Sauti Sol lead singer Bien revealed that the music group stopped performing at government events because of a row over payment.
Speaking to Nairobi News, Bien explained that Sauti Sol resorted not to perform at state functions because the government underpaid them before.
“We will never perform in any public holiday celebration because the government cannot afford to pay us. It is the bitter truth,” Bien said.
The singer further revealed that the last time Sauti Sol performed at a state event they were paid a meagre Ksh40,000 to share among the four of them.
“We were young then; growing in the industry. We distributed (the money) amongst ourselves and that was all,” he said.
Sauti Sool used to perform at state functions before. In July 2015, they rubbed shoulders with retired US President Barack Obama at the State House, Nairobi during a state banquet held in his honour by retired President Uhuru Kenyatta.
However, Sauti Sol fell out with Uhuru's administration in March 2017 when Bien accused the government of stealing the group’s idea and implementing it a year later with Jamaican artistes Richie Spice, Luciana and Etana.
Dubbed Studio Mashinani, Bien said the idea was presented to retired President Uhuru who instructed them to give the proposal to the late Bruce Odhiambo who was then Youth Fund chairman.
“It was an extensive project involving music studios, community radio, ICT centers and libraries with the spirit of community service. We teamed up with Raphael Obonyo @raph_obonyo Cedric Kadenyi tighten the whole proposal with budgets and standard operating systems for the project. The Proposal was sent to the relevant parties,” Bien wrote on Instagram.
Sauti Sol also has also been apolitical for the longest. Speaking in the recent interview, Bien said the band will also never support any political party.
The singer further said that he personally doesn’t want to be involved in politics because his call is bigger than that.
“We will always stand with the people. My call is to give people hope, sing for people to feel loved and not politics,” Bien said.
The group was involved in a legal tussle with Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya Coalition in May 2022 over alleged copyright infringement.
Azimio rubbed Sauti Sol on the wrong side after they played the band's 'Extravaganza' song at KICC where Raila Odinga unveiled Martha Karua as his running mate.