Beginning this weekend, Kenyan international music star Victoria Kimani will embark on a country-wide tour that will see her entertain in major towns.
This month alone, she will be performing in Kisii, Eldoret, Nairobi, and Mombasa. She is also slated to perform in Machakos, Meru, Naivasha, Kisumu, Nakuru, Malindi, and Kilifi.
Victoria says the tour, which is her first in the country, is her own doing after she got tired of waiting on promoters.
She also talked about the frustrations that Kenyan artistes are going through and why she is taking a bold step to stand out.
This is your first major Kenyan tour in a career spanning seven years. Why now?
This is my first tour in Kenya. I think I just got tired of waiting for promoters to call me and pay me less than I deserve while asking me to perform playback as they roll out the red carpet and full nine-piece bands for foreign artistes.
It sounds like you have had enough…
I decided to do it on my own with or without the corporate sponsors who, unfortunately, continue to push these foreign acts and only use Kenyan artistes as opening acts. I am taking matters into my own hands and going directly to meet my thousands of fans in their hometowns across Kenya rather than waiting for promoters to do it for me.
Is this sort of a game changing move since many perceived you as having gone international and probably not having time for ‘grassroots’ kind of fans?
I always had time for my Kenyan fans but I was never given the platform to perform. Most of the major platforms and festivals, for whatever reason, have not given me the opportunity to perform here at home. I am Kenyan and it all begins here. When I was beginning I did not know the game. Now I do. That is why I have put myself on tour.
You mentioned that you will be featuring international acts during your tour. Can you tell us which artistes you want to feature and why?
Actually, the foreign guys are a few surprise acts. They are not going to be announced until the last minute. Each city I am going to will have Kenyan artistes and DJs. I would love to bring out some A-list Kenyan artistes. As much as I have no sponsors investing I will still pay my peers as they do not deserve to perform for free.
You also mentioned incorporating the fashion element you are known for during your concerts. Any specifics on designers you might feature?
Kimani Couture. I will be wearing my own designs.
What does this tour mean to you and your career?
It’s a blessing to finally get to connect with my fans.
As much as you are almost completing your latest project and fans are excited to get a feel of it, most of the songs you will be performing are from your album Safari… why?
Actually, I never said what songs I will be performing. My live set is for more than one hour so expect a lot.
China Love, your October release that featured R City, was such a huge project that has since hit over one million YouTube views. How did the song position you as an international star?
I feel the positioning as an international star started way before China Love.
You are currently working under a new management. Kindly give us the details…
For all business inquiries contact me through [email protected].
Can we expect a shift in style now that you have moved stables?
My style is and has always been diverse since I was singing backup for Mercy Myra and attending studio sessions with my brothers K-South. You cannot put Victoria Kimani in a musical box. That’s why I have various hits in several different styles of music.
Clearly, your focus is to conquer the world. How has the journey been?
I feel one cannot reach that status in Kenya, I mean not in the current showbiz scene. One has to branch out, collaborate with others, and be on better platforms then just opening up for foreign acts to push up there.
Looking back, do you think you could have done anything any better?
I don’t have any regrets. No.
With so many hurdles popping up along the way, how do you manage to keep your head high?
I am too focused on myself and my work to know what other people are doing.
What could be the reason why many Kenyan stars are not getting or are taking long to get their continental breakthrough?
Because Kenyan promoters are holding us back. We don’t have a fiesta that celebrates us. We are always told we are second best and meant to be opening acts only. I think some artistes just started believing those lies. I’m sure E-Sir is looking down from Heaven and shaking his head at how backwards we have gone.
Who is the one artiste you look up to?
I have so many but I loved Brenda Fassie; she stood out for how resilient and ‘gangsta’ she was as a woman.
What would you like your fans to know about the forthcoming tour?
Come ready for an experience you have not had. Come ready to hear live vocals and fresh renditions of all my hits. Come celebrate being Kenyan and having a Kenyan headliner. Not an opening act.