What do you get when you combine a silky voice, a killer sense of fashion, a bunch of soul and a dash of humor? The answer: multi-talented Liz Ogumbo. Hailing from Kenya, Liz has been making moves for a while now. But we wanted you all to get to know this Diva a bit more intimately... Check out our interview below. And do yourself a favor....definitely check her music.
AddisTunes: So you are a woman of many talents – songwriter, model, fashion designer – is there anything you don’t do? Can you tell us a little about how you began your music career and your various other pursuits?
Liz Ogumbo: I look at my passion for both music and fashion more as a lifestyle other than a career as I was born into it. Music is what I grew up on and my dad and mum played a major, role in bringing music close to our hearts. We sang as a family together every evening for prayer, we sang when we had guests over, we sang when we lost loved ones, we sang when we worked and even in the shower, we pulled it off magically.
In 2010, I got an interest from Gallo records in South Africa and signed a marketing and distribution deal, with Mi-Fone supporting my musical journey throughout. This rekindled my passion for music in a bigger scale as I recorded my debut album, KenSoul in a month and had it out on shop fronts in Sep 2010. It was definitely a big, bold step and since then, the market response has been great!
A year later, I am humbled and blessed through my journey and I feel a sense of growth, hoping to hit more live platforms and collaborative partnerships that will allow me to consistently share my beautiful KenSoul Stories.
From a fashion perspective, my siblings and I were probably the best-dressed kids in the block. My mum was a ‘side’ seamstress,‘ something she did on the side as a hobby, and the attention she paid to the detail made the clothing so unique and tasteful; we all dressed up and painted the city pretty.
As a fashion designer many years later, I believe less is more when you ooze confidence, hence I have minimized fuss and accented the beauty of our individuality as beautiful women TODAY. My philosophy through what we wear is that every day should be celebrated as an opportunity to make our mark.
My clothing and jewelry collections are a must-have for the modern, fashion-savvy woman. These pieces of bold, elegant, timeless and endless pieces invite women to embrace self-definition through sleek cuts, simple-yet-provocative designs and attitude that comes from the inside.
AT: One of the interesting things about your artistic endeavors is that you do everything well – from the music to fashion design. Who or what has inspired so much artistic creativity in your life?
LO: Besides my passion for fashion, music, Africa, love and life itself, I believe that the greater being that lives and dwells within me lights me up and ensures that I shine so bright in everything I do.
AT: So what is the inspiration behind KenSoul and who are some of the people who helped make this CD such a phenomenal recording?
LO: With 101% involvement in this phenomenal project backed up by a beautiful team, I wrote all my music, got KenSoul co-produced by R. J. Benjamin and Baba Buntu and collaborated with extremely talented acts: R. J Benjamin, Tumi, Zubz and MXO.
AT: With so many talented artists representing Africa these days, what do you see in the future for Africa’s music scene? How about fashion and design?
LO: I believe there is a season for everything and it all falls into place at it the right time. In all counts, Africa has been the light hidden in the background and now it is time for that light to shine! It’s time for Africa!
AT: Who are some of the artists inspiring you these days? Who are your favorites?
Lately, I am still tuning to my Franco, Bob Marley, Owino Misiani, Orutu/ohangla, Richard Bona, Jimmy Dludlu, Jonathan Butler, Miriam Makeba, Etta James, Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, Buju, Beres Hammond, Mile Davis, Aretha Franklin, Billy holiday......up to the St Germain, Lauryn Hill, Alicia Keys, Jill Scott, Erykah, Vivian Green, Zap mama, Asa etc…
AT: Given your street cred as a fashionista, are there any designers or models that are on your radar today?
LO: There are so many designers and models on my radar today for one reason or the other. Iman is one of the models I grew up admiring amongst other names. From a Fashion designer perspective, I am digging Vlisco right now……
Either way, I am the biggest fan of all designers/ models who are constantly to reach their goals.
AT: And what can we expect from Liz Ogumbo in the future?
LO: Everything is possible. Besides constantly growing and expanding my Queen Dom through my passions in life, I look forward to elevating minds and souls through imparting my knowledge and skills.
AT: Finally, is there anything you’d like to share with the world?
LO: I would like to thank my fan-base increasing day by day for connecting with my soul and I would like to invite the rest of the world to join me through my KenSoul journey; it is one of a kind with so much to offer while informing, elevating minds and soothing souls!