Simon Okelo is a Kenyan star musician living in the US. The next 5-track EP from the Luo musician will include the debut song, “Chandore,(” which is Luo for “suffering.”) The Nyatiti music, which is featured in “Chandore,” is strikingly evocative of the late great Ayub Ogada’s style. It’s how Simon expresses the suffering that most black males experience, especially in America, where he’s resided since moving there from Kisumu, Kenya, in 2010.
As he releases, he also said, “Chandore goes through my personal journey and the places I have travelled. It’s about what I have seen and how these personal experiences from around the globe compare to those in America,” with these words he also mention that, “I think that no matter where you live or come from, more African men need to feel comfortable being who they truly are and not feeling pressured to be a certain way in order to fit into other people’s expectations.”
Producer and musician Bob Antolin from Seattle created “Chandore,” which Kenyan Shamir Tadeiya mixed and mastered. The hardship and suffering of African men, a subject that is typically discussed in hushed tones, served as Okelo’s inspiration for this song. “Men are societally expected to display no emotional vulnerability even in the most difficult life circumstances, but it shouldn’t be that way,” he said.
One Vibe Africa and the Madaraka Festival were both founded by Simon Okelo. In order to raise awareness of One Vibe Africa’s Education Music and Art Program (EMAP) and support youth-friendly programming, leadership, and social activism in Kenya and Uganda, he initially released “Chandore” on July 25 during the 7th annual Madaraka Festival. His next EP, which will be released to commemorate both African and African American culture while elevating different voices and fostering community togetherness, is motivated by these ideas.