Juliani. The streets' conscience. Urban poet. Lyricist par excellence. Kenyan Icon.
Possessing an unmatched socio-political nous, beautifully tempered in spirituality, Juliani comes correct with an infectious message of religious, social and political emancipation, fresh and relevant in today's society. His sleek and unique lyrical flow, passionate delivery and electrifying performance have collectively and officially hailed him as "an important voice for our time"
:: the accolades continue ::
An ascending star of and beyond the Kenyan music scene, Juliani has won multiple awards both in Kenya and the USA, the former being a Groove award for 'Hip-hop Song of the Year' (from his debut LP of the same name, 'Mtaa Mentality'), and the latter a Talanta award as the coveted 'Male Artist of the Year'. In 2009, he scooped two Kenyan Groove awards, including 'Hip-hop Song of the Year' ('Biceps') and 'Album of the Year' ('Mtaa Mentality'). In 2010, he picked up 'Male Artist of the Year' at the Insyder CHAT awards as well as Groove's highly acclaimed 'Songwriter of the Year' - 2 years in a row. In 2011, Juliani won 'Best Live Performer' at the Insyder CHAT awards and was, bar none, Kisima's champion of the evening, scooping an incredible 4 awards. 'Best Production' and 'Hip Hop Song of the Year' for what has now become a bonafide anthem, 'Bahasha Ya Ocampo', 'Best Gospel' Artist and 'Artist of the Year', picking up the ultimate winner's cheque of 1 million KSH.
:: BE RELEVANT ::
Forever socially conscious, Juliani represented Kenya at the 2009 UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. He has supported causes such as the World Vision Peace Tour, Vina Na Maana (a campaign against Economic Partnership Agreements), Stand Up Against Poverty (UN Millennium Campaign For MDG's), Emmanuel Jal's 'Lose 2 Win' campaign (where he committed to send a share of every CD sale to the school building project in South Sudan), and has been a facilitator at the NCA conscious music workshop, not to mention his support for the monthly WAPI (Words & Pictures) initiative.
In late 2011, Juliani headed the "We Have Faith" Road to Durban Climate Change Caravan, as the initiative's ambassador; Juliani traveled across 6 African countries promoting a message of environmental awareness through his electrifying live shows, successfully mobilising one million signatories for the petition towards a pan-African Climate Change pledge. The Caravan tour came to a memorable end in the South African city of Durban, where Juliani performed to an audience in their thousands, infront of Desmond Tutu and other high profile leaders, at the notorious Kings Park stadium.
In addition to his environmental commitment, Juliani has made it a mission to plant trees pretty much everywhere he goes. To date, Kenya's Climate Change ambassador has planted over 1000 trees, visiting schools all over Kenya and avidly reminding the country's youth of their responsibilities toward mother
:: if not us then who ::
Juliani's social awareness continues with inspiring abundance, having launched 'KAMA SI SISI' in early 2011. A one of a kind attitude change campaign, KAMA SI SISI targets, empowers and enlightens Kenyan youth to be responsible and accountable to themselves and their community, to work toward the positive improvement of their surroundings - politically, economically, socially and spiritually...''Taking care of yourself by taking care of others."
KAMA SISI SI has successfully operated as a crucial 'change' vehicle, created and utilized to carry key messages in social development. They include: wise investment, governance & leadership and climate change. This critical, relevant and inspiring information is disseminated through musically charged university tours across Kenya, as well as a number of 'Music Summits' headlined and facilitated by none other than Juliani.
In 2011's "Kenyans 4 Kenya" campaign, one of the nation's most popular calls on a patriotic responsibility to care for one another, Juliani initiated the "Celebrity Waiter Challenge". Under the "Kama Si Sisi" school of thought, Juliani was joined by other Kenyan stars to serve members of the public in the popular Nairobi restaurant, Kosewe. For 3 hours, on a busy Monday afternoon, Kenyan celebrated names: Jeff Koinange, Nameless, Nonini, Wahu, Daddy Owen, John Alanamu, Valerie Kimani, Avril, BMF, Neema, Marcus Olang, Pierra Makena, Juliani and more raised a total of 135,000 Ksh!
:: Music is core ::
2011 also saw the release of Juliani's highly anticipated second LP, 'Pulpit Kwa Street' (PKS). Already dubbed a ''classically definitive record'' by the likes of Jeff Koinange (Kenya's prolific TV personality), Kanjii Mbugua and more, PKS has once again showcased Juliani's remarkable ability in so perfectly capturing people's hearts musically, and minds, lyrically.
To highlight PKS' release, Nairobi's City Hall Way was affirmatively shut down on Sunday 21st August 2011. That day saw Kenyan entertainment elevate to a level never experienced before. Indeed, an entire street. Closed off. For the launch of Pulpit Kwa Street. Juliani took over the beautifully constructed stage and delivered a 90 minute show to an audience of over 2000 that many in Kenya's media circles deemed "unforgettable".
"Kenyan Hip hop's event of the year" was also taken to Mombasa, where Pulpit kwa Street's second celebration shut down the Milele resort. Again, over 2000 fans congregated to see Juliani perform all his prime cuts from what is undeniably a formidable collection of Kenyan music.
'Bahasha ya Campo', PKS's first single release, not only reached the top of every radio station's playlist and VJ shows, but additionally sparked wide public debate, due to its intriguingly conscious lyrics. Single number two, 'Exponential Potential', is exactly as its title, a rambunctiously addictive people's anthem, at its exponential peak of potential. The accompanying video, conceptualized along side Rozan Ahmed and featuring Vision 2030's Mugo Kibati among other young visionaries, presents a Kenyan dream fulfilled. No bling, but the stock exchange, no cars, but developed roads. A story of independence and innovation for a better Kenya, starting from every single one of our hearts.
As for 2012, expect more concerts, more PKS celebrations, up to 25 "Kama Si sisi" university tour dates across Kenya and beyond, more inspiration, more power, a thank you gesture of the highest order, with Juliani giving away his first car - pimped out - luxuriously - for one of his many loyal fans. International collaborations you could never have expected and, another classic single: 'RBG Republik'. Which by the way, at its rawest, represents a Kenyan movement, THEE Kenyan movement, of strength in youth. RBG republikens are young people focused on their prime. Young Kenyans who have decided to take care of themselves, their communities and their country - positively...Who have resolved to do better...Who will march alongside Juliani to greatness and beyond.