Mugithi singer Samuel Muchoki alias Samidoh ends the year 2019 as one of the trendiest musicians in the country. This is best evidenced by the fact that he’ll be among the performers in a stellar line-up of artistes for the week-long NRG Wave Festival to be held in Mombasa.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My real name is Samuel Muchoki Ndirangu. I was born in Miroreni village in Subukia, Nakuru county, in 1990. But I grew up in Oljororok, Nyandarua county. I am the third born in a family of six boys.
I schooled at Oljororok Primary School up to class seven, then transferred to Kieni Primary where I did my Kenya Certificate of Primary Education in 2004.
I later joined Kieni Secondary School in 2004 before transferring to Oljororok Secondary School in the same year.
How did you get into music?
I started loving music from an early age, and back in school I would lead in the choir and lead the worship team at the Christian Union.
After finishing my high school studies in 2009, I joined singer Kamande wa Kioi’s band as a backup vocalist for two-and-a-half years.
I then joined the Kenya Polytechnic University in 2011 for a diploma course in Business Information Technology.
After clearing in 2013, I joined the National Police Service (Administration Police) and that’s where I serve my fellow Kenyans.
I was first posted in Eastleigh in Nairobi before being transferred to Mpeketoni in Lamu and later Dadaab in Garissa county. I made my music comeback in 2016 and I haven’t stopped since.
When did you record your first song?
I recorded my first single titled Ndiri Mutwe (my head isn’t straight) in 2016. I was just trying my luck in the game and you know a child has to grow. It got to a point where I felt I needed to grow out of Kamande’s wings.
I was his protégé and I learnt a lot from him and for that reason, I owe him a lot, too. I also learnt so much listening to the likes of the late singers Salim Junior and Sam Kinuthia.
What influences your songwriting?
An artiste is generally like a mirror; he or she reflects what is happening in society. For me, I combine creativity, my own life experiences and matters of public interest.
How many songs have you released so far?
I have released 14 songs, but I have many others I have recorded, but are yet to be released. I do a ‘one-man guitar’ style of music, where I play the guitar and backed up by a drummer and vocalist.
Do you remember about your first show?
Yes I do. It was on Christmas day of 2016. I played in a local club and was paid Sh30,000. I was very happy. At this moment, I am fully booked until February 2020. I can’t complain about the direction my music has taken.
What are your feelings now that you are set to perform at the NRG Wave Festival alongside other music giants such as Buju Banton, Burna Boy, Redsan and Harmonize?
It is an honour and I feel privileged. Such opportunities are rare to come by and I thank God for giving me such chances. I promise not to disappoint my fans when that day comes.
Besides music and working as a police officer, you have other ventures. Tell us about them.
I have a fashion line called True African and people are appreciating it. Samidoh itself as a brand has grown to an extent that corporate entities are endorsing it or want their brands to be associated with it. I also have two clubs and I am working on investing in real estate.
Artistes are known spendthrifts. Do you find yourself in this bracket too?
Well, I don’t spend so much on myself, but you know as an artiste, you have to look good. So, when it comes to spending on my appearance, I make sure that I do a good job, especially on clothes. But I am a moderate spender.
How do you deal with overzealous fans?
Fans will always be fans. I love them and I appreciate the love they show me, but as a family man, I have learnt to keep it professional.