When it comes to breaking through into the music and arts industry, it’s true that it’s not easy and sometimes you might work hard at something but get put down. The world is cruel.

We do not really care that it took you three sleepless months to write a song. If we don’t like the beat or lyrics, it sucks!

Do not listen to your pals or mother when they talk to you about your music. It is their job to tell you that you are doing great.

Therefore, first, apart from passion, there are two other things you need most when getting into the industry

1)      A good critic/pal honest enough to tell you when your music sucks.

2)      A spine of steel

Face it. When it comes to art, you put your work, together with your heart out there for the world to comment upon- to spit or admire- the world is never kind and hardly anyone will acknowledge the effort it took. If the outcome is whack, we really do not give a shit about your effort.

So here are a few things wannabe artistes should consider if they want to make a breakthrough in the music and entertainment industry. Some of those who are already I can also up their game somewhat.

1.       YOUR SONGS


Please do not make your first song a dedication to haters and how you are going strong and how you are making it high “hata wakichonga!” NOBODY KNOWS YOU! Only people who have made it huge can sing about haters. If your first hit is about haters, it’s pretentious. You have not been inside the industry long enough to make enemies you. So do not give us crap about haters.


It’s all well if you are talented enough to write, play an instrument and sing well. But si lazima you do it all!  If you really cannot write,  invest in a songwriter or a spoken word artist. Heaven knows how great they are with rhymes and all! Just do not merely repeat words in your song in the name of rhyming. If you must write your own music, take classes for heaven’s sake. Some were born with talent- some have to learn it. That is the difference between Kare and Tokelezea.



It is very tempting to just look good in front of the camera and sing with your awesome voice. Many singers have done it. It does not work. There are many pretty faces around. No one will go gaga just because you are sitting pretty in it.


If your video has no dancing (- dancing always sells!)Then invest in a good story. Whether or not you can afford location, and crews and great lighting for your video, invest in the story! I personally enjoy music videos with a story going on. Get someone to write a nice story for your lyrics. Forget about lighting and crews, and fabulous locations! It is the story that counts! Video ya Makmende went viral and they did not have a million dollar crew or equipment.   When you think “video”, think story.

2.       YOUR IMAGE


I think this goes without saying. As far as you can, look good always! You never know when a photographer might want to take a photo of you in the middle of a street. You do not have to wear a million shillings Gucci. Learn from Tyra- the queen of cheap. It is not the price tag. It is your style. Try to have a great sense of style.


They say image is everything! It is what promotes your talent and it counts for a lot if you look sexy and attractive. Just do not post nude photos on the net and think it will propel you to be the greatest in the industry. People are interested in naked female bodies, true; but check out the internet! There are millions of photos of naked women each freaking day. What is so special about yours?

Your nude photos may earn you publicity for sometime but unless your aim is to be a porn star, you had better work on your music! Learn from Nicki Minaj. Chic goes overboard sometimes but she works her ass off (literally :-)) for her music.

3.       YOUR SHOWS

More important than looking good always, perform your best at all shows! Treat every show with respect as though you were being paid millions to perform. Sponsors can be stingy bastards sometimes but do not take out your frustration on stage and do a crappy show to spite them. It will make you lose respect from your fans.

I, for one, used to be an Avril fan. That changed when she came to perform at Kenyatta University during an event sponsored by Orange. First she came on stage looking like she had been called impromptu to sing.

She put up a crappy show, started to sing happy birthday to someone and then stopped midway because the note was too high. Moreover, she was dressed up in faded jeans and a blue sweater! What the fuck!! I have always known Avril as a fashion sensitive sister from her photos in mags. I guess she only dresses up for the huge shows, huh? She lost my respect that day.

Do not do this. Every show, no matter where it is, is a huge show.

sarakasi dancers in action

That said, I hope future artistes show more professionalism and passion likes kina Wahu and Nonini e.t.c.  to take the Kenyan music industry to higher levels.  For wannabe artistes out there, we are always looking forward to new talent. Show us what you’ve got n blow us away!

dedication to you .


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