Tim Rimbui, 37, is a seasoned producer, musician, song writer and sound engineer. He is the brains behind the Ennovator music production agency and record label. He had a chat with Maria Nene
Describe who you are in a nutshell;
I’m a curious and paranoid person. I normally want to find out about my surroundings and several issues but I’m cautious about the way I approach people and matters.
So what have you been up to?
I am currently working on Safaricom’s Twaweza Live Tour. I am one of the two music producers working on the songs produced for the tour and the music business coach. I am also developing a programme and a curriculum to help artistes manage their careers when they aren’t on stage.
How many artistes have you worked with so far?
I have been in the industry for close to 20 years so it is hard to count. However, some of the notable ones would certainly be Eric Wainaina, Phy, Khaligraph, King Kaka, SautiSol, Atemi, Eden Musica, KSouth Flava, Mercy Myra, HHP, Wangechi, Donn J. Recently I worked with Bahati and Mercy Masika.
Give us an audit of the music industry between now and when you began?
At bird’s eye view, the industry has grown by light years compared to when I started around 2000. Artistes are now commanding 6-7 figures for events or endorsements. Multiple incomes have become the norm for established names in the music business.
Mega brands such as Coke, Safaricom, Tuborg and others have included music as one of their key brand and marketing pillars. All these factors point to a large entertainment ecosystem that’s coming together gradually to make the business of music and the creative industry like any other career choice or income generating profession.
I would be safe to say your DNA reads creativity...which is that one project that left you on cloud nine?
Every project is my favourite whether its music, TV, film, web or video game as they all continually remind me how blessed and fortunate I am to still have a profession in the arts, in Africa!
What inspired you to get into music?
I knew music is what I wanted to do from the time that I was 10. I started creating beats when I was in high school. My parents also nurtured me by allowing me to sign up for music programmes and pursuing a musical career. Plus music is what I know and also what I love.
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Apart from music what else do you do?
Recently I set up a production ad agency with a colleague, and a publishing company. My time is split evenly between the music business and these two.
How do you unwind?
I attend lots of events, travel or stay in total silence. In fact silence is the best way for me to refresh my creativity.
Single or taken?
I am married to Wandiri Karimi, a lawyer and we have been blessed with two boys - Rithi, 8 and Heri, 5.
How did you meet your wife?
She was my friend first and then she became my lawyer. She would be the one I would seek out when I had legal issues. Then things progressed and she is now my wife.
You were in a band together, were you already married by then or did you get together after that?
The band was called Ma3 and it was an Afro Pop band. We were with four other guys and it lasted for three years or so. My wife played the acoustic guitar and I played the keyboard. Kato Change was the guitarist, Brian Omondi was the guitarist, Nanjira Sambuli handled the vocals and Isaac Kimetto played the bass. We were already married but we managed to work quite well. The band was successful and we performed with renowned artistes such as Maurice Kirya, Loyiso Bala, Freshly Ground, Kirk Franklin, Atemi Oyungu, and Tusker All Stars among others.
How long have you guys been together?
We got married in 2008. It has been a decade and we make a great team.
What’s the secret to a successful relationship?
I’m not an expert in that topic. I am an easy guy who takes everyday as it comes. I take marriage as normal life and every second is family time.