Upon completing his studies, Makadem became a tour guide in Mombassa, his home town in Kenya. He gradually branched out, playing acoustic guitar for tourists lounging on the beach. This enabled him to improve his instrumental skills, and he managed to get started in a professional career. In 1999, he recorded his first single, Mr. Lololova. Starting then, he accompanied various artists such as Maxi Priest, Awilo Longomba, Gregory Isaacs, Glen Washington and Lokua Kanza.
Following several singles, his first album, titled Ohanglaman, came out in 2006. This work marked Makadem’s passage from a pure reggae style to a form of contemporary African music that he himself defined as “Anglo-Ohangla.” Very much in his own style, it blends the traditional music and song of the Luo, an ethnic group in western Kenya, with modern African beats and Anglo-Saxon influences. The name of his album is drawn from ohangla, a traditional Luo musical style based on a cylindrical percussion instrument used there.
His lyrics are a clever blend of humour and social criticism. Makadem ceaselessly points out the social inequalities striking at his country and at Africa in general. He manages to get these messages out by telling strong and significant stories.
The album Ohanglaman brought Makadem into a new era. He performed in numerous festivals and began a Tanzanian tour. This was also the period when he had a smashing success with his hymn to a U.S. presidential candidate, Obama Be Thy Name. In the wake of this there emerged his second album, Jambamboo Reloaded. In 2010, he began a tour in Denmark, moving on to Sweden in 2011. His songs will bring him this year to the American continent, to Canada, the United States, Jamaica and Cuba.
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Concerts of the artist:
Festival International Nuits d'Afrique -Compilation 2011