Chebet Korir @chebetkorir
Kiswahili dancehall sensation Ali Yusuf aka Arrow Bwoy is one artiste who has been consistent since marking his debut in 2017 with the hit, Murder.
He stands out with his golden voice and officially ready to reach even higher and more mainstream heights. In his words, “be your own competition.”
The dancehall star is currently enjoying heavy rotation with his tune, Jango Love, which can be described as one of his best releases this year. He says that he loves singing to what many women can relate to and more so, songs that people can dance to.
“The song basically appreciates the African woman and shows how you can overcome obstacles that may come your way,” he says about the song. With roots from Uganda and Kenya, Arrow Bwoy fuses both cultures to make some spectacular music.
He says: “This specific aspect helps me a lot because the diversity that comes with it means I have two types of audiences, which is really amazing.” He says music has always been his forte and artistes such as Redsan, Chameleone and E-Sir inspire him.
“In 2012 I was part of a group known as Qbic and we released three singles. They were not well received and a few years later I decided to branch out. It did not take me long as King Kaka discovered my talent and I was signed immediately.” says Arrow.
Soon afterwards, songs such as Dodo and Digi Digi were birthed. According to him, a lot of people still believe that being signed to a specific record label limits the artiste’s potential, but it has been a big deal for him.
As his success story continues to flourish, he is prepping to push even more singles this year, but he still feels there is still space to support dancehall music in Kenya. He explains, “Compared to two years ago, the growth of dancehall music in Kenya is definitely on the rise.
But I still feel that we need a few more dancehall giants in Kenya who can sell this product internationally. We are basically thriving off what Redsan and Wyre did years ago, but I think we as artistes should support each other regardless of the genre of music we pursue.”
Collaborations have also played a big part in his career, saying that it has made him grow, as he does the ‘exploration’ with other artistes. “I’d say my collaboration with Sudi Boy was tremendous.
We just met while I was at the barbershop and the rest is history. The song, on the other hand, became a hit that I did not expect.”
Arrow Bwoy alludes that a collaboration with Jamaican dancehall star Dermaco is in the pipeline. He thanks God for his ability to always remain humble despite the numerous obstacles in the music industry.
“I face a lot of struggles, but they’ve made the strong person that I am. At the start, I struggled with music distribution, getting shows and financies to fund my projects, but things eventually worked out and I thank God,” he concludes.