It is no surprise that H_art the band got a special request to entertain Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o last year when she toured the country. The rising stars have been dominating airwaves with hits like “Uliza Kiatu” and “Nikikutazama” among others.
Two years after the trio Kenneth Mwini Kimeu alias Kenchez, Wachira Gatama aka Shira and Mordecai Muya ‘Dex’ Mukhwana formed the group, they are showing no signs of going slow when it comes to making a mark in the Kenyan music scene, with their new album expected to be ready later this year.
They took time off their busy schedule to speak to Daily Nation.
Q: Is it really true that you guys actually bought your colleague a guitar worth more than Sh300, 000 as a birthday gift?
A: Yes it is true! And to us it is not expensive as actually it was a way of investing in our career where we have started acquiring some musical instruments. This should not be a surprise as many more are on the way.
A few weeks ago you were involved in a grizzly accident. What happened?
A: We thank God that we came out unscathed because it wasn’t a pretty site. It was around 6.00am and we were dropping some of our band members from rehearsals in preparation for the for the Shoe_ Kran show.
While on Jogoo road we rammed into a matatu but thankfully none of us got injured.
There are some people who feel like this band’s formation was in response to Sauti Sol’s success, with others arguing that copying being a Kenyan thing, you had to do this because you were seeing them benefiting out of music. What do you have to say about that?
Wow! That’s surprising. Actually we love what Sauti Sol is doing as they are setting a path for us and other upcoming music bands. But on the same note we believe we are different from Sauti Sol in many ways and we don’t think it is necessary to compare us with them, as what they are giving to the fans is totally different from ours.
What inspires you to sort of come up with these special lyrics and video for your songs?
It has to do everything with our backgrounds, having been raised in some of the hardest estates in Nairobi’s Eastlands. For instance Mordecai was raised in Dandora, Kenchez grew up in Eastleigh, while Shira was brought up in Kayole. This tough life has hardened and given us a sense of this third eye that enables us to spot things that not many people can identify and write about.
Apart from that, we also are very strict when it comes to composing and executing our work in that we don’t settle for less. When recording a song and a video it has to come out the way we have visualised it.
Has this group ever faced the challenge whereby one member feels like he’s putting so much into the group compared to others?
Not at all! First of all the three of us have a past and when we met we didn’t have the skills we have now. It is through our coming together as a band that we have been able to complement each other and discover our talents. We bring out the best work as a unit.