John Kariuki

John Kariuki

My names are John Kariuki and have served as a music writer/ Arts/Films critic for mainstream media in Kenya for over two decades.

I started at the Nation newspaper while I was studying music theory at the Kenya conservatoire of music and served a  columnist for the music page.

On leaving the conservatoire, I joined the Sunday Standard and was there ten years in the same capacity.

By then I had also formed  Radi band and was playing functions in Nairobi. We also did session work for other artistes as we nurtured our interest in recordings.

As  a band we did an album titled Jogging on which I composed the title song. In the meantime my writing had also grown and covered major music and film events in Kenya and overseas.

I covered the Africa 95 arts festival in London which is reputably the biggest  festival of African arts ever. It went on for six months in venues across several UK cities.

Later on, I covered the Millennium festival at Lille in France which was  major display of African arts.

On films I covered the Mnet short films event in South Africa.

My position afforded me interaction with many film makers from Kenya and abroad and has sharpened my knowledge of the arts industry.

This includes the creative and legislative aspect where I have also had opportunity to contribute.

In 1998 I was among individuals from all over the world who met in in Copenhagen Denmark resulting in the formation of  Freemuse organisation to lobby freedom of artistic expression.

I was also a member of the committee that drew up the music policy for the Vision 2030 agenda for the Kenya government.

I am still involved in music recording as owner of SoundWeb music studio.

I have two solo albums and have also done music for radio jingles and TV commercials as well as Tv drama productions.

ON commercials and jingles I did the commercial for the Commodore cigarette by BAT  through then Hill Ayton advertising agency. I also did music for a Bata Christmas  jingle through Scanad agency and a  Lucosade jingle through Macann Erickson.

For TV soaps, I composed the theme song for Asali TV series screened on KTN and have composed music for short documentary films.

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