ACTOR ODEK OCHUNG’ PAPI ODEQ - THE MAN BEHIND THE BAND "TAMASHA BEATS"
ODEK OCHUNG’ is a male Kenyan citizen whose passion for Performing Arts has seen him dedicate most of his time and life to the same, Performing Arts!ODEK OCHUNG’ (‘Papi OdeQ’ as he’s commonly known) is an accomplished performer (Actor, Singer & Dancer) with experience spanning Thirteen years! Over the years, he has not only played with various leading bands in Kenya, but also starred in a full-length movie; SHATTERED (Alongside Nigeria’s RITA DOMINIC) and leading TV Drama Series, among them WASH & SET and MALI (As Captain Opondo), both on NTV. He has currently played an ‘extra role’ in the new MNET TV SERIES, KONA.
Papi OdeQ has featured in, among others, the following stage plays/musicals as part of the cast: OUT OF AFRICA: SAFARI THROUGH MAGICAL KENYA-MUSICAL- (3 MONTHS) EUROPE TOUR- 2012, ERIC WAINAINA’S LWANDA: A GHETTO STORY- KENYA TOUR- 2007/08, MUMBI KAIGWA’S KIGEZINDOTO- (1 MONTH) EUROPE TOUR- 2006.
It therefore didn’t come as a surprise when ODEK OCHUNG’, together with Morris Anguka and actor Justin Miriichi, initially founded TAMASHA BEATS as an ALL-MALE- ACapella (VOCAL) Band in 2008 (The latter two have since moved on to pursue other different personal interests, leaving Odek at the helm of the band). Under Odek, as DIRECTOR and BAND LEADER, the band has grown and metamorphosized into a ‘Fully Fledged Band’, having established a full instruments-playing unit (LIVE-BAND).
Pic: Odek with fellow actor and band member Justin Mirichii
Odek Ochung’ is also a Professional Master of Ceremonies whose second passion, COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, has seen him train and work with and in mostly underprivileged neighborhoods and estates around the country, thus, he’s an experienced Community Organizer (C.O), and has worked as a Community Theatre Consultant and Mass Civic Education Facilitator for Citizens Coalition for Constitutional Culture (4CS), Constitutional Reforms and Education Consortium (CRECO), K.H.R.C, I.E.D, NCCK, CJPC, and in 2010, as the Makadara Constituency Civic Education Coordinator for The Committee of Experts (C.o.E) on constitutional reforms.
Papi makes sure that his band, Tamasha Beats, stays true to their main stylesx of music christened NEO-AFRO FOLK. This involves re-writing and re-arrangement of old folk songs and performing them in vocally rich four-part male harmonies, mostly in the Kenyan dialects. They also have original compositions and arrangements (Including THEMATIC/SPECIAL AND PATRIOTIC SONGS). All these performed in Acapella and also in the AFRO FUSION STYLE, backed by a live band.
The main objective of his band still remains; to seek a renaissance, upholding and promoting of the Beautiful African culture through music! OdeQ with his band also specializes in composing, recording and performing the popular Afro-fusion (otherwise known as ‘World Music’) genre of music.
Papi OdeQ says that his main intention of founding and leading TAMASHA BEATS is to restore choral music’s ( read ‘African Music’ consisting of Folk songs, Afro Jazz, Afro Fusion) lost glory by reinstating it into what is considered ‘mainstream’ in the Kenyan music industry. OdeQ intends to lead Tamasha Beats into filling the enormous gap that exists between choral and other popular music and change the largely held perception that such music can only, and exclusively so, be performed at social and corporate functions. Engaging in the music business is one of Papi’s major priorities.
Apart from performing (every Sunday afternoon, from May 2010 to date) as the resident band at Visa Place Restaurant, Upperhill, Tamasha Beats has established itself as the premier and much sought after band for Wedding receptions due to their rich ‘Neo-Afro Folk’ rhythms repertoire!
The corporate clientele base of Tamasha Beats is relatively wide, ranging from Private Corporate companies, NGOs, and Government Ministries/ Parastatals. Odek and Tamasha Beats have performed for and/ or provided Pro MC Services for these customers during their various events ranging from Staff End Year parties, Product Launches and Luncheons, State Functions, Awards’ Ceremonies, International Days’ celebrations, Farewell Parties et cetera.
On June 10th, 2013, Tamasha Beats Band performed at The World Accreditation Day celebration event at The HILTON, Nairobi. The band also performed at the Public Service Week at KICC, Nairobi in 2008-2010.
Tamasha Beats performed at the ‘KENYA NIGHT’ held in Johannesburg, SOUTH AFRICA, IN NOVEMBER 2012, also at the ‘Kenya Stand’ at the Africa Public Service Week in Dar Es Salaam, TZ, IN 2009.
Watch Tamasha beats in action below
By Gerald Langiri