Nadia Mukami recently scooped the Best Female Video Pulse Music Video award to end the year on a high after what she says was a difficult 2019.

The ‘Ikamate Hiyo’ singer spoke to Pulse about the challenges she has faced and her near breaking point when she nearly quit music.

You own the bragging rights as biggest female artiste in Kenya after winning the Pulse Music Female awards (PMVA). How does this make you feel?

I’m humbled because, to be honest, it hasn’t been a very easy year. At some point, I even thought I would quit before the end of the year. To my surprise, after holding on, things got better and God has seen the hard work pay. I am grateful.

So with all the challenges you didn’t see this coming?

Not at all. As much as I had put in strategies, this was beyond my wildest dreams. I’m glad patience, prayer and hard work paid off.

Do you consider this win a big highlight in your music career?

This is definitely a big highlight in my music career considering how far I have come and the challenges I have had to face. Having been appreciated here, it tells me to prepare for the big ones, the international spot. I have mad respect for female artistes in Kenya for the last 10 years I have been in the game as I know the challenges they face. For a female artiste to last 10 years and still be relevant means perseverance and resistance. I’d say the PMVA win would go to all female artistes who have believed in themselves and refused to quit.

Generally, what was your game-plan this year?

My main focus was trapping new audiences, something I have achieved, according to my analytics. Moreover, I have had most of my music videos hit over a million views and I got over half a million followers on Instagram all of what was within the plan to increase my reach. I broke through to the corporate market too and I say 2019 fell into place.

Was your new management the game changer?

I wouldn’t say so as my previous management contributed partly to the success I’m enjoying today. However, I put in double efforts hence the double results.

What have you had to do different to grow?

I have learned to be hands-on. I am always part of the process and I don’t have to wait for other people to help me get where I am going. Most successful artistes are team players, not observes. That is a fact I have embraced since I discovered that most of the success in this career will depend on my hard work.

Are you in a comfort zone right now?

No! Not at all. The journey has just started. This win simply means the doors have started to open. I am headed for the stars.

You have just released your eighth studio single, a gospel jam, which has received mixed reactions with artistes like Ringtone arguing fans should not listen to gospel music by secular musicians…

Good music is simply good music and it is for fans to decide who they listen to. He can also jump into secular too and we won’t judge. The song Maombi is about prayer and God’s love, a subject which is universal. Besides, that said, no one has a right to question my relationship with God. It is no one’s business.

Was it inspired by the challenges you talked of having faced this year?

True. It is a thanksgiving song that testifies how God has helped me in some of those situations where I would have completely sunk.

What projects are you working on, towards 2020?

My next agenda is to access the international market and so I have many collaborations from outside the country. Some are ready for release while others are still in the works. That is the focus in 2020. Let’s just say there will be many surprises.

What do you think makes you stand out as an artiste?

I try to do music that cuts through audiences and that gives me an edge. I don’t like being put in a box. I also get very strategic with my releases.

Who has given you that new look?

You wanna keep on seeing that popstar look? (laughs). This is Couture_house-by-kim in action.

What makes Nadia happy?

Seeing my dreams fulfilled and seeing my family specifically my parents living without lack. I hate to see wasted opportunities so I make the best of every chance.