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Naomi Wachira's music is often inspired by darkness, but offers hope

Credit Parker Miles Blohm
Naomi Wachira in the KNKX performance studio.

This story originally aired on May 26, 2018.

Naomi Wachira was born and raised in Kenya, studied broadcasting in Chicago, then theology in Seattle. While she always had an impressive singing voice -- she sang in choirs since she was five -- becoming a professional musician wasn’t truly on the radar until 2013, after her father, a pastor in Kenya, passed away.

“He followed his calling, he followed his life passion which was helping people and believing in people. And I think for me it made me realize that when my time is done here on earth, I want to be able to have done something worthwhile and something that would have helped a person here or there, and I knew it was through music,” Wachira said.

Six months after her father's passing, she quit her job and dove into music full time. She joined us in the KNKX performance studio to sing, but first sat down with Sound Effect producer Kevin Kniestedt to talk about how she wants her music to have a positive lasting impact, especially when it comes to dealing with tragedy.

Kevin Kniestedt is a journalist, host and producer who began his career at KNKX in 2003. Over his 17 years with the station, he worked as a full time jazz host, a news host and produced the weekly show Sound Effect. Kevin has conducted or produced hundreds of interviews, has won local and national awards for newscasts and commentary.