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Genge’s godfather

By | May 15th 2009

With his third album almost ready, Nonini fondly referred to as Godfather of Genge says this could be the most exciting year for him. He tells all to CAROLINE NYANGA

Pulse: You were once dubbed the most controversial rapper in East Africa, did this affect your career?

Nonini: To be honest I do not understand why I was labelled controversial especially by the media. The fact that I have been bold enough to tackle issues that affect the society —in particular the youth — has been misunderstood. I believe I am being real. Although it affected my career to some extent, I also gained from it.

P: Nyota Ndogo claims to have lost a crucial deal due to the Nibebe collabo she did with you?

N: I cannot comment on that because I do not know what business she was involved in. But then again if she felt that way, I wonder why she opted to work with me.

I want everyone out there to know that I would never change who Nonini is for anyone.

P: Your latest effort, Godfather, is quickly gaining fame in the local music industry what are you doing differently?

N: Actually the album is still in the making. I have just released two singles from it namely Kumbuka and Kadhaa. I am glad that fans and critics out there love and appreciate my songs already. There are more surprises in store for them.

P: How different is it from what other Kenyan artistes has released?

N: The album Godfather (wa Genge) comprises of unique Genge and a few elements of hip-hop. Musyoka of Decimal Media aka Dr Dre wa Kenya and myself have produced it. Unlike the two previous albums, I feature a lot of soul fulfilling music. I plan on releasing it sometime this year.

Nonini, the godfather of Genge music.

P: What inspired the songs?

N: God, sources, music fans, politicians (vile wanatuzungusha nikaa tunacheza salsa). But basically it is the experiences I encountered during my long journey in life and music.

P: What challenges did you face while trying to produce your album?

N: Unlike most producers, working with Musyoka was smooth sailing. He made it look very easy and equally moved faster.

P: How was the reception to your previous albums?

N: My debut album Hanyaring Game and Mwisho ya Mawazo did well locally and abroad. They are still selling briskly and you can easily get them on my website www.noninimusic.com.

P: What made you change your style of music to a more serious one with positive messages?

N: I believe I have always been doing serious music. Only that this album targets a more mature audience, unlike the previous ones that targeted the youth. As the Godfather of Genge, having brought Genge it to the limelight, I have no intention of changing my identity or my style.

P: Critics have suggested that you may have taken a break from music due to dwindling fortunes?

N: Those saying I have taken a break from music are very ignorant and do not seem to know anything about Nonini. Dwindling fortunes? Hahaha! Anyway I’m still in the game and my true fans know that.

P: Do you still perform locally?

N: I don’t have to put my concerts on the papers for peeps to know where I am performing. I believe that is what websites are all about. Anyone who has been going through my site online will know my whereabouts. For your information, I perform within the country and abroad. I just returned from a performance tour in Munich, Germany and Helsinki, Finland. Even last weekend I did various shows in Meru and Maua.

P: Do you think the local media is doing enough to help promote local talent?

N: Although they have improved, I feel more there is still much more to be accomplished.

P: Is it true that you once had beef with P Unit. What is your relationship with them at the moment?

N: That’s media fabricated story.....me and the boys are cool vibaya sana. P-P-uuuuuniiittt!!!!

P: You were listed among the celebs that are not willing to disclose their personal relationships?

N: Well it’s true. After all I believe my private life should remain private. Although Nonini will always be in the media but Hubert Nakitare has his own privacy.

P: What of Silvia — a singer who featured in your video did the two of you have an affair?

N: Like I said private matters are private!

P: With the likes of Musyoka, Wyre and Nameless among others having settled down when are you planning on doing so?

N: When the right time comes. Or should I say nangoja Jah Jah anipe wangu ule hatanisumbua!

P: Is it true you have moved out of Calif-estate?

N: There comes a time when lazima tuambie hood kwaheri but roho ni Calif damu. In other words I did move out. I can’t say where.

P: Tell us more about Pro Herbo records?

N: Pro Herbo Records is an artiste management company/video production company. There is more information on my website.

P: Having been in the music industry long enough what do you think needs to be changed?

N: We as Kenyans need to support our own and be happy for them when they are doing well. In other words tujivunie ngoma zetu. We also need more support from corporates. On the other hand artistes need to be awarded fairly for their efforts since they spend lots of money in making music and videos. This does not mean picking on a few individuals. I think it is time artistes came together in order to start our own local awards.

P: Aside from music what do you do?

N: I work for a television network called Mtaa which has jus dropped (www.mtaatv.com). It is basically an online TV station platform that is set on promoting and showcasing African content and talent.

P: What don’t people know about you?

N: That there is a difference between Nonini and Hubert Nakitare. Nonini is the guy you see on TV and listen to on the radio but Hubert is a very polite God-fearing dude. He loves to cook and hang out with his friends and watch football.

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