THE STORY OF VICMASS LUO DOLLAR IS A SIGN OF HOPE INDICATING THAT CHANGE IN THE KENYA MUSIC BUSINESS IS POSSIBLE AND IT WILL COME SOONER THAN YOU THINK. WE CAN’T GIVE UP YET. REFORMS ARE ON THEIR WAY.

Story By George Robert Asewe Dj Probert

Disclaimer on Copyright: The images used in this article are the copyright property of Vicmass Luo dollar & obtained under permission of the artist & should not be republished or used elsewhere without our knowledge and consent. In case you seek to enter a joint venture influencer marketing campaign with Vicmass reach out to us by sending an email inquiry to Robert@TheMusicAdvocate.Africa. You can also chat us up on our WhatsApp below.

According to one of the more famous Bob Marley quotes, one good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain. That’s why we feel it’s appropriate to hit you with a music story like no other. Unique to The Music Advocate Africa Business Association member Vicmass Luo dollar.

Despite being an ardent Azimio la Umoja political movement supporter, Vicmass Luo dollar did not shy away from standing up and defending Sauti Sol when a dispute erupted pitting them against Azimio after Sauti Sol’s Extravaganza hit song was synchronized into a political campaign video by the Azimio team. Sauti Sol claimed they had not authorized use of the song. The matter is now undergoing dispute resolution between Azimio & Sauti Sol’s legal representatives. He joined The Music Advocate Africa Twitter space jointly hosted with Change.orgKe on 18th May 2022. Listen to his thoughts on copyright here https://twitter.com/ChangeOrgKE/status/1526971385746280449

Fathers are the first friends you meet in life. They are the first protectors you will probably ever meet. A dad is an anchor upon which the children stand. When I lost my dad in August 2022, it was one of the most devastating periods in my life. I was grateful that he had seen the 3 grandchildren I gave him during his lifetime. But some of us are not very lucky to have a dad in our adulthood.

Ochieng Victor Ondeye is popularly known as Vicmass Luodollar. He was born on October 9th, 1989. He wasn’t very lucky like me. This is because when he was only 5 years, he lost his dad. According to Vicmass, his passion for music is deep-seated in their family DNA. According to Vicmass:

 “I did not really choose to become a rap star and a well-known musician. I believe it was passed from blood to blood. My Grandpa Obiero Pindwa was a poet and performer. My mother was in the choir all her school life and my father was a music publisher and executive producer, he owned music stores in Kisumu City, so I combined both three heads to become a musician and a lead promoter of my music.”

Vicmass is the firstborn in a family of 5. In 1998 he joined class one at Kamagore Primary School in Kisumu rural constituency.

LIFE AS A STREET HAWKER

He wasn’t born as a Rap superstar. Believe it or not, at one point in his life he worked as a street hawker. Vicmass discloses that he came from a poor background after his father’s death. His mother was left with the daunting task of taking care of 5 children by herself. Vicmass had to step up as the firstborn. He hawked snacks and soft drinks in the streets in order to help raise money for school fees, school books, uniforms & sometimes food for his mother & siblings. All this time he was passionate about the arts. He had a burning desire to record his poetry but didn’t have the funds to record in a studio. He says this prompted him to start saving and auditioning for open-air concerts and club gigs to curtain raise for more established artists.  Vicmass disclosed to us that his first-ever recorded single was “JIADHARI NA UKIMWI” (BEWARE OF HIV/AIDS). His second single was MSANII & then BURNING TRAIN. He released his first 8-track mixtape titled SLUMBOY in 2008. He dropped a couple of singles in 2009 before his short stint as a member of a 5-member boy Hip Hop Rap group called “KAMBI FLANI”. The partnership did not last long after members decided to go their separate ways.

He wasn’t born as a Rap superstar. Believe it or not, at one point in his life he worked as a street hawker. Vicmass discloses that he came from a poor background after his father’s death. His mother was left with the daunting task of taking care of 5 children by herself. Vicmass had to step up as the firstborn. He hawked snacks and soft drinks in the streets in order to help raise money for school fees, school books, uniforms & sometimes food for his mother & siblings. All this time he was passionate about the arts. He had a burning desire to record his poetry but didn’t have the funds to record in a studio. He says this prompted him to start saving and auditioning for open-air concerts and club gigs to curtain raise for more established artists.  

