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How Do you wish to inspire young people with your music?

What is your musical background ?

I would say that I have an eclectic musical background. It stems from my Kenyan background. My father, Ken Kibagendi sings, and I inherited my musicianship from him. Growing up, my parents had my brother and I listen to a variety of music. From the African styles of Yondo Sister, Soukous Stars, The Mushrooms and Franco, I learned a lot about my culture musically at an early age. The sounds of the greats like Stevie Wonder, Luther Vandross and Whitney Houston were also played in our household. I started singing gospel music in church starting at the age of three and now I have a love for singing and writing meaning music.

Why did you decide to become a singer and why?

I wouldn’t say I chose to become a singer. In Jeremiah 1:5 God says, “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born, I set you apart and appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” God made me this way and I know that my purpose is to educate and inspire through song. I am very blessed and highly favored.

I wish to inspire young people to STAY TRUE TO THEMSELVES with my music. I was always the outcast trying to fit in societies norms or what others around me deemed as “cool” that I lost sight of who God truly called me to be. I want to inspire young people to keep pushing forward even when they face adversity. Being a young person who is different from everyone else is hard, but if you surround yourself with likeminded people who love you for all of your differences and genuinely support you, you will be able to make it through. I write all my music from my personal experiences and experiences that my loved ones have gone through as well. Life is truly a rollercoaster and I found that when you are true to yourself and life comfortably in your truth and have made peace with everything you have every experienced and conquered, then no one can stop you. God has you covered through it all. Trust and believe in him. Give it all to him from JUMP. I learned the hard way and don’t want anyone else to follow that same path. If the content in my songs can help people, young and old make better choices in their lives then I have truly used the gift God blessed me with for the greater good.

"God has you covered through it all"

What are the main inspirations for the lyrics you write?

The main inspirations for the lyrics I write are the life experiences I have gone through or experiences my loved ones have went through. Some of these experiences I talk about in my songs are in regard to my battles with depression and heartbreak and the feeling of victory when you overcome these battles. We need to talk about mental health especially in our communities. We need to reach people through song again. Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu and India Arie are the three women that inspired me to finally talk about my truth and not be ashamed about it. Jhene Aiko and Janelle Monae are my newer inspirations as well. Women who live in their truth and share them with us wholeheartedly. I am still learning to do the same.

How does music make you feel?

My music makes me feel free. Music is my happy place. So many things happen in my life at the same time and sometimes it can be overbearing and overwhelming. But when I sing, it heals me. My music heals me. Getting on a mic and just giving my all when I sing, makes me feel so good. I just want others to feel the same way.

What is your favorite song that is not your own?

I have so many favorite songs but if I could choose two songs that I can listen to over and over again that have such a wonderful message they would be Everything Must Go and Spotless Mind. Both songs are by Jhene Aiko. These songs speak heavily to me because of the positive affirmations Jhene wrote. Listen to them for yourself.

Who gave you the support in the beginning? Who did you play your early songs for?

My mother. She is my rock; she is my everything and her love and support has brought me where I need to be. What made me so happy was how involved she was with all of my musical endeavors throughout my whole life. I genuinely didn't care if she was not at my sports events but her presence at all of my concerts, musicals and shows meant so much to me. She inquires a lot about the music I make. Her questions and her genuine interest in what I'm doing make me work harder. It makes me consider new things. I have to give credit to my best friends Ricquel, Trenaye, Nykia and Dominique. I would send them my early songs, and they would give me their honest opinions. I love those women so much. They were never afraid to keep it real with me and that's what creatives need. REAL ONES in their corner.

I’ve performed at so many places to name them all. From open mics in New Jersey, New York and PA. You just have to stay tuned to see where else I’ll be.

What shows have you performed at?

What job do you think you would be doing know if you didn't have your music career?

I cannot imagine my life without music, so it is very hard to answer this question. I have learned that the tongue is a deal maker or deal breaker. Speaking is an art, and you must always watch your words and guard your heart. I am educating people on always being true to themselves. I was born to have a music career.

If you were to give someone advice on life or how to start song writing what would you day?

SPEAK YOUR WHOLE TRUTH. Don’t hold back. Just keep going and FORGET ABOUT WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT YOU. The way others feel about you is NOT YOUR PROBLEM. Keep living your life to the fullest.

How old were you when you wrote your first song?

My poems have become songs. So, I would like to say when I was 8. It was probably about being bullied in school or about always being happy no matter what people said about me because my mother said character counts. Something along those lines.

What is your recent song and what inspired you to write it?

I will be releasing new music soon . Life inspired it.

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