What were your expectations going into Coke Studio?
This season’s theme is “Discover” so I’m definitely expecting to discover many things. I’ve already discovered many different things from the artistes I’ve worked with. All these different cultures and countries, I’ve learnt so much. It’s always a good exchange when the people I’m working with are so professional and so detailed in everything that they do.
How personal do you get in your music?
I think my music interprets my personality and everything that I do really. Even the way I make my songs. I don’t approach things with the mentality of ‘ai I can’t do this song because…’ or ‘I can’t dress this way because I do this type of music.’ I’m just me.
Is there anything you do career-wise outside of music?
No, I stick only to music and I want people to be proud of the fact that they do music in this country. There’s a couple of things that get to me about that. One is when people say ‘local artistes’ instead of saying Kenyan artistes. Like Sauti Sol, they are Kenyan they are not local, people from all over the world listen to their music. Two is the way it’s cool to say, ‘you know I don’t even listen to local but I like your song.’ Just stop, it’s cool to be Kenyan.
What impact do you think Coke Studio will have on your career?
Personally it’ll help me because I’m a solo act but I get to collaborate with big artistes like Trey Songz and Yemi. I sit there watch and learn and pick up a lot of things from everyone. It’s a great experience and even when guys watch to see how the songs are performed and created I think they’ll realise it’s a good platform.
What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in the music industry since you came back?
The biggest change I’ve seen is obviously the internet and social media and all that. But there’s also more revenue streams. People get royalties now and there’s things like ringback tones, ring tones stuff like that. When we were starting out those things were not there.
Going way back, your song as Kleptomaniax, ‘Tuendelee’ was perceived as a diss track, was it? And if so who was it targeting?
People say it’s the best diss track ever! We compiled the response to a big group of artistes that were hating on us because we didn’t have the time to go one by one. We would have loved to do it individually and customized our responses to every artiste! I’m joking though. But there was a lot of talk of how people need to rap more, something like that, and it was just a reminder that we were a versatile group.
Tell us about your personal style
It’s comfortable. I like being comfortable in everything that I wear. I also dress according to the weather.
Any advice for upcoming artistes?
I would tell them to do songs that they like. Do songs that even when you are 90 years old you can sit back and proudly say ‘I wrote this song, I like what I said in this song, I like what my message was, I like how I sang and I had fun.’ That way, even if the songs never chart you have one fan, you.
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