Ondara offers a unique take on the American dream on Tales of America, his debut album. Ondara grew up in Nairobi, Kenya, listening to American alt-rock and making up his own songs for as long as he can remember. After discovering the music of Bob Dylan, he moved to Minneapolis in 2013 to pursue a career in music. There he began making his way in the local music scene, continually writing songs about what he saw, felt and experienced in a place far different from home.
The musician known as Ondara has died many deaths. He has shed multiple stage names—Jay Smart, J.S. Ondara—and departed several homes. In fact, one of his most popular songs is called “Saying Goodbye.” Two months ago she released his new album, “Spanish Villager: No. 3,”