Teenage singing sensation Nikita Kering’ shot to fame at the age of 16. In 2019 aged just 17, she became the youngest ever winner at the All Africa Music Awards (Afrima), bagging the Best Eastern Africa Female Artiste of the Year and Revelation of the African Continent awards.
Nikita is now 18 and graduated earlier this year, vowing to let out her rebellious side. She is currently riding high on her recently released track ‘Never Let You Go’.
Congratulations on dropping the new song which is already doing so well. What was the inspiration behind ‘Never Let You Go’?
The inspiration behind the song was based on experiences around myself, my friends, my family and so many other people. When I was writing the song, it was actually supposed to be a Ballad (slow pop song) but going into the studio, and playing around with different ideas and lyrics, completely changed the direction that the song would go instrumentally and melodically.
The song is about doing anything to prove to your loved one that they mean the world to you. Not by words only, but by actions.
Describe your lyric writing process for us?
I first start with the chords. They tell me the overall vibe of the song. From there, I just vibe with my producer and we see where to go from there.
The new song is thematic of love and romance. Is it based on real-life experience?
It’s not. Lol. My life isn’t that dramatic.
Some would say you are quite young to sing about love, yet you continue to produce such stellar music. Tragedy for example was such a powerful production. Do you think romance has a specific age when it should begin?
It doesn’t. That just has a lot to do with the ‘conservativeness’ of our audiences. But they aren’t the majority. People have a lot to say, and I have a lot to do, so I chose to listen to my heart. It drives my every move.
Congratulations on your graduation earlier this year. In your grad post, you mentioned that you had suppressed your rebellious side which you intend to let out. Why so and how would you describe this upcoming rebellious Nikita?
Haha! I might have been a tad dramatic with that line. But I think people really imagine me to be this little sweet girl that sings about her crush and stuff but I do have a more aggressive side, that loves to dance and whine to Afrobeat and pop…So yeah, that’s more like what I meant for people to understand.
You started singing at a very young age and we literally watched you grow into a star. How would you describe your coming of age journey and what are some of the challenges you faced in the music industry?
Well, being a young person definitely has its disadvantages; people tend to use you and play around with you because they believe you’re naive. However, I’ve had an incredible team around me that have helped me understand everything about the industry so that I’m not left behind. That being said, I have worked with a huge percentage of the greats in the music industry by now, and most of them have an amazing understanding and most importantly respect for my work.
Two Afrimma awards was quite the milestone last year, what was the experience like for you?
It was a beautiful experience, to not only win but to learn from the amazing artists that I met at the time. The experience just proved to me that my work was amazing and worth recognition and so I just have to keep working as hard, or even much harder to get to where I want to be.
What next for Nikita now that you have graduated, full-time music or you intend to pursue other interests?
Definitely full-time music for now. Then early next year, I’m looking to start my own projects to give back to the community through music.
What do you hope your brand represents in the next five years?
Love, Honesty and Hope.
What collaborations can we anticipate from you in the future?
For now, I can’t say. But definitely a few of your favourite Kenyan artists and one or two from West Africa!