Marci Onsinyo

Born and raised in Diani, a small town at the Kenyan coast, Onsinyo was exposed to different cultures from an early age. A combination of Swahili, German, British, Italian and indigenous cultures, as well as Islamic and Christian religions, made the Kenyan coastal music scene exceptionally diverse and vibrant. At seventeen, Onsinyo sang Handel’s Messiah for the Nairobi Hospice in a chorus of two hundred singers. Her music has been featured in short films and one feature film. She has performed the anthems of Israel, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, China and Uganda. In 2017, she co-composed the JAMAFEST theme song for the East African community Festival of Culture and the Arts, which was held in Kampala, Uganda. Onsinyo’s love for sonic and visual culture is evident in her music, which is inspired by elements of music from a variety of cultures. 

She combines the Kiswahili language with rhythms and instruments from other communities to create a flavorful fusion. Her music is intended to paint pictures. Onsinyo loves songwriting for film scores, which she regards as a liberating creative space. Having worked with visual artists from across East Africa as gallery manager, curator and artist manager, Onsinyo has been exposed to various forms of expression in East African art, involving artists from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Ethiopia. After joining Makerere University for a Bachelor of Arts in music in 2014, she has also been exposed to the musical cultures of Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi. Since her graduation, she has worked in the film industry in various capacities, serving as a Kiswahili coach and translator, sound recordist on set, and producer for a short film on special needs. She has also worked as a hair, makeup and costume designer for both film and theatre. Now a Kampala habitué, Onsinyo is currently working on her debut theatre acting role in HOPE, a musical written and composed by Rick Bassett. Additionally, she is producing her first record, Nostalgia, building on five years of reflective emotional and creative work. 

Soundtrack for Affirmative Art Docufilm (2017) by Marci Onsinyo