Muthoni Ndonga

OneBeat 2012 Fellow

Producer, Singer-Songwriter

Nairobi, Kenya

Muthoni Ndonga (self-styled as Muthoni “The Drummer Queen”) mashes vocal acrobatics with frenetic pounding to animate spirited dance music. The Kenyan singer songwriter tears through the subwoofers of Nairobi’s underground dance clubs, deploying contemporary rhythms of dubstep, house, and neo soul as well as older African styles like afrobeat and taarab (east African orchestral music). Muthoni’s outspoken, floetry-inspired delivery is a tumbling mix of English, Kikuyu, and Kiswahi. Screaming outfits and tight-cut music videos add to her image as a flippant queen of Kenyan night life. Painting Nairobi’s pulsating nights in incandescent shades, she both revels in the qualities of carefree youth and offers biting lyrical critiques of the culture to which she belongs. Her command of the party scene led to her co-founding TYTE Entertainment, Inc., an in-demand musician booking agency. Muthoni also participates in the monthly Blankets & Wine music series, a family-friendly series that strives to create an all-ages space for innovative music to thrive in Nairobi.