April) off their soon-to-be-released third album is Sauti Sol’s most anticipated release to date.

The video of the slow jam was shot in Nairobi city and features regular yet charming couples, depicting young love blossoming from primary school to university and beyond. In the song, Sauti Sol equates their fans to their own love interest with simple yet intricate lyrics praising them for ‘still being the ones’, years on.

Produced by Ulopa Ngoma and Sauti Sol, “Still the One” is yet another original stamp of Sauti Sol’s harmonious ballads; flaunting the band’s celebrated articulate song-writing skills and story-telling abilities. All this is blended in Bien-Aime’s perfect falsetto amidst Chimano and Delvin’s rich harmonization in catchy instrumentals directed by Polycarp’s rhythmic lead guitar.

Music video camera and direction: Enos Olik, CJP Films

Styling: Annabel Onyango for DRESSUPNATION

Executive Production: Sauti Sol Entertainment

Distributor: Penya Africa

For more info Tweet @SautiSol / or visit

For bookings & management: email Sauti Sol Manager Marek via

For interviews: call Sauti Sol Publicist Anyiko +254 721 368 983/email

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Prisca releases #dear95

Sauti Academy alumni Prisca talks to her 5-year old self in this brand new release #Dear95. Currently, Prisca is busy in the studio working on her first EP release with acclaimed producer MG. More info about that project soon!

Next Sunday the funky singer-songwriter will also make her debut at the Blankets & Wine stage alongside Alsarah, Dela (The Voice!) and South African songstress Zahara.

Tickets are available on for Ksh. 1,500. They’ll also be on sale at select Dormans outlets starting this afternoon.

Blankets and wine poster


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Sauti Academy in the County Weekly

“Sauti Academy’s curriculum is tough and gruesome yet thrilling in the study of music and other various elements meant to bring out the best in the students”.


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The Penya Africa team would like to give a big thanks to all the 123 singers who came out for the Sauti Academy auditions. We just completed the second round of the auditions and would like to welcome a group of 15 singers to Sauti Academy. Another 10 singers have made it into our Raw Talent program. Keep an eye here on the website for student introductions & more exciting news!


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Auditions, auditions!


What? Penya’s termly Sauti Academy & Raw Talent auditions

When: this Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th of May 2013

Time: first come first served from 9am

Where: Penya Africa studio, Showbe Plaza (entrance C, 2nd floor), Pangani, Nairobi. 

Penya Africa is looking for the most talented, unique and ambitious singers in Kenya who are between 18 and 25 years old and who dream of a professional music career. Sauti Academy will take the selected group of 10-12 singers  through a 1-year artist development program that includes voice lessons, performance skills, songwriting, music theory and music business workshops. To encourage talented singers with little previous experience, Penya developed a 3-month bridging program dubbed Raw Talent. Read all about the artist development programs Sauti Academy and Raw Talent here.

Alumni and students of Sauti Academy have performed at the biggest stages in Kenya; Alliance Francaise, Blankets & Wine, Thursday Nite Live at Choices – and include Willy Paul, Wambui from Elani, Dempsey, Mumala and Andrew Wambua.

During auditions every singer will perform 1 or 2 songs of choice (covers or own composition) either a-capella, with an instrumentalist (keyboard & acoustic guitar will be provided in the audition room) or with a performance backing track (MP3 format on USB stick or CD without the main vocals). Songs performed should be sang off head; no one is allowed to sing the song with written lyrics.

After the performance, all singers will go through a small interview / feedback session with the Penya teaching team. The results of the auditions can be;

  1. Sorry, try again next time + feedback on your performance
  2. Yes, you are through to the 2nd round + feedback + assignment

The 2nd round auditions are taking place on Tuesday the 7th of May 2013 at 10am. During this round, all singers are performing their assignment song in front of the others. After that, all singers will go through a short improvisation round in which we test musicality. The  Penya team will then deliberate and share the conclusion with the singers. The results of this audition can be;

  1. Sorry, try again next time + feedback
  2. Yes, you are in Sauti Academy + feedback
  3. Yes, you are in Raw Talent + feedback


Showbe is the orange building next to former Pangani roundabout (now flyover) that connects Murang’a Rd, Thika Rd & Forest Rd. You can enter the plot at Oilibya. If you use public transport, you can take number 6 or 9 (they leave from Fire-station on Tom Mboya Street and you alight at Oilibia or Nairobi Water Company on Murang’a Road, Pangani).

In case you have any questions regarding Sauti Academy, Raw Talent or Penya Africa, please send an email to





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