He may have made his breakthrough last year, but Ndegz has been doing music for quite a minute. He spoke to Pulse over the weekend and narrated his musical journey and everything there is know about him.
Pulse: How did you get into music
I began working as a studio engineer at Enkare studios that was co-owned by Eric Wainaina and Tim Ennovator Rimbui. I made the most out of it by learning more from the two. They even allowed me to work on my own projects when free. That was between 2008 and 2010.
P: Then you went ahead to release your songs the following year…
Yes, Skamaress, which I worked on with Madtraxx and Kora, was the first. She Wana Do, Lift Me Up, The Good Life and Whine Up followed. I, however, felt that something was lacking, and that was in how to get my music out there. I took a break between 2013 and 2015 to strategise and put together a solid team for a takeover. I came back with my own management company, El Toro.
P: What did you learn during the break
That the music business is like a factory. It requires artistes to work with different people in different capacities. I used to do everything on my own before. During the break I picked people whom I respected in the industry to form the company.
P: Now that you are back, how are things
Great. A lot of people would say that 2015 was my breakthrough year and I might have to agree with them. It was a special year and I can only thank God, my team and my fans for the support.
P: Do you plan to sign any acts in El Toro
I feel that knowing the best way to package another artiste is using myself as a guinea pig. I am willing to work with people but I do not want to be too eager and do it quickly. I still need time to understand the industry better because what might work for me might not necessarily work for another.
P: You were first a hip-hop artiste and you switched to Rn’B in your comeback. Is this the new you
I would not say that I moved. I am both a rapper and a singer, so my music will always have a little touch of both. Kuruka leaned more towards Rn’B but Twende Nyumbani had that little rap intro.
P: In Twende Nyumbani, was it your idea to feature Sana as your love interest
The entire video concept was mine. I had known Sana for some time and I decided to reach out to her. Most female musicians would have refused to act out in a video they would not sing in, as they would not want to be perceived as a video vixen. Though Sana first had reservations, I am happy that she accepted.
P: How was it working with her
It was an absolute honour. She is an amazing person both on-screen and off-screen. I think she is one of the hottest Kenyan female celebrities and she made the video hotter than anyone could.
P: You say that you are a songwriter, have you written any songs other than your own
The local industry here has not quite accepted songwriters yet, musicians like writing their own lyrics. If anyone is looking for a songwriter though, I am here.
P: Your lyrics are evoking, notably in The Good Life and Lift Me Up. What inspires this style
Writing lyrics is an experience to me, though the lyrics might not necessarily be drawn from my personal experiences. I try to speak to the ladies in my music, a reason to my being labeled “the ladies’ man”.
P: Is the ladies’ man seeing anyone
(Laughs) No, I am not dating.
P: What is your ideal kind of woman
She has to be smart, beautiful and driven.
P: What do you do in your free time
I play golf, hang out with my friends and go out for drinks. Aside from music, I am a marketer.