Watch out Africa, Phy is coming for you! The singer and instrumentalist recently had a little chat with XACCESS about her process, her passion and the story behind the monster hit ‘Taboo.’ She also dishes a few tidbits about herself that might prove to be a surprise.
I’d say edgy, experimental, forever evolving. Most of the time I come up with looks myself but I’ve occasionally worked with a stylist.
How do you create on-stage looks?
I just love to shop! It’s an addiction, I’m sorry I love to shop [laughs]. So yeah that’s just basically how I do it.
I heard you grew up in the bundus, upcountry
Imagine I’m not a city girl. I don’t know why people keep thinking I’m this city girl. But I was actually born and raised in Sotik, that’s where I grew up. [Enthusiastically]It’s been my home, I rep that town and I’m so damn proud of where I’m from.
How did you end up in Nairobi?
My mom works in Nairobi so I ended up coming to stay here after high school.
I was so clueless man [laughs]. On 31st [December] I had no plans whatsoever. Even my mom was like ‘ata mimi nimeenda, nikona plans zangu’. I eventually found plot but midnight found me driving from Kikuyu to Mombasa Road. So basically that’s how I spent New Year’s, in the car.
Where do you get inspiration from while crafting music?
Everything, everything around me inspires me. I’m an observer, sometimes I can be a melancholic, I sit down and watch what people do, what they say or how they go about life and that inspires me to just create something.
I was actually born and raised in Sotik, that’s where I grew up.
What is your creative process like?
It’s very random, it’s not so much a set process. I write a lot so I have so much content in terms of writing. I come up with ideas way before I even do them. I wrote ‘Taboo’ two years ago and it came out last year. I can think of an idea for a video long before I write a song and then the video could end up inspiring the song.
Which artistes have influenced your sound?
They are so many. Growing up, my family would listen to very diverse music, we used to listen to a lot of music. My parents are music lovers and my grandmother is actually a musician. She has 3 albums out, she’s a Kikuyu gospel singer. So my influences were almost everything. My dad would listen to Zilizopendwa and my mom would be all about the soul and jazz. But I would say my music is heavily influenced by soul, Neo-soul, RnB, hip hop and reggae.
Just as the song says, taboo. I was with someone and along the way someone else came to bring confusion, so it actually is a real story.
Which African artiste would you love to get in studio with?
Wizkid, if it’s not Wizkid, it’s not happening [laughs]. I would really love to work with him, he’s really dope and good at what he does. Sometimes I feel like I have to compete with other artistes who are around my age from all over the world, so I look at him and what he does and I just try and play at the same level. So I have a long way to go, because Wizkid is killing it at 26.
What are you working on currently?
I recently released my EP ‘Biography’ which is a compilation of old school Kenyan hits done in my own way. It’s been working out amazingly so far. Other than that I want to start off the year with a bang. I’m planning on doing more videos for my album and putting out more music. My plan is just to conquer Africa!
What would people be surprised to know about you?
I do my own laundry. I heard Yemi Alade say she does her own laundry and I was like ‘yes me too!’ Every week I take my batch of dirty clothes, go to my balcony na nafua.
Favourite Movie Up
Favourite Rapper JGivens
Favourite Food Kuku!
Favourite Show Modern Family & The Office
Hobbies Driving & listening to music
Facebook – Phyasco
Twitter – @phyascomusic
Instagram – Phyasco
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