Gig Seeker Pro


Nairobi, Nairobi Area, Kenya

Nairobi, Nairobi Area, Kenya
Band World Acoustic




"Artiste who speaks through the guitar clocks another milestone"

Mutinda to launch ‘Matopeni’ his 10-track album, tonight
The much-anticipated ‘Matopeni’ (mud) album by the talented George Mutinda will be launched today evening at the Alliance Francaise.

Matopeni serves a unique blend of soul-searching melodies such as Kusambaratika, Simama, Osa Vinya, Ahsante and the title track Matopeni.

The 10-track album features voices of Barbara Guantai and artiste-cum-producer Abbi Nyinza.

The inspirational album speaks about happiness and contentment that can be found within our humble surroundings.
The album is a journey that blends the afro-modern music, rock beats and afro-jazz rhythms. Songs in the album are in Kiswahili, English and Kikamba (his mother tongue) and have motivating lyrics that affirm a brighter day in life despite the challenges.

Mutinda, who just returned from a hit concert at the 2009 Sauti Za Busara Festival in Zanzibar, is expected to thrill his fans with his strong vocals and exemplary guitar skills. He has been reviewed as among the solo guitarists an vocalist to watch, and his ability to strum the guitar and belt out tunes will for sure take him far.

Mutinda’s absorbing stage presence in live concerts has created a name for him, slowly carving a niche in the afro-fusion music circles and the wider entertainment scene.

Mutinda passionately prefers playing the guitar during his concerts.
“It offers me a comfortable chance to express my feelings and messages to the audience”, he says.
“Music serves as a bridge to take a listener through a journey while also serving as a source of hope and inspiration.. and that is what Matopeni is all about”, he says.

His songs and performances entail a nice blend of several African traditional instruments, including the African flute, Mali’s Djembe and Kenya’s Nyatiti among others.
“Instruments are just like music genres. You have to expound to ensure your message reaches many people, he says. The guitarist looks up to a number of celebrated artists for inspiration. They include Oliver Mtukudzi, Seal and Tracy Chapman. - Daily Metro, Friday April 3rd 2009

"Mutinda comes of Age"

2009 February 6th

Published on 06/02/2009
Emmanuel Mwendwa

He is regarded as a solo guitarists and vocalists to watch, yet his down to earth demeanour reveals little of the talent at strumming the guitar and belting out tunes. George Mutinda may not be a household name, but his debut 10-track CD, Matopeni (mud), points at a talented composer and performer.

Indeed, whenever performing at a live concert, the solo-guitarist projects an enthralling stage presence. In the past, he has made a name in the city’s entertainment circles only as a curtain raiser for leading musicians. Mutinda, however, is stepping out of the shadows to be his own man.

"Playing the guitar at a live concert is one of my strongest points. I am able to express stimulating messages or feelings through my songs," he points out.

He has been keen on merging African traditional instrumentation riffs played with nyatiti, djembe, maboom-boom drums and African flute with global elements like deft guitar work, keyboard, saxophone and violin strains. This experimentation is gradually paying off , as proved in Matopeni, which is already on sale.

It contains a serving of uniquely rendered soul-searching melodies and contagious rhythms such as Simama, Lala (mtoto lala), Osa Vinya, Ahsante, Umaala, Vala Vandu, Moyo, Swala Langu, Kusambaratika and the title track Matopeni. Some of the songs feature voices of artiste-turned producer Abbi Nyinza and songstress Barbara Guantai.

Singing mostly in Swahili, English and Kikamba (his mother tongue), Mutinda’s lyrics tell ordinary stories about myriad issues, which average individuals experience or relate with. Through these songs he encourages people to delve into unravelling life’s mysteries, asserting that it is possible to find grace and humility, even amidst tough circumstances or conditions.

"I believe music ought to ideally take the listener to a place where only uncertainty prevails, yet still manage to anchor one in the present," he says philosophically.

Besides consistently building upon developing his vocal prowess and song-writing abilities, he opines that learning to play an instrument goes a long way towards nurturing a professional, all-rounder artiste.

