Emmanuel Odhiambo, aka Huthead, is a talented musician from Kibera, the largest slum in Kenya. His music is inspired by reggae and hip-hop and paints a portrait of life in his community as it is and as it could be with his socially conscious lyricism. Before winning PeaceTones’ online, international talent competition and becoming the next PeaceTones ambassador, Emmanuel was making his living by managing a small business of cooking mandazis (sweet fried dough) which he has done since he was young. He continues to strive to make a name in the vibrant Kenyan music business and to be relevant and consistent.
“Music and art are a great platform to unite people. Being successful as a musician, actually earning a living through showcasing my gifts and talents may be the only means for me to live the way I want to and to find a gateway from poverty.”
The struggles he faces, however, are both professional and personal. On a musical level, he has never been able to afford professional producers, instead recording at cheap low-mastered studios. Without a management team, he has had to multitask managing himself, finding and booking shows, negotiating contracts, as well as promoting his own music, all while balancing his work life to support himself. His love for positive, conscious music has sustained him. In a time where harder themes are much more popular, reincarnating positive reggae vibes has set him apart.
On a personal level, though, the themes of peace and love are in reaction to a life marred with tragedy. Emmanuel has seen first hand what war and violence do to society- the death, division, and regression it has brought to Kenya. He was especially affected by the post election violence in 2007 and he hopes never to see anything like it again. His choices to occupy the socially conscious genre are centered around his desire to address and represent these sensitive issues in his nation and community and shine a light on their development and future potential. He hope to encourage and warn fellow young people to turn away from war and crime, tension and hatred and work together toward sustainable peace and stability.
Emmanuel’s dream is to be the new voice of Kenya- to motivate, encourage, and sensitize the young people of his community and his nation and share his belief that through hard work, faith, and discipline you can achieve your goals and dreams. He seeks to write songs that resonate with people from all walks of life, regardless of age, color, race, creed, and empower his audience and leaders everywhere, and to entertain them as well.
“I still and will always sing conscious, uplifting vibes for my people. I appreciate life, humanity, and most of all women. Mama being the best. I love life so let’s cherish and live to the fullest. Bless”