What was your upbringing like?
I grew up in a family full of life, laughter, music, food and love. My dad is the coolest. He has a great sense of humour and is a lover of life. My mum is more laid-back and is the strongest woman I know. I am the second of four children; I also have an older stepbrother. I am named after my great-great-grandmother, who became wealthy through her music from the 1860s to the 1940s. Although we were born and raised in Nairobi, my parents ensured that we visited our home village, Kisumu, during every school holiday so we could learn our roots and culture. I come from the Luo tribe which is one of the 42 tribes of Kenya.
What drives your creativity?
Everything about life drives my creative flow - the food, the weather, the colours, energy, fashion, music, fine wine, all forms of art, culture, mood... the list is endless.
Are there differences in your creative process – your songwriting versus your fashion design?
A true Afropolitan spirit, the Kenyan indie artist and fashion designer embraces all that life has to offer and expresses herself creatively in multiple ways.
It is similar but different. I am a self-taught creative. With music, I write the story and then lay down vocals immediately. If I do not lay vocals, I forget the flow and have to start again because I do not read or write music but I can sing it. With the fashion design process, since I do not have enough technical knowledge in fashion, I create in my mind and then translate that for my tailors to implement. Quality, style, silhouette and commercial viability are important to me.
What do you identify as creatively?
I am a multifaceted creative entrepreneur and in everything I do I seek to fulfil my soul and provide value to the soul next door. This is through music, fashion, my Fashion Lab Africa platform, which helps develop fashion businesses across Africa, and my Lipstick Skirts Heels and Wine, which is about facilitating the experience of wine.
How do you maintain balance and harmony?
I live my life to the fullest. I love, I laugh, I pray, I hang upside down, breathe when I feel overwhelmed, drink good wine and eat good food. I stay away from mediocrity and I am comfortable in my own skin - definitely exempt from #FOMO.
What is KenSoul?
I dub my sound KenSoul. I realised very early that it would be difficult to categorise my sound because of my diverse influences however, at the core, it is of my Kenyan soul, my KenSoul.
Why eight years between your debut album, KenSoul, and the 2018 KenSoul: The Lotus Chapter?
Life happens and, when it does, I do not mess with the process. Plus, I was caught up in the fashion side of my business and it can be hard maintaining both music and fashion at a high level because of the intensity of both. That said, I try not to measure time by the clock but rather by the moments created.
What do you still want to do?
I would like to become a global creative force, inspire millions of people, change lives through transforming and elevating minds and the way people think. The mind is the most powerful tool we all have that will either allow us to create the change we want to see or that will cripple us humankind.
What is your mission in life?
My mission is to be the change I want to see through integrity, positive thinking, responsibility, humility, transparency, fearlessness, empowering Africa, ubuntu, community development, and originality and authenticity.
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