Julius Owino aka Juliani

In 2002 I Started my journey in the music industry while also building my personal profile. One of my earliest works was with Danish producers to record one album with all of the top artists from the Eastlands area of Nairobi called “Kilio Cha Haki". This was followed by a partnership with Norwegian Church Aid to promote “Vina Na Maana” Concert in Nairobi University, this was recorded, taken to UK thus led to me signing to the

" The true beauty of music is that it connects people. It carries a message, and we, the musicians, are the messengers.

Roy Ayers

2016 - present

My fourth album, “Masterpiece”, officially launches in August 2018.

I hosted a one-of-a-kind four-day concert series showcasing my previous albums and leading up to an exclusive Masterpiece listening party for fans only.

I partnered with Jacaranda Gardens to sponsor the Who Is King concert in January 2016. They also provided building materials used in the completion of School of Rhyme, a space for creatives to grow their craft, based in Dandora.

The official launch of Dandora Hip Hop City, a community space for creatives, was graced by Dr Willy Mutunga (former Chief Justice of Kenya), Bob Collymore (CEO, Safaricom) and Joshua Oigara (Group CEO, KCB).

Other partnerships include Turning Tables, a Danish organisation leveraging on the power of music to reach out the youth in vulnerable communities and Forum Syd, a Swedish non governmental member organisation working with people and people’s rights.

I was invited to speak about devolution on behalf of the youth at the Deputy Governor’s Conference.

2015

My third album “Exponential Potential” officially launched.

I closed a lucrative sponsorship deal with National Bank of Kenya.

I was appointed Vice-Chair on KEPSA’s governing council in the Sports, Arts and Culture sector (Kenya Private Sector Alliance)

.During the Nairobi Peace Talks at the United Nations, I joined personalities like Abbas Gullet (Red Cross) and Nardos Bekele-Thomas (UNDP) and spoke on the role of music and art in fostering peace.

I went on a one-week tour in Europe with Emmanuel Jal.

The Ministry of Health in collaboration with JICA commissioned the song “Afya Yetu, Jukumu Letu” to pass on the message that we need to take charge of our health.

Inspired by Half the Sky movement founded by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, I released the song “Wezesha Dada, Inua Jamii” to promote gender equality by spotlighting inspiring initiatives making a difference to women and girls across Kenyan communities.

2014

An album distribution partnership with Orange Kenya (currently Telkom Kenya) set me up as the first artist in Kenya to close such a deal.

I also became the first Kenyan artist to host a media party to celebrate Kenyan media personalities who support our music industry at the Open Knowledge Festival in Berlin.

Following my work in pushing agri-business awareness among the youth, Bono’s ONE Campaign invited me to join other renowned African artists in the campaign ‘Do Agric, It Pays’ for the song “Cocoa na Chocolate”.

2013

I partnered with World Bank on ‘Connect4Climate’ and the MTV launch of ‘Voices4Climate’, a global competition focused on Youth, Technology and Climate Change. I spoke and performed at new museum in Washington DC.

I also partnered with Amiran Kenya on the campaign ‘Farming is Cool’ to encourage Kenyan youth to embrace agri-businesses.

Women’s Empowerment Link (WEL) and Ford Foundation brought me on to mobilise 8 artists across the country to write and record “Mama Kenya”, a song highlighting the struggles, triumphs and hopes of women and girls.

Then followed a partnership with OXFAM and What’s Good Media to produce the song “Voters vs Vultures”  to advocate for good leadership and voter education.

I was appointed patron of the ‘Umoja Cultural Flying Carpet Festival’, a program that works for the peace and development of society through international cultural collaboration between several African countries and Norway.

2012

I collaborated with US artist Anthony Faulkner on the song “Connections”.

TV station, KTN (Kenya Television Network), commissioned the single “Utawala” to run a montage during their election news bulletin. It became one of the most celebrated songs in Kenya.

A partnership with Google during the Google Plus launch resulted in my having the highest number of Google Plus followers. We also hosted a one-of-a-kind online launch of Google Plus in Dandora for an audience of 5000 people.

Officially launched the “Exponential Potential” music video by taking 5 fans on a 3-day documentary shoot in Mombasa. This was followed by a live concert, attracting 3000 attendees, marking my second launch of the album “Pulpit Kwa Street”.

2011

I launched my second album “Pulpit Kwa Street”. In a historic move, we shut down City Hall Way in the Nairobi CBD for the first album launch.

I was voted ‘Best Live Performer’ at the Insyder CHAT Awards.

At the Kisima Awards, I received ‘Best Gospel Artist’ and Hip Hop Artist of the Year’ awards. My song “Bahasha Ya Ocampo” made Homeboyz Studios ‘Producer of the Year’. I made history again by being the first Kenyan artist to win a cash award of Ksh 1M.

As Youth Climate Ambassador, I headed the ‘We Have Faith African Youth Climate Justice Caravan’. We traveled across 6 African countries, successfully mobilizing one million signatures for a petition towards a Pan-African Climate Change pledge.

This year also saw me initiate a ‘Celebrity Waiter Challenge’ to raise money for the ‘Kenyans for Kenya Campaign’, a fundraiser started in response to media reports of famine and deaths from starvation in Turkana County. We collected KSh 135,000 in tips.

In partnership with the International Commission of Jurists, I mobilised artists from 6 counties across Kenya to promote the Freedom of Information Bill. This was known as the Music Summit Movement. We produced songs and shot videos in one day in each county and pulled off a major 15-universities tour.

2010

More wins this year! I was awarded ‘Male Artist of the Year’ at the Insyder CHAT Awards and ‘Songwriter of the Year’ at the Groove Awards.

Norwegian Church Aid initiated a tree planting campaign “Rauka Ama Hatuta Survive”. I participated in the planting of 1000 trees across Kenya.

The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) endorsed me as ambassador to promote their investment challenge targeted at the youth.

2009

I happily scooped two Kenyan Groove Awards: ‘Hip-Hop Song of the Year’ for “Biceps” and ‘Album of the Year’ for “Mtaa Mentality”.

2008

A huge career milestone came with being the first Kenyan artist signed to a UK record label, Gatwitch Records, owned by Emmanuel Jal. This is where I recorded my first album, “Mtaa Mentality”.

I took home the USA Talanta Award for ‘Male Artist of the Year’.

2002-2007

My earliest work was a contribution to the album “Kilio Cha Haki” (Cry for Justice), championed by Nynke Nauta, founder of Penya Records. The project brought together 38 artists from Eastlands and producers from Amsterdam, together we created a 22-song album in one month.

This was followed by a partnership with Norwegian Church Aid to promote the “Vina na Maana” Concert, a campaign against the unfair Economic Partnership Agreements at the time.

I launched my first single “Jesus Nosis which featured in the Mau Mau album “Dandora Burning”, supported by Kwani Trust, later leading to a performance at the World Social Forum.

I was attached to Kijiji Records when I produced my second single “Mtaa Mentality”. This became the title track for my first album.