Kenyan femcee Wangechi Waweru is back on our airwaves with a brand new song, Comeback, which features Phy. The aptly titled track comes after a one-year hiatus to rediscover her sound.
She talked to Buzz about where she has been and what her plans are for the rest of the year.
Where did you grow up? Any vivid childhood memories?
I mostly lived in South C when I was younger. Memories? (Laughs). Has to be climbing trees to get loquats when they were in season.
What’s your musical background?
No one in my family does music. I have always loved music since primary school, I used to listen to Necessary Noize. I said to myself that I had to be like Nazizi right after listening to her. I started mimicking her and all. (Laughs). I became more in-depth while in high school. I studied music, meaning four years of classical music and choir. I then studied Business and Technology in Music at Brookhouse, but I left earlier to join the music industry.
Who are your biggest influences musically?
Locally, of course Nazizi started me off. Internationally, Chance the Rapper, Lauryn Hill, and Kanye West.
What do you think of the Kenyan hip-hop scene?
I would say it’s doing quite well now, especially because lots of people have taken it up. It is definitely much better than when I started off; there is much more competition. If you snooze, you lose at this point.
How would you describe your music style?
Urban-Rap; I intertwine rap with other genres of music, and not necessarily boom pap, which are the basic hip-hop beats. Music is my purpose in life. It gets me through the days and makes me feel human.
In what ways has your music changed from when you first started?
I’m definitely more skilled. I recently listened to one of my previous songs and wondered how people loved it despite my poor rapping. (Laughs). I am also more in touch with exactly what I want to do musically. Previously, I would just go for what sounded nice to me. I was everywhere.
What are your main inspirations for your lyrics?
From situations that I, or my friends, have been in. Words that rhyme can also be put here. If you are a rapper, it’s as much about punchlines as it is about the storyline. I look for rhyming words and metaphors while coming up with punch lines.
Tell us about your newly released song.
It’s called “Comeback”, and features Phy. It’s a song about finding the strength to leave a relationship where the love is unequaled or taken for granted. Weirdly enough, the song is based on a true story. It was the first song that I wrote when I came back from my hiatus. It was something I went through.
Of all collaborations, which one would you say has been most interesting?
Has to be the “Here with Us” that we did for Tusker with Sibot, the South African producer. He taught me a lot, and the song also taught me a lot on why exactly I am where I am, as well as what I want to do with my music. The video concept was also so amazing. We were so happy to have achieved what was expected.
I would love to do a collabo with AKA and Nasty C from South Africa. I know I can achieve those. Internationally, it’s more of a dream tale, so I’ll mention Rihanna just to see if God will answer my prayer. (Laughs).
If you could invite any three people, dead or alive, for dinner, who would they be? And why?
Amy Winehouse. I really, really loved her music and I would just like to hear her problems. Adele, because I find her so funny. I feel like we’d have a very interesting conversation, together with Amy.
My best friend, Tionna Wangechi, who passed on in 2014. I’d love to know how she’s doing, and how heaven is.
What’s the greatest fear you’ve had to overcome to get to where you are?
The fear of not being accepted by the masses. I really struggled with that, often asking myself how I could change my music so that it could be more accepted by people from all over. Many people around me also played into telling me that everyone needs to relate to my music. I say I have overcome it because I can’t stand at a place where I am fighting the person God created me to be and music I was purposed to make. Being who I am still gives me credibility and paying my bills.
What would you like to achieve before you die?
My purpose in life. Also, to at least travel to every continent in the world.