Gospel musician Evelyn Wanjiru says her music has not only made her a stronger Christian but also changed lives.
Q: How did you start singing?
A: I started singing at the age of nine in Sunday school. My mother used to tell me that when I was young, I would sing when playing around the house in a unique and sweet voice.
Professionally I started in 2010, I worked on my first single titled Mazingira which did very well and was used by the government as a theme song to reclaim Mau forest. I was appointed musical Mau forest ambassador.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Nairobi but raised up in Nakuru. I only relocated to Nairobi when I started my music career.
Why gospel music?
I am a born again Christian. That’s what I understand well and I am convicted to do.
What are your successes?
When I produced a song that changes someone’s life positively... like my Waweza song that did very well and brought me to limelight.
Has singing changed you?
Yes, it has changed my relationship with God. I am close to Him since that’s where my inspiration comes from. Being a worshipper, I am also accountable to people and have to maintain good character because most of them look up to me.
Who are your role models?
Rebecca Malope, Don Moen, Darleen Zcheck.
What keeps you going?My faith in Jesus Christ and inspiration from God.
What decision are you most proud of?
The fact that I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal saviour.
Tell us about your husband. How was your first date?
Fantastic (laughs) it was on 1st January 2009 and I was so scared of what to say during the date. It was also the first time I ate a burger. I remember mum had given me Sh200 just in case I was to pay the bill but, of course, the gentleman Agunda could not let me pay for anything. He is my happiness.
What food does he like?
His favourite meal is ugali, kienyeji and goat meat. I like rice and beans
Do you have children?
How do you juggle between family and singing?
I give quality time to my family members. My husband is a music producer and he understands and supports my signing career fully.
What motivates you to work hard and wake up every morning?
The world is yearning to hear worship that brings them closer to God everyday. That is what God put me here to do. There is no greater purpose than that.
How was the journey to be where you are?
It has not been easy. The first song "Mazingira" got so much resistance. "Waweza", which was written when I was very sick brought the breakthrough.
Even if distributing the song to stations was tough, God ensured that it spread so far to the point that churches started singing it in their worship sessions. To come this far has simply taken God guidance.
What don’t most people know about you?
I am scared of rats. Find me on top of your head in case I see one, moving or dead.
Your favourite movie?
I love Nigerian movies
How do you spend your free time?
I like fashion so it is inevitable that I spend considerable time either designing or exchanging ideas with my friends. Other times I help my husband in our studio to direct musicians.
What are your future plans?
I am praying and working smart to produce music that will be received globally.