People in your field that you admire?
Wow, I admire many, however narrowed down to three for the present moment however would be Rihanna, Amber Riley and Dillie (my producer). All three are perfect examples of people who are their authentic selves and who are the epitome of growth and self-improvement, in my eyes.
How do you incorporate creativity in your free time?
I love doing DIY projects. I have always been my own handy man. Also when I am not doing music, I am doing music. I am a classical piano student, and the practice required takes up a lot of my free time. Having a toddler also means I get to have all sorts of artsy fun with her. I dabbled in photography once and I’m dying to get back to that. Playing dress up, sometimes.
What designers, bloggers, and stylists do you admire?
I currently love the Quann sisters’ aka Urban Bush Babes. They have given me a new found love for fashion, style, natural hair and art. Their blog is a nice place to go for inspiration. I love Lyra Aoko’s aesthetic. I am going to be bold and throw in a Makeup Artist, Sinitta Akello aka Cultured Ego. She has done my make up for all my important projects and I can always count on her to be out of the box with her creative. She gives life to every project we work on together. She does impeccable work.
Are you involved in the fashion industry? How did you get involved in the industry?
I am still finding my footing when it comes to fashion, so I am not yet crossed over. I am a very simple woman. If it’s comfortable I will wear it. Although during shows and photo shoots I try to be more expressive and experimental with my fashion.
How do you stay relevant your industry?
I think relevance is greatly determined by how memorable you are. In my case I try and bring as much of my authentic self to the table as possible. In a world full of copies people will always gravitate to someone who they can easily single out from the crowd. I try to be relatable but with my own special flare. I also strive to do things to excellence (something that I recently elected to do), like shows, recorded music, visuals etc.
What is the biggest creative challenge you have faced in your career?
My biggest creative challenge is definitely writers’ block that I experienced for around one and a half years. Not being able to write as a song writer completely made me feel so crippled and helpless. As a creative I need ideas to thrive and with no ideas I felt useless.
What are some of the projects you’re working on right now?
I am working on my second album and more visuals for my work. I am also working on my first classical piano composition among other new ventures.
How do you respond to criticism?
I try to have a very conscious approach to avoid getting too caught up in what people think or say. If it is destructive criticism, I just let it slide. People are allowed to have opinions but opinions never mean that they are true or they come from a truthful place.
If it is constructive, I usually revisit the said critique and evaluate whether it is truly helpful or not. I often ask for advice from people whose judgement I trust.
What makes you unique?
I like to think it is my authenticity and generally my experiences in life. It is hard to be your true self in a world that begs for uniformity. I just do what I like and what I feel when it comes to making the music. I evolve and make no apologies for being who I am. I have been made to feel “not good/Kenyan enough” for it on numerous occasions but I am proud of who I am and what I put out.
What would you say to youth who want to be in your industry?
Either you are in or you are not. Being successful in any industry requires a lot of time and effort. You have to have a high level of commitment to make things work. Also, invest in yourself because very few will, especially in the beginning. There are no overnight successes. Lastly, be you.
Shoot Coordinator Evelyne Waitherero
Make-up by Kanai Beauties
Styled by Ojwa Styling
Photos by June July Photography