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Ambassador Kaodenero

Ambassador Kaodenero, Denis Amara Turay, is a Sierra Leonean hip-hop icon. Born in
the airport town of Lungi, Portloko District of Northern Sierra Leone. Amb. Kao had civil
servant parents who had strong musical backgrounds. Kao credits his love of all types
of music to growing up hearing his dad constantly playing music with international
sounds. Such as Congolese music, reggae and mid- 80s dance music. Sounds of South
Africa’s Yvonne Chaka Chaka and others, was on heavy rotation in his household.
Lucky Dube, Bob Marley and the reggae group culture are all of Kaodenero’s early
influences until he gradually got introduced to hip-hop music in the early 90s.
Around this time Sierra Leone was flung into civil war which created an unstable
situation for the rising hip-hop star. He spent his days scrambling through Freetown’s
hip-hop showcase events while dodging rebel bullets, striving daily to survive. Back
then, Kao carved a name for himself as Sloop Cow, a moniker he gained from being a
strong Snoop Dogg fan. All the while and to this day Nas, Mobbdeep, Notorious Big and
Tupac are some of Kao’s all time favs in the world of hip-hop.
After gracefully escaping a brutal rebel war in his home country, Kao coming to the US
as a refugee was the genesis of the name Kaodenero. His first album, the ‘Black Leo 4
Life’ was released at the time when hip-hop music was considered a white man’s sound
in Sierra Leone. Disappointments and set backs never stopped the young mcee from
working. Countless projects followed like ‘Story from Freetown’, ‘Freetown Most
Wanted’, ‘Da New Beginning’, ‘Da Blood Diamond Kid Story’, ‘Back to My Roots’ and
‘Now or Never’ just to name a few.
Kaodenero’s sound can best be described as a true hip-hop vibe laced with African
instrumentations that creates a perfect blend known as afro fusion. His lyrical content
fused with street survival tales of the everyday African youth experience, brought a cult-
like following and the timeless Black Leo movement. Black Leo, Kaodenero’s production
company, was started as a way to promote Sierra Leonean hip-hop artist and other
entertainers in different genres. With collaborations with Grammy winning acts like
Shaba Ranks, Ghana’s Sarkodie, Nigeria’s Runtown as well as well, Jamaica’s
dancehall guru, Busy Signal Kao is in a class of his own.
Before the ‘Kiss the Throne album’, Kaodenero had just concluded a European and
Australian promo tour. Making Kao one of the only African hip-hop acts that can gladly
boast about filling his country’s national stadium of 45,000 capacity on a regular basis.

Hip-hop culture breeds controversy of battles among different artists and Kao Denero
on countless occasions proved his critics and naysayers wrong by dropping top notch
diss classics such as “Kenyatta” and “I am Sierra Leone” , challenging his African
counterparts with great continental reviews.

Following his consistency in the entertainment industry Kao captured the interest of the
government as somebody who could transform it. In March   2021, Kaodenero was
appointed as the  first Ambassador of Entertainment and Investment by the President
Rtd Brig Julius Maada Bio.
As a pioneering leader of the Sierra Leonean Entertainment Industry, Kao introduced
the Playlist system, the Back to My Root Festival and campaigns to bring a healthcare
registry, national studio and media compound to Sierra Leone.
The Playlist system is to showcase local content and also promote artists who have
talents but might not have the finances in promoting their songs. The Back to My Root
Festival is an activity established to connect African Americans to their roots and reunite
Sierra Leoneans living in the diaspora to their home through entertainment and
Ambassador Denis Amara Turay ended the 2021 year with a bang by bringing home the
“Best African Hip-Hop Artist” award from the African Entertainment 2021 Awards Show.
Beating top artist from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, respectfully. In 2022,
Ambassador Kaodenero didn’t stop and released two new singles “Let ’em Talk” and
“Salone a Country” that feature on his upcoming EP release entitled “Amara” and plans
to have an upcoming book to compliment the EP of the same name. This book will
chronicle the hardships and triumphs that make up Ambassador Kaodenero.