As we engage in this interview, his long fingers seem to instinctively flicker across the rhythm guitar strings. On frequent instances, he subconsciously strums a tune, rendered with innate passion, in a manner which draws out not just captivating melodies but conspicuously groovy chords.

"To make an impression as a capable musician, one has no choice but strive to be comfortable playing any genre, however complex, besides also being conversant in folk and pop rhythms from across the globe," says Mutinda.

Most of his compositions are rooted in typical Afro-folk traditions and influences. But it is the artiste’s somewhat uncanny ability to blend fluid harmonies with a progressive yet cosmopolitan touch that makes his songs stand out. The tracks he composes create an impression of being defiant of any clear-cut categorisation.

This has nonetheless hardly got in the way of Mutinda, earning a glowing reputation in the afro-fusion music circles as a startlingly original voice, the kind of player who gets others talking.

Distinctive identity

Perhaps this was prime reason why the fledgling Indigo Productions opted to sign on the artiste to their stable, although he is a relative ‘beginner’. The label may yet have hit the jackpot.

The guitarist joins ranks of musicians who, over recent years, have taken on a distinctive identity – incorporating folk-driven, indigenous rhythms with borrowed influences yet hardly tuning out their cultural roots.

"There’s an adventurous line of thought growing among serious musicians. By opting to chart a middle ground, creating cross-cultural songs. These artistes are likely to be more successful than their counterparts making music for the sake of it," he says.

As an aspiring guitarist, Mutinda recounts being voracious in feeding his musical tastes: "I really went out of my way to check out songs done by varied artistes from across Africa and rest of the world," he recalls.

Listening to cuts on his CD – already on sale at select outlets on local market but set for official launch next month, these assorted influences are obvious on numerous songs.

Although Mutinda’s music sounds unique, one can still pick out traces of his inspiration drawn from renowned international artistes like KaÔsa, Tracy Chapman, Oliver Mtukudzi, Wasis Diop, Diogal, Seal and Lokua Kanza.

Talking about his songs, he says: "Music is a medium for communication hence a universal language. I may have an indigenous accent, singing in different dialects. But the most crucial point for me is for listeners, irrespective of their cultural backgrounds – to be able to understand this language."

The new direction he takes opens up to influences accrued from other cultutres.
- Standard - Entainment Section

"Strummer with big dreams"

December 31st 2008

"Prohibited from touching the church guitar as he was "too little", George Mutinda has learnt the hard way, producing an ablum and now eyeing the internet for global audience"

As a young boy growing up in Machakos, George Mutinda, 32, was told he was too lithe to be allowed to touch the church guitar. “From the first time I saw people playing music I could not wait to get my hands on a guitar”, he says.
And that was how he ended up making his own guitar, or at least trying to when he was only a standard three pupil. The church guitar was the reason he had gone to a protestant church instead of a Catholic church his family belonged to.

Today, Mutinda has landed a lucrative recording contract with Metta Metta ART and lands shows worth as much as SH150,000.

Although he is not a household name yet, the strummer firmly believes in getting what he’s worth. “I don’t think it makes sense to be a famous person who is broke”, he says.

For him music is an art form, but it is also every bit a business. Of course getting paid for what you’re worth starts with perfecting your art form, says Mutinda, who has been perfecting his act virtually all his life.
“I don’t remember when I made the choice of being a musician”, he says. He learned to play the guitar by listening to music and playing along and had no formal training – until recently when a friend taught him how to tune a guitar.

Mutinda’s dreams of getting into music professionally were put on hold when his mother died, and father left, leaving him in charge of his younger siblings. He was 19 and providing for a 3-year-old sister and a 7-year-old brother.
“I was forced to do menial jobs to take care of my siblings,” he recalls.
A few years later, he decided to track down his farther: “I wanted to pursue my music dreams, and so I had to look for my farther and tell him to take up his responsibilities”.
They came up with an agreement that required him to share responsibilities with his farther, ad arrangement that allowed him some time to pursue his passion.

