He’s a mentor to many having been in the Gospel industry for over 10 years as well as winning multiple awards and taking part in global tours. It’s however not been all rosy for him, his music career and his family hence a long hiatus as he shares with GEORGE D. MWENDWA. He also talks about his comeback and new music.
We haven’t heard from you for a long time. What inspired your hiatus?
I went through lots of challenges that forced me into a break as I waited on God. I went into a season I couldn’t write music and I decided that I won’t sing unless I have a blue print from the one who called me.
What are some of the challenges you could cite?
One of the most heartbreaking moments for both me and my family was she my wife miscarried thrice. We’d get expectant and all things would be as usual until the 7th or 8th month when the baby would stop kicking. The next thing we’d find out is that it was dead. It almost tore my marriage apart as well as my walk of faith. I still remember how a Pastor I respected advised me to elope to Tanzania and begin a new family. Everyone had something to say regarding my predicaments.
How did you overcome in the end?
We decided to trust God and together with my wife we kept in prayer. There are true friends who stood by us and gracefully the Lord finally blessed us with a beautiful daughter. She’s brought such Joy in our family and marriage. There’s nothing that warrants us to give up as long as we trust in God.
You’ve been around for many years. What do you think has changed in the Gospel music scene?
There’s a lot music business than there is ministry. Being a music producer all through even over the time I had taken a break gave me an opportunity to watch the industry keenly. Most gospel singers have lost it in that the days we could sing and people desire the Gospel are long gone. I think that’s what we need to clean up.
The song “Mimi Siyawezi” continues to rent the airwaves after years of release. What was the inspiration behind it?
At first I wasn’t planning on being a part of this song but I felt pushed to do it. I wrote it and no one believed I could sing even my own family since I was just a producer then. One morning however my Mum told me to go for what I felt in my heart. The urge was irresistible so I recorded it and featured Sarah K but people discouraged me due to my heavy voice.
Are you into any other venture besides music and how do you strike the balance?
Besides singing, I also produce music at Gamba Studios where I’m the founder. We also do video production here making it a full production house that needs my attention. I’m also a director at Kenya Association of Music Producers.
There’s been lots of wrangles between creatives and Collective Management Organizations some which have ended up in court, how are you planning to reform this?
First of all musicians should understand their rights very well and read any contract before signing it. That’s one of the challenges we experience when creatives come fighting for rights they can’t define. Secondly we are working hard as directors and our chairman to streamline the payment process and to ensure there are no complaints of cartels fleecing creatives of their hard earned money.
Where do you think the issue of Kenyan music not paying musicians enough emanated?
I think the issue comes with most media houses not paying royalties to the CMOs so that it can be disbursed to the artistes. Again, artistes should work hard to ensure they get value for what they put into their music. We also don’t have the support of the government during collection of royalties hence low income at the end of the day.
Tell us about your new song and the story behind it?
I recorded it a while back but so much happened that withheld me from releasing the song. The production team that we worked with from Tanzania messed up which ended up in the loss of some footages. Weeks before I could release the new project, my wife underwent trauma after being carjacked at gun point right in front of our gate. By the grace of God they didn’t hurt her but they locked her at the trunk of the car before they sped away. I think all these were challenges that held me back from making this comeback.
What’s the future of your ministry and more that your fans should expect from you in the near future?
My production house will do it’s best to produce lasting music that transcends well across all generations. I can also assure them of authentic Gospel music that is not advised by my own interests but as God leads me and finally soon enough I’m plunging into the film industry and a number of programs are underway.