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Femi One speaks on low-key dating life, international success of ‘Utawezana’

 “I will publicly share the person I'm seeing only after getting married.” Photo: Courtesy.

Femi One has spoken out on the unprecedented success her 2020 release Utawezana featuring Mejja brought her. Speaking to Radio Maisha’s Mwende and Clemmo on Konnect, the Kaka Empire signee said she was initially hesitant to release the song as it coincided with the onset of the pandemic. Her management, however, convinced her to drop the hit which has received overwhelming support. 

“I knew Utawezana would do well in Kenya but the success in other countries came as a surprise. I have performed in Tanzania and toured Burundi where I released a song with an artist called Natasha. It was a good feeling seeing foreigners embrace me- it proved to me that my previous releases were not in vain as they were preparing me for the success of Utawezana,” she said. 

Femi further lauded Tanzanians for the overwhelming support they accord their musicians. 

READ ALSO: Why the Azziad conversation makes me sad- Femi One finally speaks

“Tanzanians got out of the way to support their music. Kenyan music rarely makes it to the top ten trending songs on YouTube over there. Utawezana was number three on the trending list when released and when I urged my Tanzanian fans to push it to the top, they insisted that number 1 is reserved for their artists.”

Azziad tiff

After releasing the hit which has garnered over 10 million YouTube views, a tiff ensued with some netizens opining that Azziad Nasenya was responsible for the song’s success. According to Femi, she’s never had a sit-down with the social media influencer to discuss the matter.

Utawezana was a success courtesy of the combined effort of myself, Mejja, Ricco Beatz, my management and anyone who partook in the challenge. Whatever happened (with Azziad) happened, I was painted the bad guy but it's okay,” said the Kasarani- raised musician.

Working with Mejja

“I had an idea for a collabo with Mejja and I called my manager Dennis Njenga and he got in contact with him. We got into the studio and finished the song in under two hours. We have worked together in the past and the chemistry is good so we had to do it again.”


 Femi One. Photo: Courtesy.

Femi further asserted that the success of Utawezana has not pressured her to keep up with high expectations, having learned her lesson after releasing Tippy Toe in 2017. 

“After releasing Tippy Toe, I was striving to release a more successful song afterwards. It made me doubt myself because I'd record a song and feel like it wasn’t good enough. During that period, I was very silent as I was looking for a hit song and before I knew it, I hadn’t released a song in a year. Currently, I’m not under pressure and have accepted the fact that some songs do well, others don’t,” she divulged. 

READ ALSO: Femi One's manager defends ‘Utawezana’, responds to Ezekiel Mutua

Nviiri 'pregnancy', dating 

Before the release of Kipetero Kiyesu featuring Nviiri The Storyteller in October 2020, it was rumoured that she was pregnant for the Sol Generation signee. According to Femi, her boss King Kaka started it all. 

“I was shooting a music video and King Kaka was present. We were joking about me being pregnant and he was recording a video without my knowledge. He later shared it on Instagram and I went along with the flow and also posted the video.”

She further said that it’s her dream to get pregnant “but not right now.”

On why she doesn’t publicly share details of her dating life, Femi said that she loves music and doesn’t want other aspects of her life to overshadow her art.

“I will share the person I'm seeing after getting married,” she said. 

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