Nina Ogot
Singer Nina Ogot

Kenyan singer-songwriter, guitarist and actress; Nina Ogot, has released her fourth studio album ‘Ukumbu.KE’

It is a nine-track album.

Ogot said working on this project was a wonderful experience for her to reminisce about different moments, events and elements that have enriched her life over the years.


"In the process I rediscovered a plethora of ideas that transformed into music and transports the listener from the past into this present moment," she said

The project embodies sparkling guitar sounds, easily grooving percussion and melodic-jolly horns that complement one another perfectly with the predominant Swahili and Luo verses of Nina Ogot’s unique vocal timbre.

She also reinforces the cultural root with influences from traditional sounds: Taarab and Bango melodies from Coast, percussive Isukuti of the Luhya and the spiritual Dodo rhythms of the Luo people.


The album title contains a word game, transforming ‘ukumbu’ (memories in Swahili) into a modern context as ‘ukumbuke’ (let us remember) with an added twist of ‘.ke’ to represent a vault for Kenyan music and culture. 

In ‘Ukumbu.KE’ all kinds of images from Nina’s childhood and parts of her adulthood come back to life through her songs. The album is inspired by Nina Ogot's memories and personalized cultural moments; from nearly forgotten traditional music and tales to legendary  movies and TV maestros. The album's sound revives cultural roots while creating a colourful live music experience, creating new memories for the present age. ‘Ukumbu.KE’ tracks radiate Ogot's endowed rhythm group, creating a smooth groove.

Nina Ogot inserts a rearranged version of one of her favourite tracks “Chokoraa” on the new album. Originally added on her 2008 debut album ‘Ninairobi’, the remake attests to her impressive musical evolution and her lyrical prowess. The track “Chokoraa” addressing the plight of street people has grown from laid-back guitar acoustic to a dramatic and powerful call-to-action musical performance. 

While Nina Ogot, the cosmopolitan, worked with mostly European musicians on her previous album ‘Dala’, her decision to record this fourth album ‘Ukumbu.KE’ in Nairobi in order to capture the authentic Kenyan vibe is a sound one. The horn sections, arranged and recorded in Germany, are the distinct international note on this record. The singer, who is also the composer of all the songs, has chosen a less experimental and more resolute style of arrangements, compared to the previous albums. The horns and guitars unfold wonderful hooklines, but what stands out the most is Nina Ogot herself, who captivates with her very own briskness, self confidence and sensuousness. 

Nina concludes, “I invite you to experience the diversity of ideas I managed to capture in lyrics and to rediscover the cultural melodies that  we once knew but almost forgot. This album will take you on a musical adventure that will fill your hearts with nostalgia, keep your heads bobbing and feet dancing to the rhythm.”