Naomi Wachira

African/American Naomi Wachira hails these days from Seattle and after being named the best local folk singer by a local paper she came to the attention of Damien Jurado who has produced her debut album. Despite growing up in Kenya there is no African indigenous music on show here. Rather Wachira attempts to relate to her two primary influences, one, Miriam Makeba, a major influence not only musically but for her bravery and stance against apartheid. Wachira’s other heroine is Tracy Chapman and it’s to the likes of Chapman that one would point to if asked to describe Wachira’s songs. With a powerful voice she is often multitracked to produce powerful harmony singing (sounding like Honey In The Rock) with Burn Me an excellent example that is proud and defiant. She does sing about her African heritage and celebrates her fellow women in Just Like You while I Am A Woman is a feminist anthem in waiting which decries the use of rape as a weapon. With powerful songs that carry a message (We Are In Trouble) and others that celebrate life (I’m Alive) Wachira is well placed to follow in the footsteps not only of Chapman but others like Janis Ian with her songs very listener friendly while packing a punch.

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