Vicmass disclosed to us that his first-ever recorded single was “JIADHARI NA UKIMWI” (BEWARE OF HIV/AIDS). His second single was MSANII & then BURNING TRAIN. He released his first 8-track mixtape titled SLUMBOY in 2008. He dropped a couple of singles in 2009 before his short stint as a member of a 5-member boy Hip Hop Rap group called “KAMBI FLANI”. The partnership did not last long after members decided to go their separate ways.

BUILDING A CAREER IN MUSIC AINT EASY

On 4th December Vicmass won a cash price award at the Lake Victoria Festival of Arts (LAFESTA) in the category of BEST COHESION POEM. He performed a piece he call “PEASE PLEASE”. In 2021 he released a 12-track solo project titled “JESUS LOVES HIP HOP”.

He says he worked with various producers after his stint with the rap group. He has worked with various local and European artists. He has performed in some of the major music festivals in Kenya. He has also worked with major Kenyan brands promoting the use of music.

In 2016 he was one of the headline acts who performed at the Safaricom Blaze Festival
Vicmass hyping the crowd at the Safaricom Blaze festival

He has been a brand ambassador of Goma Lotto a project set to support Gor Mahia FC. In 2017 he performed at the Telkom Kenya Street Bash concert

In 2018 he performed at Battle of the Beats Smirnoff and was part of the in-house TV series which aired on NTV

In 2019 he collaborated with Fresh Fry Cooking Oil by appearing in their oil advert.

He has collaborated with Fresh Fry Cooking Oil

He also performed at the Guinness Kenya Smooth Launch.

Vicmass Guinness advert
In 2020 he received an award from Africa Music & Fashion Festival (AMFF UK) a UK registered charity promoting African art in Europe.

Why Vicmass Represents Hope for The Kenya Music Industry

Vicmass is a very classy and stylish guy. He likes looking sharp when he presents himself before the public. He has a genius way of coming ups with catchy phrases like “ Bank Otuch” and “Luo Dollar”. Even though he couldn’t make it to High School due to the financial distress of his family he never gave up.  One of his greatest achievements to date is his hit song Bank Otuch. His remix collaboration with Octopizzo has over 1.1 million views. Sadly, Vicmass is one of the many Kenyan musicians suffering the consequences of the total collapse of Kenyan CMOs. Despite enjoying millions of views on social media platforms he claims he has never received any royalty cheques from MCSK or any of the other CMOs in regard to his Bank Otuch hit. He is very disturbed by the fact that the CMOs he belongs to have never presented him with statements about the performance of his music despite the fact that there is evidence showing his music continues to receive massive airplay on radio & TV

Despite this painful reality he continues to soldier on. He is one of the many Kenyan artists promoting our drive for a new legal framework for Kenyan CMOs. Since we knew him in 2014, he has demonstrated his willingness to support reforms in the music sector. At least his not shy to speak his mind. He is not shy to turn up at an artist education seminar or workshop to learn about copyright & contribute to its development. Indeed, he cuts out the image of a serious music executive who has what it takes to make it to the highest levels of the Kenya music industry should we fix the industry structures in urgent need of repair & rejuvenation. His brand has earned him endorsement deals and opportunities to work with leading brands in Kenya. His humility, charm, charisma, and optimism for a better tomorrow should serve as an inspiration to many creatives undergoing depression as a result of the total failure of collective management systems in Kenya. Support our petition seeking to turn the fortunes of Kenyan artists around by strengthening CMOs, setting up new structures, stronger penalties for mismanagement, transparency, accountability & timely payment of royalty.  Petition available at https://chng.it/XXKms7Yp

influence on urban transport cultural art

vicmass in the PRINT media

K24 Journalists discuss Luo Dollar music news.
Kiss FM presenters discussing Luo Dollar
The Andrew Kibe Show

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