Kenyan artist Xenia Manasseh
Image: Courtesy

Five albums later, coupled with multiple singles and several features that span the globe, Sauti Sol, Kenya’s most celebrated boy band, is taking a bow.

The four-member group made up of Bien, Savara, Chimano and Polycarp announced an indefinite hiatus earlier this year, after almost two decades of churning out hit after hit.

Some of those hits include Lazizi, Blue Uniform, Sura Yako, Melanin and Suzanna, which cemented their place in Kenya’s, and the world’s hearts. 

In honor of this moment, Xenia Manasseh, a Spotify RADAR artist, has released the first ever Kenyan Spotify Single, covering Lazizi. Widely acclaimed as Sauti Sol’s first hit, it feels like a full circle moment that one of Kenya’s fastest rising R&B stars covers the first hit song, from Kenya’s top boy band, in a befitting ode to them. 

The Spotify Single's program was created to provide artists with an opportunity to re-record one of their existing songs in a fresh new way, as well as cover a song of their choice, by one of their own musical heroes.

In Xenia’s case, she brought her powerful vocals to the song, giving the 14 year-old song a fresh new twist. Her beautiful rendition starts off with a stunning harmony that carries on throughout the song, as Xenia performs a stripped down, melancholic version of Lazizi. 

“Sauti Sol has been the soundtrack of our youth, for most of us, so it fits perfectly that the first-ever Kenyan Spotify Single, was a cover of one of their most iconic songs. It is an exciting time in the Kenyan music scene and our hope is to have even more Spotify Singles by Kenyan artists,” said Monica Kemoli-Savanne, Spotify’s Artist & Label Partnerships Manager, East Africa.