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Meet Collins Irungu aka Ayrosh – fast-rising Afro pop star

Collins Irungu aka Ayrosh is a fast-rising Afro pop star who sings in English and Kikuyu languages. He recently launched his seven-song listening experience EP (mini-album) titled Murasta. Njeri Maina caught up with the trendy music maker

Why do you choose to sing in your native language Kikuyu and English?

I am all for positive ethnicity. I am a proud African and I hope to inspire others to be proud in their culture through my music. It is also a statement in itself; that we want to preserve our African culture. I feel that we can balance both western and local influences.

You can be a westernised man who is also deeply rooted in his African culture. I also believe that music is more about rhythm and vibrations.

For instance, I listen to Oliver Mtukudzi, Ringo and Salif Keita without understanding their respective languages. People also sing and identify with songs such as Sondela without necessarily understanding what it means.

Music is enjoyable and unifying in whatever language it is in. What shapes your music?

I like writing about music that speaks about my time, the experiences and the things happening at this point in my timeline. I would like my music to be an authentic representation of life as it is now.

This is also the reason my music is a cross genre as I am influenced by the different musical landscapes that we have today. I am also influenced by the history I have read and the history I listen to. You have collaborated with Ythera on Love, Respect and Repeat and with Kwame Riigi on Guuku.

How do you settle on whom to collaborate with?

It is largely about musical vibes and how musically compatible we are. Like for the two collaborations, we just decided to team up and work on something. There was really no science or method to it.

What songs from your new EP are you particularly partial to?

It is hard to choose, but I would go with Kirinyaga, an Afro pop song that is simply me talking to myself. There is a part that says ‘Kirinyaga, I would like to stand firm like you’. I also really like Ngutunge, a heartbreak song and of course Got Hitched —a crowd favourite, especially with lovers.

What is your music writing process?

My process is spontaneous. I just sit down with a guitar; strum as I come up with the words. For instance, I came up with the song Kirinyaga while playing the guitar.I was juggling too much and thought that God was the only one who could help me. And then when I had the melody and the words, I took it to DJ Muraa for mastering.

What do you hope people get from listening to the album?

Murasta is a personal project. A big chunk of the album is Afro house and I do pray and hope that anyone who listens to it falls in love. I hope you dance, I hope you fall in love, I hope you fall in love with yourself, with your Africanness. I hope this EP makes you happy in whatever way you interpret happiness.

Where can people get Murasta the EP?

You can order the album on iTunes and on all online platforms. You could also send a direct message to me on @ayroshofficial and for an introductory offer of Sh1,000, I will personally deliver a physical copy.

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