Patricia Kihoro is a singer, actress, radio presenter, comedian, YouTube content creator-- Life in the Single Lane show --and a sporadic blogger from Nairobi, Kenya.
She loves coffee, laughter, books, photography, African music, her phone and smugly cruising past frustrated motorists stuck in traffic while on a boda boda (motor cycle) or her scooter. Patricia has dabbled in just about everything in the entertainment sphere and continues to do so with a sense of adventure, learning and discovery, while dancing to her own tune.
1. Would you call yourself a renaissance woman, in terms of how much you've managed to accomplish?
I honestly don't know what to call myself, other than a woman figuring life out the best way possible. I've heard so many labels describing who I am, what I do, and much more, but I gave up trying to keep up because I don't think I fit neatly into any one of them. Life doesn't come with a manual so we sort of just have to figure it out for ourselves as we go along.
2.How do you manage to keep sane, keep people entertained, and keep yourself looking so lovely? What's your greatest achievement?
Ha...thanks for the compliment. I try to stay hydrated, and to mind my own business. I'm not entirely sure I'm doing well at the 'keeping sane' bit, which is probably what ends up entertaining folks. Seriously though, I lose my mind quite often, in a good way, and I've learnt that that is entirely okay.
In terms of my greatest achievement, Life in the Single Lane (LITSL) will always stand out for me. Its reception was unexpected because it was something that I had never been done before, and I didn't even know what to call it, so I told people it was an experiment. The back story is that the show initially had a completely different format and direction, scripted by someone else, but three days to the gig, I panicked, and changed everything because I didn't quite feel as though it was the right fit for me. I let the cast go, called my long-time friend Jason to be my stage partner, and we went on stage without a script. To date, the show doesn't have a script, and that was my first foray into improvisational performance.
For all the seven performances, tickets have sold out. In fact, the last time I did it, twice the number of people I expected showed up. I love the conversations that stemmed from the show, how people, both men and women, saw themselves reflected on stage and how they got to understand relationships and the opposite sex a lot better. And of course, I also was amazed by how entertained they were by all aspects of my performance, which is comedy, acting and of course, singing, my first love. I also loved how people went from tears of sadness to tears of joy all within two hours.
3. Is it harder being on stage alone, like LITSL or does having a team of backup make the stage fright go away like in BYSS? Is there pressure working with some of the funniest people today?
It's definitely easier being on stage with a talented and hilarious crew. The stage fright is still there, but it's not as bad as when I'm on stage alone. We are able to rely on each other and share our energy while on stage as a unit. BYSS is really just us; friends kicking it and being our usual selves on stage. When you're alone, it's quite intimidating knowing that the pressure to entertain the paying audience is entirely on you. But I get a thrill from both so I wouldn't choose one over the other.
4. You also said there are albums coming out soon. What style are you going for, especially considering your musical evolution, and the radio show you host that has obviously opened you up to so many wonderful African rhythms?
I think rather than a style, I'm just looking at being as honest and truthful as I can be in my expression, and remembering that I am a vessel through which whatever needs to be communicated will be. It's up to me to make sure that I'm at my best so that I can honour the talents that God has bestowed on me. I am also fully aware that how art chooses to be expressed is not for me to dictate but rather for God to direct.
5. You were recently at one of Beyonce and Jay-Z's concerts. Are they your favourites? Who else, musically speaking, do you admire? And where will you be going next?
Beyonce is definitely a huge inspiration, mainly because of her talent and work ethic. I could list about a hundred artists to be honest. Locally, Blinky Bill, Tetu Shani, Dempsey, Mayonde, MDQ, Wanja Wohoro, Karun, Sage, Dela, Xenia Manasseh, Kato Change, Lisa Noah, Njoki Karu, Ayrosh, Ciano Maimba and M2thepower3. There are so many.
Internationally, Lindsey Abudei and Simi from Nigeria. I'm obsessed with Tekno. Then there's Sonder, Brent Faiyaz, Solange, Diana Gordon, King Avriel, Jade Novah, Sample, Vincint, The Foreign Exchange, Jeff Buckley... it's never a good idea to ask me about artists I love because I just keep going.
Of course I'm also fanning out over Will and Sterling Gittens Jr, brothers who were just here for The Burrito Bar launch. They are so talented but also immensely hard working. It was quite inspiring to see how much they honour their talent. Next, I'm hoping to go to South Africa for the Mandela concert and for Afropunk this December.