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Lorya Sounds - Straight Outta Sudan
By Lady Zimma, Dainty Crew
(more articles from this author)
2003-10-06
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Sudan is probably not the first country you'd name when asked where you can find a Dancehall sound system, but Sudan does have one and they go by the name of Lorya Sound.

Comprising of three members: Kennedy Lorya aka Daddy Ken (21), Charles Atiki aka Challo (18) and Peter Kangasha aka Monio (23), the sound has been around for five years, with the newest member being Challo, who joined two years ago. Daddy Ken and Challo are selectors and Daddy Ken also turns his hand to being an MC, whilst that's Monio's full-time role.

The sound's history starts back when Daddy Ken's father used to coach his best friend, Monio, in soccer and he happened to introduce his son and Monio to Bob Marley at the ages of 10. Two years later, Daddy Ken knew all of Bob Marley's songs and he decided he'd set up a sound. Along with Monio, they did this and also got Challo involved, who happens to be Daddy Ken's cousin. The name came from Daddy Ken's surname and is a tribute to him, as he is no longer living.

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The sound was officially established in 1995, but Daddy Ken recalls, "At that time, we opened for other sounds in Kenya." Daddy Ken grew up in Kenya as did Challo, and at that time the sound only had around 200 tunes of their own. Daddy Ken's family moved to Kenya from Sudan due to the wars in 1987. Monio is from Kenya.

The sound both juggles and clashes, and their first clash was at a local club in Kenya in 1996 against Jah Peoples Sound. They came out victorious without even using dub plates, as they played enough crowd-pleaser tunes to get the victory. They deal with all kinds of Reggae and some top Hip Hop tunes, as well, when playing out.

Their inspirations to get into the business range from Bob Marley and the Wailers to Stone Love and "all foundational sound." They also look up to Kenyan sounds such as King Lion, Jahmbo and Shashamane, to name a few.

The sound members have other interests apart from Lorya. Daddy Ken plays keyboards and sings for a Reggae Band called One World Tribe ( www.oneworldtribe.com ). Challo lives in New York and is starting up his own sound, whilst Monio also runs his own sound in Kenya. However, Daddy Ken says, "We are all united when we get back together".

The Dancehall scene in Kenya is apparently "massive." Their biggest sound system is King Lion.

Daddy Ken handles all the sounds dubs as he is based in the USA. The sound has a studio where they create mixed CDs and tapes. They have played out in New York, Pittsburgh, Ohio and Kenya, getting their best responses in Buffalo (USA) and any venue in Kenya. They have also played at some stage shows such as the Grape Jam Festival and a show in Nairobi.

Some of the sounds favourite artists include Ce' Cile, Ghost, Sean Paul, Beres Hammond, Buju Banton and many more! Daddy Ken also loves Mighty Crown because he says, "They are just like Lorya Sounds, non-Jamaicans, but still playing Reggae music to the highest grade." They also enjoy listening to Tony Matterhorn, Stone Love and "all Reggae rhythms."

Every sound has their views on the business and Daddy Ken feels there should be more "consciousness" in the industry.

So for now, Lorya are content to get together to play out as and when required. Daddy Ken is working on some songs, which he is producing and writing the lyrics for, whilst Challo is getting more into Hip Hop and Monio is working on his sound in Kenya. Daddy Ken is also studying for a degree in Communications and Challo has his studies, as well. The sound are also in the process of helping raise funds for the needy in Sudan.

Sounds like Sudan is trying to make a mark on the Dancehall map and Lorya Sounds taking the lead on this.

Contact Daddy Ken on sudanbwoy@yahoo.com for bookings.


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