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 has performed in Chicago, Michigan, Addis Ababa Ethiopia and Nairobi, Kenya. 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. He formed NOAH (Nixon Omollo African Heritage) productions in February 2020. Under his independent label Nixon released his first single "Rastaman" in February 2020
Nixon was born in the hills in a rural part of Kenya called Uasin Gishu. This is the part of the country that produces a majority the long-distance running champions of Kenya. He was born at a school where his mother used to teach. It was 1982, the year of the only coup attempt in Kenya so it was a time of political turmoil and heavy blood shed particularly in Uasin Gishu . Nixon 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.
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 this time Nixon went through tough times and he regularly clashed with authorities but he pushed on and finished high school.
Nixon says that he had an uncle called Sylvester who passed away when he was still young. Some of his earliest memories include seeing and hearing his late uncle playing an "orutu" - a traditional one-stringed instrument among the Luo people of Kenya. He says that Sylvester must have had musical influence on him. As a boy he was fascinated by the guitar but was unable to obtain one until he relocated 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. This time, having realized his talent and the power of music, he decided to influence people positively. 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 and any tough situations he would face later in life.
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, Burning Spear, Black Uhuru, Jacob Miller, and Culture.
Nixon and his wife currently live in New Haven, Connecticut.