Nixon Omollo is a rhythm guitar player, singer, composer, and poet with over 15 years experience as a solo performer and band leader for African roots and reggae-inspired music. He occasionally opens for Sydney Salmon & Imperial Majestic Band in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Saturday nights. Nixon has done radio interviews with and had airtime with stations in Chicago, Ann Arbor, and Nairobi.
Nixon's latest album, "How Long Shall We Wait," was recorded with Kenny Allen in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and was released in June 2017.
Nixon was born in the Rift Valley province of Kenya. He was raised in Umoja, a part of Nairobi, the capital city. This was a low income area with high rates of crime, school dropouts, teen pregnancies, poverty, and violence. However, he managed to keep on track and attended the competitive Dagorreti High School.
During his first year of high school, Nixon's father died from pneumonia. This was a great blow to him as a teenager and led to many personal changes, including transferring to a cheaper boarding school back in rural Kenya. From then on, he was more often than not in trouble during high school.
He says, “I'm glad that happened because it was an eye-opener and I really had time to think about my life. I made up my mind to make something positive out of it.”
As a boy he was fascinated by the guitar but was unable to obtain one until he came to the U.S. for college in 2002. Starting off at open-mic venues, Nixon tested the waters of the music world and soon jumped in. He has been writing songs and performing ever since.
Nixon says his quick bad influence on other kids during his high school years made him aware of his ability to influence people. As a mature individual, he decided to influence people positively instead having realized his talent and the power of music. Nixon Omollo credits his triumph over adversity to his mother, who instilled in him the values necessary for success and his late father who made him tough enough to overcome his environment.
He shares, “Music has always been a part of me. We were brought up on a heavy singing diet together as a family, in church and in school.” As a teenager, his hobby was going to reggae clubs like Hollywood, Achievers and Monte Carlo in downtown Nairobi. His older brother, who Nixon considers the first musician in the family, would sing to Nixon and his twin for hours on end while baby-sitting them. In addition, his deeply religious mother would gather the whole family and they would sing hymns together on a daily basis. Nixon grew up listening to Roots Reggae music, which was popular in Umoja and was heavily influenced by masters like the Wailers, Black Uhuru, Jacob Miller, and Culture.
Nixon and his wife currently live in Ann Arbor, Michigan.