DK Kwenye Beat is a gospel artiste popularly known for his hit songs "Furi Furi" and "Asusu". His real name is David Kilonzo and after a two-year hiatus has released a new song, "Kijana wa Kayole".
Lilys Njeru had a chat with him on this and much more
After two years without releasing a solo project, you have a comeback song, ‘Kijana wa Kayole’. Tell me about the song?
Most people know me but they don’t know about my journey. The song is a dedication to my hood, Kayole, and a story about my personal life. I did it to motivate the youth so they can know that despite being raised up in a hood like Kayole that’s popular for crime and drug abuse, they can still make it in the right ways. I am also reminding people not to forget where they have come from. It’s a song from my heart.
The song release was very timely when you’ve had a section of your fans calling out to you to hit the gym….
Since November last year, it has been like a song. DK you need to work out, DK you need to hit the gym. For emphasis memes have been created and shared online.
I have seen it all and I almost quit social media but I resolved to stay and respond to the criticism with love – with my story. When I started out, most people knew me as a petite guy.
The hustle was crazy then and so much has changed. The life I had and what I have now are different. Then, I couldn’t even afford a burger. Through this song, I want to connect with my fans and let them know that besides my weight, there is so much more to talk about me.
Are you comfortable with your weight?
Ooh, yes. However, I have to consider what my fans are saying because I believe that they have my best interests at heart.
That said I will work out to be fit because I don’t want them to say, man, we are your fans but you don’t listen to us. Worth noting is that my weight has not had any effect on my health. I am okay.
You broke into the limelight with "Furi Furi" in collaboration with Jimmy Gait. After the song was out, you two fell out. Are you in good terms?
We are cool. That time I didn’t know much about copyrights, revenue and the music industry itself. We sorted our differences many years ago.
Is music your career?
Yes. That’s all I do. But being an artiste isn’t just about going to the studio and recording songs. It takes so much more than that. You have to work on your marketing strategies, PR, vocals and also dance routines. Besides all that, I go out for ministries and outreaches. Currently, I am running a mentorship programme to prepare uprising artistes on how to grow from one level to another in the music industry.
What bothers you about being a public figure or celebrity?
That people have a plan about how you should live your life. They have a list of streets you shouldn’t visit, car models you should be driving and the kind of restaurants they should find you in.
What are your fondest musical memories?
At the Groove Awards 2012, "Furi Furi" won both song and collabo of the year. That was the first win in my life. I didn’t expect it – I didn’t even know how to react after my name was called out. It was simply humbling.
However, what I consider as my biggest achievement is giving ‘Asusu’ to the world at a time when the country was in sombre mood following the Westgate terrorist attack. The song gave people hope and changed many lives. It is based on a true story and I am working on ‘Asusu’ part 2 to be released in May.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve heard from a fan during a concert?
A lady met me after a performance in 2016 and she said that she wanted to be my wife. No, she didn’t wear that ‘I’m just kidding look’; she was serious about it that she had to be shoved by the security guards. I have a girlfriend whom I plan to wed soon.
What’s your most valued possession? Please don’t tell me life.
What I value most is priceless. I don’t even say it loud to myself.
You spent the better part of your life in Kayole. What did the alleys teach you?
Despite the challenges you face, keep your eyes on the prize. You can fall as many times but stand and go for what you want.
Do you feel like Kenyan artistes across all genres have been given the best platform to exploit their potential?
Most artistes in Kenya have an amazing fan base – diehard fans, I call them. We have a good platform but it could be better if media stations centred on Kenyan music. Both uprising and established artistes would really benefit from that.
Besides your songs, which is your favourite song to belt for karaoke or in the car?
‘Haina Noma’ by Kelele Takatifu. That song really ministers to me.
What’s your resolution for this year?
To release music consistently. My most intimate prayer this year is that God uses me the more.
What is that one weird thing about you that your fans don’t know about?
That I wear blindfolds when going to bed.
DK….That’s so weird!!
You asked for it!