Tell us a little bit about the background of Sage, your childhood, how did you get into music; did you go to a music school or is it, self taught?
Well, I was born Barbara Ng’eno and I am number 8 of ten siblings. I started singing in church when I was about 5 years old. I had my first formal piano lesson when I was 9. I started writing music when I was 11 years old due to the death of my father and my inability to express it any other way. I grew up listening to a lot of contemporary gospel music and of course my dad’s favorites; LadySmith Black Mambazo, Classical music and Choir music. I always wanted to be an orchestra conductor but after high school I ended up meeting my producer and we have been making music ever since. I have played in quite a number of bands. The most notable one was my first band gig as a keyboard player and backing vocalist to Muthoni Drummer Queen aka MDQ. I also play the guitar (self taught) and in the process of learning how to better play the bass guitar.
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.
We call our sound Rhythmic soul because it has largely elements of RnB and Neo Soul but to be honest its pretty much a mix of a lot of things. The only technique I have is being 100% myself. My creative process is a very spontaneous one that is triggered by just about anything. I get inspired by a lot of things. I could be walking down the street and a song comes to mind and I have to record it on my phone. However in studio it varies between music I compose from home and tracks that my producer makes that he feels I could like. He is always right.
What are you artistic influences; artists, sculptors, designers or just people who inspire your music?
All people in the arts industry inspire me. Expressing yourself in a world that constantly demands for uniformity is a challenge but these brave souls do it any way. I also am inspired by life. Its complexity and simplicity make for a good story any day.
What challenges have you endured during your artistic journey, especially as a female artist?
I think most of the challenges have been related to people not accepting that music is an actual job. People in and out of the industry do not respect the business of music. Musicians themselves do not treat the business side of music like a business.
If you had to change one thing in the Kenyan music industry what would that be?
I would change absolutely nothing. We are in a good place and in a time of musical revolution for the better so I just want to see the process in patience.
If you had a chance for an international work collaboration, who would it be and why?
The answer changes constantly but currently Chronixx. I have been listening to his latest album and I like his vibe. He is very authentic to himself which I like.
Do you have a favorite musical piece, your crown jewel?
If you were not doing music what you would be doing?
I always used to think I could never live without being in music ( okay maybe it’s true) but I am a science nerd. I would probably be an astrophysicist or some inventor or something. I would also maybe be in animation or film.
Where do you see Sage in the next 10 years?
I see myself happy and satisfied with the strides my music career has taken. I will probably be fulfilling a new path.
Word of advice to aspiring female artists?
Always be confident in yourself and do everything to excellence as a human being not just a female human being. Treat your music how you want people to treat your music.
Where can people buy your music/concert tickets/ or which clubs do you play in?
My music is available on iTunes, Waabeh, Spotify, Google Play, Amazon, BoomPlayer and Deezer.