Groove Awards Artiste of the Year 2018 Guardian Angel, real name Audiphaxad Peter is also a songwriter and instrumentalist.
Guardian Angel, fondly referred to as ‘The Music Doctor’ by his fans, plays both the guitar and piano. He is famous for several chart-topping songs such as Wakati Wa Mungu, Swadakta, Utafurahi, Amazing Grace, Liwe Liwe, Rejea and Nadeka.
He answers 5 questions on his music, life in the streets before the fame, and the role of the church
1. What inspired you to become a gospel artist, and how has your knowledge of instruments shaped your career path?
I got born again at a very young age because my mother was a very spiritual person. When I discovered my talent is in singing, it was automatic that the type of music I would sing was gospel music.
I play the keyboard and guitar. They help me to know the right keys in songwriting and when recording.
They have made my recording sessions easier because I’m able to guide the producer when putting down exactly what is on my mind about a specific song.
2. Do you think your music has to necessarily reflect your lifestyle? Can you be a Christian but not be a gospel artist?
Yes, your music has to reflect your lifestyle if you are a Christian. You cannot take people somewhere you do not want to go, if you get what I mean.
3. Who are your favourite local artists, and why?
Eunice Njeri. Her anointing is God-given and you can tell through her songs that they are conceived and sang from a true place of worship.
4. Do you ever go back to the places you grew up in, or back to the streets where you lived for a time? What do you remember most about being a street child, and how has that influenced your music and the causes you pay attention to?
Yes, I do go back to Mwiki, where I grew up. I even did a music video there. I have gone back to Kibera several times, and I’ve also been back to the exact spot inside Jeevanjee Gardens where I used to sleep when I lived in the streets.
I remember the struggle to have a meal and a warm place to sleep. The warm place never existed, anyway.
These experiences have influenced me in that my music is mainly about hope, forgiveness and persistence.
No situation is permanent. In addition, in partnership with St. Johns Community Centre in Pumwani, I help run a yearly mentorship program for talented street children.
5. Drawing from your experience living in the streets, what do you think is the church’s role in ministering to these children?
The church’s role, or rather, our role as Christians, is to take care of the less fortunate in our midst, the way our Lord Jesus instructed us.
This is a major role and most churches are in a position to even build children’s homes for these kids and fund their upkeep.
But many churches are not active in campaigns like these because most churches fear having to maintain a long-term commitment to help street children, which I believe is the best way to go about it.
Many prefer a quick, one-off form of assistance. But this is not very efficient.