J.S. Ondara Pic:Photo Courtesy
Meet J.S. Ondara, the Kenyan folk singer hoping to revive the ‘American Dream’
Finally tonight, highlighting a new voice in folk music.
As a teenager in Nairobi, Kenya, J.S. Ondara was inspired by Bob Dylan. Now, nearly a decade later, he’s living in the U.S. and is out with his first album this spring.
We caught up with him as he kicked off a tour at the Songbyrd Cafe here in Washington, D.C
I knew that I wanted to be a folk singer when I was about 17 years old and discovered folk music through Bob Dylan.
I’m J.S. Ondara, and I’m a folk singer from Kenya. I was born in Nairobi, Kenya. I had grown up listening to all these rock songs. And I was familiar with this song “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” and I was quite confident it was a Guns N’ Roses song.
So, I’m having this huge fight with a friend about it. And he’s like, no, it’s actually by this person called Bob Dylan. And I’m like, no, it’s not.
So we made a bet. And I lost the bet. But by losing that bet, I discovered Dylan and fell into this rabbit hole of folk music.