His talent with the guitar, coupled with his soulful voice, ensured Mutinda got gigs at nightclubs before long, performing songs he had been composing from as early as at the age of 10.
“I started interacting with musicians and vocalizing, as opposed to just playing my guitar”, he says.

The clincher was in 2005 when he auditioned at the Alliance Francaise and was declared best en Eastern province. The same year he was nominated as one of the 11 finalists who would record an album known as Spotlight on Kenyan Musicians, which is now selling online.
“That was confirmation that music is the way to go for me”, he says.

While he was performing at a club one day, Metta Metta noticed him and asked to sign him on. What followed were negotiations which culminated in a 5-year deal.

Today, Mutinda lives off his music. He performs regularly at the Goethe Institute and also gets invited to corporate events: he sang at the Zain launch.

Recording on his album Matopeni started in February at Indigo Studios, with Abby as musician. At the time of our interview the album had only been out for a week but had sold about 200 copies.

Mutinda sings spiritual music, which is neither gospel nor secular but afro modern.
“I go beyond religion and politics to sing about life”, he says.
“What I observe is what I sing about. Hatred, love, revenge, insincerity.. It’s all there.”
His musis has an acoustic feeling to it. Besides the guitar, he features the saxophone, flute, bass guitar, violin, piano, and traditional drums, shakers and the nyatiti.

After hiring a personal manager, Mutinda now lands at least two gigs a month, besides the people who approach him personally. He has also been testing his music on MySpace, where the response is phenomenal.

In the next few years, Mutinda, wants to reach the world wit his unique music.

“I get inquiries from people everywhere wanting to know where they can get my music. I will soon get my music on the Net so that they can access it”, he says.
Selling music on the Internet is more profitable because it doesn’t cost much, and that’s where the world I headed.
“iPods, iPhones are replacing CD players, and Kenyan musicians need to start selling their music to such customers”, he says.
“Music in East Africa is made only for tapes and CDs, and when put on an iPod or PM3, the music loses its quality”.

Mutinda has done two videos – for the song Matopeni and also Kusambaratika. He sings mostly in Kiswahili and his mother tongue Kikamba and hopes that through that he can promote the culture of his country. - Daily Metro

"Three Kenyan acts for Busara Music Fest"

Industry newbie Mutinda who just launched his maiden album in December will be sharing the stage with musical greats Samba Mapangala and Iddi Achieng. The three are the sole Kenya-based acts performing at a week-long music festival dubbed Busara Music Festival in Zanzibar (etc) - Nairobi Star - Feb 4th 2009


"Matopeni" (Dec 2008/Jan 2009). 10 track album featuring Abbi, Barbara Guantai & Hellon.

"Spotlight on Kenyan Music 2005" - featuring on this compilation CD with two songs.



Mutinda - Timeless, soul-searching melodies and contagious rhythms..

Mutinda from Kenya - winner of the International Songwriting Competition 2010 World Music Category - is a strong singer/songwriter, vocalist and acoustic guitarist playing World Music and afro-folk, which contains rare sounds of Kenyan Music meeting the global contemporary influences of today. He is a self-taught musician who began pursuing his career in his childhood by playing a home-made guitar. Growing up in a typical rural setting and later living in one of the toughest neighborhoods in Nairobi, has made Mutinda interact with all kinds of people, whose lives and choices give him inspiration to share his messages.

Since 2005 when Mutinda was one of the top artists in the Alliance Francaise “Spotlight on Kenyan Music” competition his professional music career has grown steadily taking him to places like Sauti Za Busara Festival in Zanzibar and on tour in Scandinavia.

Under the indie-label metta metta ART, Mutinda released his first solo album – entitled “Matopeni” – in 2009.
Performing either alone, with a 5 piece band, a Kenyan or a Danish band, Mutinda passionately prefers playing the guitar during his concerts. “Music is that which takes you to a place where only uncertainty prevails; yet anchoring you here.”, he says.