Wangechi Waweru’s 2018 was all about showing that she is back and that she is willing to mix it up a little. We caught up with her and had a conversation about some of the things that she is doing and why she thinks Female rappers are a big deal but not treated as so in the industry.
Earlier on you had been on a music break. What were you up to during the break?
During the break I was finding my purpose in life, restructuring my music brand and building other businesses that would lead to financial independence.
When you came back in the music industry you decided to take control of your music. What made you do that? Does that mean that you have ditched your former producer Provoke and what is your relationship with him now?
I wouldn’t term it as ditched but yes we are not working together anymore. I decided to handle my own career and become an independent artist and it’s been great so far.
Which label are you working with for now?
Right now I’m an independent artist. I am not under any label.
You became a hit after appearing on Ligi Soo remix and Tulia Tu with King Kaka however you have not released any other work with him(correct me if me I am wrong) are you going to be doing another song or working on any project with him in the near future?
Yes that is a true statement. I want to work with other names in the future though I need to add more artists to my line up of collabos, so I don’t think I will be looking into working on other projects.
At some point you mention in one of your social media posts that you were afraid to come back to the music industry. Did you fear you were losing your edge in music?
I felt like I would loose all the fans in the beginning because of my lack in consistency. The music would be the same but were the fans willing to give me a second chance.
Your single Comeback; a collaboration with Phy is an emotional song and about heart break. When you were writing it was it a reflection about something that happened to you in the past? And also what were those reflections?
The song is the reflection of a relationship I had just ended while the video was not necessarily something that happened to me but something that the director (Mike Lolly P) and I believed would bring out the emotions of the experience best. The song is basically a reflection of unrequited love.
You are currently working on a new album. What are some of the things we should expect from this album? Are there also some new projects to expect?
I am working on a collection of music I’m not sure whether I’d term it an album or an EP yet, but we will know in due time. You should expect sounds familiar to the first mix tape I dropped termed “Consume” and lyrics that revolved around things that have changed my life drastically. It’s going to be an in depth collection of music.
Who do you look up to when it comes to music in Kenya and the world as a whole? How did they shape your music?
I would say Nazizi shaped my music as I always wanted to be a rapper ever since I heard Necessary Noise jams as a kid. As for the world can’t pin point to one artist as there are many who’ve had an impact to how I shape my music and I discover new inspirations everyday. But some faves are Lauryn Hill, Nadia Rose, Kanye West, Gold link, Chance the rapper, Lupe Fiasco etc.
Because of your different music style of rap people think you are a revolutionary what do you have to say about it?
That is exactly what I am. I aim to inspire excellence in this music industry before I lay my mic down.
The music business in Kenya is changing rapidly; do you think artistes are getting the better part of that revenue and fan base? And are you able to grow?
I would say right now musicians are making more money than before and there is a good flow of money in the industry. The fan base is also growing as many artists are able to hit one million views genuinely (but lets not forget it’s also very easy to buy 1,000,000 views so don’t be deceived by some numbers). You are very able to grow now as an artist and better yet you don’t have to follow the norm of Kenyan music and you will be sure to create and nurture your own fan base and earn a good amount of money from it.
The amount of female acts getting into the rapping and hip hop game is slowly rising. Do you think they are being given an equal amount of air play compared to male counter parts?
Yes the women are rising and congratulations to all of them. But the media is really slacking… The amount of airplay is still low and you have to work twice as hard to get the respect. I actually believe the female rap acts are mad talented. Look at Xtatic, Petra and I. Put us in a ring with a selected three other male rappers and I bet we will be a hard trio to beat. So it’s not that there’s no talent it’s that the media is slightly biased and inclined to the males.
What’s the craziest thing that has ever happened to you during a performance?
My music has gone off twice on stage for a long period and that was very embarrassing as you literally are dumb founded and don’t know what to do during that period.
What’s your word to people who think they want to get into the rapping game and by extension the music business?
My word to them is to stay true to your art and the person that you are. There’s no need to twist and bend yourself to follow the trends while the real magic lays in your authentic self. When it comes to the business side of things always be alert about things even if you’re been managed don’t be in the sidelines be aware of all the deals that are happening around your brand.
editor’s note:this interview was done in 2018 since then her project Sound Cloud Sunday’s was released and we will try as much as possible to do the review to it.