If we were to draw a list of celebrities who have had successful marriages in Kenya, Kevin Wyre, a renowned dance and reggae artiste’s would be there. He shares his secret to remaining happily ever after with Shirley Genga
How would you describe yourself in a few words?
I am a nice guy! Anyway, I’d say I am God fearing and music is my life. I’m also non-confrontational.
You have been out of the media eye for a while, what have you been up to?
I decided to take a break from releasing any new music in order to get my creative juices running again. I wanted to try and reinvent my sound. Also I have a production company called Love Child Records, so I have also been producing music for young and upcoming artistes.
Tell us about your new single which is currently creating quite a buzz in the music scene, what was the inspiration behind it?
My new single is called Number. I believe that as a songwriter you should be able to write about different situations.
Looking at the music industry now, how do you think it has changed and how do you manage to remain relevant?
It has changed a lot, the digital age has really changed how we handle distribution, marketing and sale of music. Further, it is also easier for a non-established artist to release and push their music independently with everything from you tube, to reverbnation. The changes are good for the industry. When it comes to remaining relevant: I always try to be a trendsetter when it comes to my sound. My style of music is mainly reggae and dancehall, but I occasionally fuse it with RnB and other genres, and even though I keep reinventing my style to keep up with different seasons, I always make sure that my sound does not change. If you try and jump on what’s already hot, you’ll probably fade away when it dies out.
Do you write and produce your own music?
Yes, I write my music. I also produce most of it, but I occasionally work with other producers to diversify my sound.
When did you get your big break in the Kenyan music scene?
I think I got my break when I got to the opportunity to work with Ted Josiah as my producer. Before I met Ted Josiah and joined Audio Vault, I had really struggled to find a producer that would give me the sound I wanted. It was also a challenge getting airplay back then if your music was not from a recognised production house. A friend of mine named Patrick who was my manager at the time is the one who pushed me to do a record (a demo) and deliver it to Audio Vault. I later on got a call from Tedd Josiah requesting for a meeting. When we met up, he told me that he loved my sound.
We rarely hear about your wife...how have you managed to keep her out of the limelight?
I do not like to talk about my family because I believe that I choose this life and not them, and so they should not have to suffer for it. They deserve to have their privacy. All I will tell you is that we have been married for nine years and she is called Hanifa.
You guys have been married for a while now, how do you keep it fresh and working?
I have come to learn that the best way to make a marriage work is very simple: keeping it real with each other and most importantly have each other’s backs, be each other’s keeper.
Any children so far?
I have a son, he’s seven now. He is a shy boy but loves music like his father. I never ever wanted to be that father who forced his passion on his child, and so I have given my son space to define who he is. He loves music very much and so far he can play the guitar and piano. Having been a father for the last seven years, I can say that it is a humbling experience. There’s no better feeling than when I get home and he runs into my arms. It is what keeps me sane, away from the pressures of the entertainment industry. He really adores me and I will do everything in my power to keep being his hero.
What legacy do you hope to leave behind for your kids?
I would like them to live knowing that their father has never compromised in being the best in what he does.
The craziest thing a fan ever did....
There’s once I got too close to the crowd while performing and some ladies tried to pull my trousers off. Luckily, security intervened and pulled me back. That was an experience!
An independent and modern wife or a traditional wife….
I will definitely go for an independent and modern wife. We all have our dreams and ambitions as individuals and everyone should get a chance to live out their dreams. It’s not good to limit one’s potential.
What would you say is your most annoying quality?
I am a workaholic when it comes to my music. I tend to block out everything else when I am working on music. However, as I have gotten older I have had to learn how to balance things out so that I am able to spend time with my family and to also do other things.
The craziest rumour about yourself …….
That I am not Kenyan! I have come to learn that as long as you are in the public eye, ridiculous stories will always come out, and the best way to deal with it is learning not to take things personally.
Best Wyre quality...
I am patient and tolerant; you have to really push me to make me lose my cool.
You also seem to have avoided the trappings of the ‘dad bod’ that most men seem to struggle with when they get married and have kids, what is your secret?
I hit the gym quite frequently and also try to eat healthy. Also, I am quite energetic on stage, so the cardio does me good.
What one thing don’t a lot of people know about you?
I eat a lot, but I don’t know where all the food goes!