New act: Ziki

X Access had a chat with Valentine Ziki.

Describe yourself

I’m a multi-genre artist. I thrive on using different instruments, I’m experimental and I would describe my sound as urban-fusion. I’m also soulful and I think my sound is distinct in itself.

How did you get your start?

I started as an actress actually. In high school I was active in drama and theatre and for me it was a natural progression to start on music.

What would be the current message of your music?

It’s definitely positive. It’s about the human condition and describes everyday situations. My music is easily relatable to people. The themes focus on love, justice, dreams and pain.

Who inspires you?

In life, people who are ordinary but manage to extraordinary things inspire me. Whether it’s my folks, my next door neighbor. Musically, Prince, India Arie, Jill Scott, Fela Kuti, Miriam Makeba have all been major influences on me. I look up to artists who stand out because they are different and artists who also play instruments are an inspiration.

What are you working on currently?

My debut album. It will be a full length album. I’ve released music before but it hasn’t been like an album but this will be my first one. I already released an EP called ‘GET IT’ and in July I plan on releasing another EP.

Do you listen to your own music on your playlist?

I do, obviously I like my own music [laughs] I like my sound. But also in order to grow and see what more I can do as an artist. I practice a lot to find out what works and what does not.

What do you think of the Kenyan music industry?

It has stagnated. It’s not yet at an industry. It’s masquerading as an industry. We don’t have the structures needed to call it one. Gatekeepers, the government and the media have influenced the public to think that the Kenyan music scene is filled with jokers. People who get the most airplay are not representative of all the artists that exist in the industry.

Where do you see yourself in 3 years?

In 3 years I see my music having a greater reach, I see it getting out there both locally and internationally. I’m taking my own approach where the music is instrument driven and is strong in terms of content. I’m creating concept albums and I see overarching stories in my songs. I also want to take my music on stage in terms of tours and of course I make a living off my art so I would love to make sales off of it.




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