TALKING MUSIC AND FASHION WITH KENYAN-BORN LIZ OGUMBO
My dad taught me how to be playful, how to dance and to sing. I grew up in Nairobi in a happy, loving, fun home with my parents and three siblings. I’m like a kid at heart, there’s so much play in some of my songs such as Georgie Pordgy or 123.
I moved to the US to go to university in 1995. I got a music scholarship in Kansas and I was there for a year but couldn’t stay because it was such a small, racist town. I moved to Washington DC to Montgomery College and while there, I got scouted and introduced to the fashion industry.
I moved to L.A. to start afresh in 2004 and concentrate on modelling and started Imani Modeling Agency, but in 2005 I moved back to Kenya because my mom had cancer. I settled and ran my agency there.
Fashion for me had to be next thing. I started designing, conceptualising and set up a little workshop and a showroom in Nairobi in 2007. Liz Ogumbo Fashion Brand is available worldwide in various boutiques and has showcased at Arise Africa Fashion Week, in South Africa, Mozambique and a few others.
I met my husband in Nairobi in 2008. We fell in love and I moved to South Africa where I got signed to Gallo and released my first album, KenSoul in 2010, working with a number of brilliant artists.
My latest album, KenSoul, The Lotus Chapter, has a lot more blues, jazz, soul and funk and it captures my passion for Africa.