Muthoni Drummer Queen is currently riding high in the music charts with her new release -Power. She is also working on a new album and nurturing fresh, local talent through the perFORM music incubator.
She talked to myNetwork about these projects.
Your new song, “Power”, is so appropriate. What inspired you to write it?
I wrote the song because I wanted to do my part to document women’s contributions to the society.
Many times, the incredible work that women do goes undocumented, and their stories either untold or undersold.
Also, I really wanted to clap back at a society that is always telling women how and who to be. Enough with that.
What changes or surprises should we expect from your next album in June?
The new album is produced by Swiss beat makers GR! and Hook. My songwriting skills have significantly improved, and I also co-wrote some of the tracks with Fena Gitu and Bien-Aime, so there is definitely an improvement in the actual storytelling and a lot more Kiswahili.
Expect lots of dancing and African joy! The album is basically about where I am in life and the artwork will be absolutely bananas!
I think the art is a whole story on its own. I also got a production feature with Man Child, and I love it because now the world can hear how lovely Kenyan music is.
Also, I managed to add some Dholuo, coastal and Luhya rhythms to some of the songs. There is one modern-day ballad and one weirdo track. Honestly, I think it’s the best project I’ve undertaken so far.
What do you do at perFORM? Do you look for talent, or does talent come to you? Are there auditions? And what exactly are you looking for?
This project was born out of a desire to get live performance artists to filter, order, refine and master their thoughts, and to work on strategies for their singles or albums.
We deeply believe that teamwork makes the dream work, so the priority is on getting artists and their managers to work together under the guidance of professionals, to develop and execute strategies that will lead to a well-conceptualised live show.
We asked artists, producers and cultural organisations to share our call for application, and then we made a meticulous selection from the applicants.
All artists had to have a team as well as a project they intend to finish by June 2020.
We look for highly talented, driven and hardworking individuals with leadership qualities because at the end of it all, we believe that the artist always knows, and is the creator and CEO of their brand.
How important do you think art is in the process of revolution? How can we use it to change our predicament?
Art is the only way to awaken peoples’ consciousness. Through books and other forms of art, we can tell our success stories and trace them back thousands of years, before the advent of the mess that is colonisation.
It is how we can remind others that their desire for more is not misplaced and that more is indeed possible and available.
That the people far outnumber and outdate the state. The state was actually imposed on the people. If we are to get out of this mess, we must remember that we were and continue to be great.
While running all these projects, do you ever sleep? How do you unwind?
I do because sleep is important. But to be honest, my job energises me, and I look forward to life every day because there is so much to do, and accomplish.