Wilson the Rapper talks about his quest to educate the masses with contemporary hip-hop

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Tell us a little bit about your background, your childhood, how did you get into music; did you go to a music school or is it, self taught?

My background has completely no connection to my music life. None of my relatives was a musician or was in any way connected to the music scene. In fact, when I shared the idea of music with my parents I was quickly turned down as they regarded it as a waste of time. Since primary I’ve always had a keen interest in music despite my parents’ views. I remember when teachers used to miss classes, I’d write some lyrics during that free time and with the help of my friend who would drum the desks, we’d entertain the class at break time. This however got me into trouble mostly as I always appeared in the noise makers’ list if I sang during class time. I carried on with this trend to high school and gathered a huge fan base. I performed during talent days and also got into the school choir for the music festivals. Basing on the facts above, it is inferred that music is self-taught.

What kind of music do you do, is it abstract, or what is it? Do you have a specific design 0r technique associated with your brand? Tell us about your creative process.

I have majored in Hip-Hop and rap music. The technique used in my music is basically plain wordplay. I aim to be as original as I can that is why I shunned trap music and using English in my songs as that is promoting the American culture, which most artists are currently doing. I use Kiswahili as a way of promoting my culture.

My creative process is quite simple, since I write contemporary music, I look at current issues e.g. corruption then write a song addressing it. This way I’m kept on my toes to know what is happening around me hence avoiding regurgitation.

What are you artistic influences; artists, sculptors, designers or just people who inspire your music?

2pac as an artist has a huge influence in the kind of music I do. Apart from entertainment he was also a voice of the ghetto child. He spoke of the world as he saw it without fear, exposing all injustices to his people. He also spoke of black empowerment, gender equality, race equality and justice. He was an advocate for change and world peace, and that’s where I’m aiming at.

What challenges have you endured during your artistic journey, especially as a Kenyan artist?

 The main challenge I’ve faced is preference of the opposite gender. Whenever I apply for record labels and other opportunities, I’m usually left out despite bringing something different to the table. Most record labels usually take singers, in most cases female singers, and for the ones that include rappers, contemporary rappers like me are left out.

The same case applies in gigs and performances. There is a prioritization of entertainment to education, and we can’t achieve change with entertainment, we have to have voices like me to educate the masses. Also, event organizers and other media companies prefer already famous musicians to underground musicians. This makes it very difficult for an aspiring rapper like me to grow.

If you had to change one thing in the Kenyan music industry what would that be?

Lack of originality.

We lack an authentic sound, and that is mainly contributed to imitating American and to some extent Nigerian culture. We need something authentic, and that can begin first of by singing in Kiswahili or ones vernacular language.

If you had a chance for an international work collaboration, who would it be and why?

Wizkid -The first reason is that he is African, and as an African I’m so proud of my continent and all that comes with it. The second reason is that he has a unique sound, he has not dropped his Nigerian culture, what he has done is fuse it with the American culture. As artists that is what we should do, rather than imitating let’s fuse our culture with other cultures.

Do you have a favorite musical piece, your crown jewel?

I have a song titled ‘I Have A Dream’ which is a motivational song as well as an educative piece as it tackles poor governance.

If you were not doing music what you would be doing?

I’m currently a law student, so if I’m not doing music I’m studying.

Where do you see Wilson in the next 10 years?

Having a couple of international collabos.

Word of advice to aspiring female artists?

Be original. Just because you are female doesn’t mean you can’t venture into reggae or rap. Try out different genres.

Where can people buy your music/concert tickets/ or which clubs do you play in?

Since I’m currently studying, I was currently looking for a team, because I work alone at the moment. After a team is set up, then we can start planning on albums and concerts.

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