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There are not many rappers, male or female, in Africa who have a career as extensive and impactful as Nazizi. Her first single came out in 1998. She later joined two legendary music groups: Necessary Noize & East Africa Bashment Crew. From "Bless My Room", "Kenyan Girl, Kenyan Boy", "Kube" to "Combination", their songs influenced East Africa's urban sound and will be remembered as the golden era of our music. I caught up with Nazizi and we talk about being a strong female int he game. Who are the women she looks up to? What's her thoughts about the status of females in the industry? Super honoured to interview Nazizi, for a second time in my career. She's the best! So glad! Love Naz! SHOW LESS
It's been many years of watching Fully Focus and his boss moves and finally I caught up with the Kenyan born DJ based in US, in Nairobi. He has played in 5 continents during his 15 year-long tenure in the music industry and continues to run several businesses and platforms. How does he do this? Listen & learn!
My dream to work in this industry was certainly influenced by the success and life of African stars like M'bilia Bel, Brenda Fassie, 2Baba and P Square, among many others. Meeting and working with Rudeboy (King Rudy) formerly of P Square is something I never even imagined. I only remember seeing them in the best concert ever in Nairobi at KICC about 10 years ago and thinking to myself - one day I wanna meet these guys or superstars this big and so well organised. On stage, they were so coordinated: from choreography, the outfits to the vocal arrangements. It was exactly how I knew this thing should be done. Even though P Square aren't one any more, their stamp of authority and the undeniable path they paved for many will forever be remembered. It was such an honour for me to talk to this legend on the next big plans for him as a solo artist. Thank you so much Coke Studio Africa for the opportunity you've given me to work with Rudeboy among other mega stars. I loved it!
I caught up with Benny Cristo during his first time in Kenya and Sub Saharan Africa in 28 years, and so his first interview on this too! In this VIP ACCESS interview we talk about family ties, an empire built on music, jiu-jitsu as sport for balance and Benny's plans and interest to expand his brand into Africa and Kenya in particular. + more! The Czech/Angolan super star was in Kenya recording music that was meant to feature in the 2020 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, that was postponed to 2021 following the Coronavirus pandemic. This trip wasn't only a rebirth for Benny, it also birthed a beautiful remake of Benny's "Kemama" hit, produced by his long-term collaborator Osama, alongside Sean Peevers and other engineers from Nairobi, Kenya at Village Creative. Big shout to Village Creative for the space and Osama for all the help during Benny's trip in Nairobi, Kenya.
I sat down with one of my favourite people on earth - Ugandan rapper Navio, right after his return to Uganda after his wedding abroad in Sweden to his longtime sweetheart, and a successful European Tour alongside Michael Franti. In this interview, Navio looks back at his illustrious career and lessons from tour as he touches on his latest album - #SiN (Strength in Numbers) and how family, his roots and ambition has kept him grounded throughout the years.
Discover Ayrosh, Kenyan Folk Fusion singer-songwriter who is a master at revisiting old classics, usually fusing them with popular genres. In this interview he talks about the success of his single “Sugar Mami'' which was an experiment track, supposed to break him into mainstream radio. And it did! We are also talking about his 2019 ‘Murasta EP’, eclectic performances and futuristic approach to Mugithi music. In summary, Ayrosh’s motivation comes from the fact that he wants “to push African positiveness and inspire other Africans to be proud of themselves and their language and culture.”
A Pass is an acclaimed Ugandan singer and songwriter and has credits behind some of Uganda's biggest hits. He wants to take Ugandan music global and is celebrating those who roll with him and support his craft and music.
Caught up with Ugandan super star A Pass in Kampala at his home. He's definitely one of my favourite Ugandan acts. In this in-depth and super honest sit down, he explains to me why it looks from outside that he's underrated while from his perspective it is most Ugandans that don't understand his style and swag, and in retrospect then fail to appreciate his genius. I really enjoyed this interview. Thank you A Pass for your for hosting me in at your home and for the interview.
