Unlike most artistes, her first release was her breakthrough and she has continued to enthuse most gospel music listeners with heartening tunes together with being nominated in highly coveted awards.
The 22-year-old Kenyatta University student spoke to GEORGE D. MWENDWA about her musical journey and what fires her up
How does one achieve mature and moving music?
I believe that music is an outpouring of who someone really is. For the most part, I work on becoming a better person; in my character, faith and skill.
I take time to work on what I do, seek good counsel and I'm open to positive criticism and advice.
Have you always wanted to do music?
I have loved music since I was a child. I grew up around such beautiful music because my parents have very rich taste. I started singing at the age of 7.
However, I was a very shy child. But at 16, music revealed itself to me as more of a calling than a passion. That’s what brought forth what you see today.
Tell us about the song you’d term your breakthrough
“Natamani Nikuone” was both my debut and breakthrough single; it was very well received and gave me a good place in the industry. “Ujulikane” which features Alice Kimanzi has also done quite well.
I believe it's because of an added grace that has come upon me over the seasons and, of course, Alice Kimanzi was in it.
What else have you ventured into besides music?
I'm a Food, Nutrition and Dietetics student at Kenyatta University, currently in my fourth year. I believe in education.
I plan to practice privately in the long run but, even if I don't, I strongly believe that the educated have an edge in this world. I'm also a blogger and a vlogger, which are more like hobbies.
I also do a bit of consultancy and mentorship with artistes.
How is it balancing school work, music and online content creation?
It's a mess. I keep losing my grip but that's part of the journey. I love doing them all so I just wake up, plan myself and choose to do my best.
Is it hard being a Christian in our campuses?
Well, I think for me it helps that I'm a bit of a loner. I keep a small circle of friends.
Is anyone else in your family musical?
My mum sings the most beautiful alto. She heads our church choir.
Have you ever done vocal training?
Yes. I've been doing vocal workout quite consistently, since last year. I think it's very important, especially when you have notable areas of improvement. But whether you are vocally strong or not, I just think it's one of the best things a musician can do for themselves.
Some of your music is written by Pitson. Tell us about how you two relate.
We met in 2013, while I was still in high school, through a mutual friend. He hadn't even released “Lingala Ya Yesu” yet. We have kept such a good friendship that he has become family.
We've written a couple of songs together, like “Ujulikane”, and we'll definitely be doing more. It serves me really well as both mentorship and teamwork.
Who offered you the most support in your musical journey?
My family. My mum, dad and brother Cris have been there throughout in every way: resources, time, energy, prayers... I appreciate it so much!
Do you have a formula to writing your music?
No, not really. I can write about anything as long as it passes the message I ardently believe in.
Why did you choose Alice Kimanzi for ‘Ujulikane’?
The specific concept came through Pitson and that's why we granted him songwriting. He knew about my intention to work with Alice Kimanzi.
It was such an ideal concept considering the seasons both Alice and I had been through just before we recorded the song.
Alice has become like a sister to me. She is so lovely and I also love and admire her ministry.
How would you describe your music and what’s its overriding message?
My music is authentic and wholesome. It's also an evolving story. The general message in my ministry is the message of wholeness and healing.
In a world of pain, we need to know that there is no pain that exceeds God’s power. I love seeing people all-round healthy, happy and well.
What are your musical aspirations?
Short term, I'm working to be an excellent musician with a consistent career. I'm also working towards being a wholesome brand that can challenge and inspire.
Long-term aspirations would be as far as the Lord takes me. It's all by his grace.
Who do you look up to?
There are so many, because I pick different things from people's strengths and weaknesses to learn and to grow from.
What kind of music do you listen to most?
I listen to a lot of RnB, soul and acoustic music. It calms my soul, makes me happy and inspires my style.
Any advice to upcoming talent and your fellow gospel artistes?
Love and honour God. Work towards good relationships in your life.
Respect people around you. Be a student of life. Work hard to get what you desire; no one owes you anything.