Papa Dennis, has released to rave reviews a big budget video.
The prolific gospel artiste whose real is name Dennis Mwangi, 23, is making waves since the launch of the video for his latest single ‘Wonder’ featuring Nigerian artiste Korede Bello that is trending in the populous nation.
Featuring top-of-the-range cars, bevy of beauties, designer clothes in exotic locations across three continents, the video has so far garnered over 200,000 views on YouTube since it was uploaded less than two weeks ago. With mostly favourable comments, the number is likely to rise.
The song opens with a mournful oriental tune before launching into Papa Dennis’ characteristic exuberant style as the locations moves from dry parched lands to lush green ones with scenes changing from a deprived life of poverty to one of abundance and opulence.
In Kiswahili and English, the dynamic duo sing about the tough journey from herding goats and hustling in the streets to a flashy jet setting lifestyle that makes the artiste wonder as he looks back on how far he has come as more blessing keep coming his way.
“This is based in on my true story,” he says. “I come from a family of nine and we were orphaned when we lost our mother in 2006. I never got to see my father because he passed on when I was young. Following my mum’s passing, I had to drop out of school to fend for my younger brother and sister and the extended family.”
Those were hard times for the humble star who began hawking clothes while playing music at any chance he got.
His lucky break came in 2009 when he was discovered by Maliza Umaskini initiative that had embarked on a talent search.
“They discovered me in the streets and took me into their stable. I have so far released eight tracks and made seven videos and as we speak I am working on another project,” he says.
Before he began recording, Papa Dennis was already a household name in the Kenyan gospel music industry critically acclaimed for quality music production for some of the biggest gospel artistes with the hits he has boasting extravagant videos shot in fabulous locations. Most notably, Papa Dennis has produced for Daddy Owen and Jimmy Gait. His portfolio includes ‘Bendera’, ‘Injili’, ‘Msamaria’, ‘Makekes’, ‘Foundation’, ‘Njoo’.
With this experience behind him, he was prepared to give his own song the same treatment when something wonderful happened to him.
Fast forward to 2016 and luck continues to follow him, continually amazing him. “A super fan invited me to perform for his daughter birthday and they loved my performance so much that he promised to sponsor my next video. The ‘Wonder’ video did not cost me a cent!” he says.
“We shot the first of video in Kenya before travelling to Dubai then the USA and finally winding it down in South Africa.”
Produced by Mainswitch/Mavin Records with Moe Musa as the director, 'Wonder' video showcases the best Gospel music whose artistes are willing to spare no expense to ensure their songs get the best cinematographic treatment yet.It follows his 'Miujiza' video which featured Sarakasi dancers which was released in January.
Papa Dennis who was Mwafaka 2015 Male artiste of the year calls his style vuvuzela beat which is distinctly Kenyan but heavily influenced by Lingala beats. With his latest offering, he is proving that East African artistes can collaborate with their Nigerian counterpart to take the East African beat to the West and thereby win more fans that can take their music to the next level.
‘Wonder’ hits that sweet spot that makes it a truly continental beat with a wider appeal.
Papa Dennis remains humble with the success of his hit which he attributes to the love of his fans whom he encourages to keep hoping for the best.
“I love you and thank you all for your support throughout my journey. If you were not there for me then I would not have come this far. Whatever you do never give up God will bring wonders to your life the way he did to me.”
The amount the artiste received from a super fan towards making the video
The actual cost of 'Wonder" video
The number of continents
(filmed on location in USA, Dubai and South Africa)
The cast and crew involved in making the video