It was so great to sit and talk to Seyi on her acting career, how she got discovered by Mathew Knowles - Beyonce's father, relocating to Nigeria from London (UK) and being among the few Nigerians with mega-successful East African collaborations. She also shares on her rise to the top and what it takes to stay on top as a woman in a male dominated industry. Listen to her latest song with Yemi Alade "Pempe" - it touches on this. I am honoured to have been working with soulful Nigerian star Seyi Shay as her East African Publicist from late 2016. Since then we've been up to a lot in East Africa. We have worked together on two media tours in Kenya, club performances and a performance at Blankets & Wine festival in Uganda 2017 and a song collaboration with Kenyan group: Hart_The Band - "Number Wan". Look it up.
Sat-B is no stranger to Burundian music fans. For years, he has impressed many with his personal drive and music. Breaking off from his former music group: Wanavesi Kikosi led him to push his personal brand more. So far he's birthed hit songs like "No Love", "Feel Love" and "Too Much", among others. He is currently flying high with - his 2020 EP 'Romantic Sounds'. We talk about moving Burundian music further into and beyond East Africa and their country's best 5 artists.
Global Afro-pop powerhouse Yemi Alade is celebrated for banging music videos like “Shake”, “Vibe”, “Give Dem”, “Home”, the Rick Ross remix for “Oh My Gosh”, "Remind You" and "Shekere" with Angelique Kidjo off her fourth studio album WOMAN OF STEEL. I am talking to the Nigerian star about her close relationship with the 4-time Grammy-award winner Angelique Kidjo (who requested Yemi to re-do her song "Wombo Lombo", Yemi's string of successful albums and EPs, her groundbreaking song and music video of "Johnny" now surpassed over 130 Million YouTube views (a first for an African artist based in Africa), her work ethic, love for multiple languages and conquering Africa, with the support of her label Effyzie Music Group and Universal Music France.
I traveled to Rwanda to attend the launch of a new entertainment TV - Isibo TV (ITV), founded by Rwandese R&B star Bruce Melodie. In this interview, I am chatting with Bruce on his new venture, and love for love songs. I like to call him the Usher Raymond of Rwanda. We are also talking about the kind of investment that went into the TV channel, the success of hit single “Katerina”, among his albums: ‘Ndumiwe’ and ‘Ntundize’. Bruce dishes out his favourite Rwandese stars that we need to check out. From Bushadi, Buravan, Meddy, Christopher and The Ben.
Kenyan singer-songwriter Wendy Kay started out a professional career in music doing back up vocals at Coke Studio Africa, for 2 seasons. This stint inspired and led the vocal chameleon into an ambitious solo career that would see her release a plethora of love songs, before dropping her debut 2020 EP ‘My Way’. Her music has since been featured on ‘Sincerely Daisy’, a Kenyan film on Netflix, and received great airplay and spotlight. I caught up with Wendy – now charting her own path into boldness and greatness. We talk about meeting and working with her biggest music inspiration – Yemi Alade. As we await her new body of work titled ‘My Way Volume II’, Wendy looks back on her successes, key inspirations and shares advice for upcoming artists, especially ladies - “Have a strong sense of self, above anything.” She also shares what’s in her playlist. You’re gonna love this!
"My vision sometimes scares me and most people [say that I don't look like the hitmaker than when they meet me in person ... But that simplicity is what makes me who I am]." He also has something to say about our experience working together.
I am talking to GospelOnDeBeatz on founding Africa’s premium live band - Alternate Sound with an objective of creating value and providing a solution for the industry in a technology driven age. Gospel also touches on pioneering Flux Factory, a companion business and record label for the band, now signing other acts. We are also talking about Gospel’s East African Spotlight on his album ‘Flux’, as he weighs in on the Play Kenyan music campaign and what he thinks about East African music and how creatives should carry themselves.
Superstar music producer GospelOnDeBeatz is in Kenya quite frequently for work projects but rarely gets as personal as when I caught up with him, during the promotion of his latest major release: (Flux The Album) - released in 2019. We talk about the making of his debut solo album, with him stating that putting out his first body of work had to be an Pan African project. It ended up taking him around 3 years to finish this album. “Pushing boundaries, being creative and evolving” makes a good producer, Gospel dishes out on the process of developing your skills to become a great music producer. Being one of Africa’s biggest hitmakers, he says that it took a while to understand himself and the game, and at the moment he’s not in competition with anyone other than his own self and is a strong believer that knowledge must and should be shared. “It’s part of my purpose,” - he asserts.
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