This week, we talk with Kenyan singer-songwriter Ondara, who came to Minneapolis in search of his voice as a young musician, and found a new creative persona which he now embodies called The Spanish Villager. He has since taken audiences by storm, garnering a Grammy-nomination and now returning with a stunning, politically-charged new LP.
Spanish Villager No: 3 is produced by Ondara and Mike Viola (Jenny Lewis, Dan Wilson) with collaborations from Taylor Goldsmith and Griffin Goldsmith of Dawes, Sebastian Steinberg, Tim Kuhl and Jeremy Stacey. While he would still call himself a folk singer like his Minneapolis hero Bob Dylan, Ondara (like Dylan) has gone a bit electric on the new offering, harnessing his massive vocal power with a full band around him.
Ondara’s immigrant journey is truly one for the storybooks, and while he has dutifully paid homage to American folk protest singers in his previous work, the newest Spanish Villager work shows him really finding his own sound, at once sharply modern and steeped in a dark history he can’t wait to mine.