Bongo star Rich Mavoko was in town, and spoke to Manuel Ntoyai ahead of his NYE Concert
You have publicly declared Kenya as your second home, what intrigues you about it?
Kenya is my second home. I have lived and worked here as an entertainer. The lifestyle, the kindness of the Kenyan people is exceptional. I even enjoy learning and speaking Sheng.
A while back, you were signed to Kaka Empire and after a while, you signed with Wasafi Classic Baby (WCB) Recording Label. Tell us about it.
There are different types of contracts an artiste can sign and what I signed with Kaka Empire was about distribution of my music on certain platforms including ringback tones. On the other hand, the contract with WCB is a recording deal and management of my brand.
What did you learn about Kenyan music and its artistes during your stay?
I have worked with a number of them and given my experience, Kenyan artistes are talented with no doubt. Some of their music is played all over East Africa especially the likes of Bahati, Willy Paul, Mercy Masika and more recently, Nyashinski, whom I am working with in my new album.
Talking of your new album, what went in behind the change of style?
When I started doing bongo fleva music, it as a little different from what it is. The sound was different and when I went bubbling under, I had to take my time and learn a thing about the new trends. When You listen to my new album, you would see how much we have sampled and worked with different sounds, but still with the bongo fleva touch.
How is it working with the artistes signed at WCB, considering that all have tough schedules?
Yes we all have our own schedules for work. For me, It’s all about putting work in the studio, making new music and traveling for performances. It’s almost the same for all the artiste there but the working relations in good and we are like one large family.
A while back, there were rumours that Diamond who is the CEO of the label stopped some of you from releasing your albums. Can you confirm?
That is not true. The thing is, as a label, we have different schedules and priorities for each artiste. When Diamond stated that he wanted to release his album, there was no argument about it, it’s just that he was the first to say so. It could have been me, Rayvanny, Queen Darling or any other artiste.
So I don’t see the big deal about it. For example, most people assume that I have to record with Laizer, the main producer at WCB, but on the other hand we have done a couple of songs with him. The rest I have my own studio where I do most of my stuff.
What lessons have you learnt about music and management?
An artiste has to be his number one manager. You are the person who shapes how your brand is seen and viewed. Then getting the right people behind your brand is important. These are the people who help share the burden of accomplishing desired goals.