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Vallerie Muthoni Kenyan-American singer-cum-songwriter

How did you coin your alter ego Brown Suga?

Honestly, it wasn’t pre-meditated. It just blew up from my first big break-out song No Chances lyrics ‘Brown Shuga coming for the throne and she taking no chances’ and that line stuck with my fans to the point I just had to adopt the name.

As an artiste, why did you settle in Kenya instead of the US where you were born?

Yes, I’m from South Indiana and I came to Kenya around 2005. My mum wanted us to move here for family reasons and I always loved watching my favourite acts on stage. So, I was low-key gutted, but I had always wanted to do this; come here and do my thing. T

he industry is slowly improving; artistes come here regularly and I love the fluorishing Nairobi art scene. We are on the brink of greatness and it’s a revolution of great music standards being set by East African acts, so I cannot even imagine not being a part of this and I hope my contribution can be felt.

What would you consider your break-out tracks and why?

No Chances and Brown Suga because before that, I would still sing and rap, but when I released those two back-to-back, it caught people’s attention in a nice way and when I dropped the visuals to Brown Suga, it just caught a good buzz where I figured people really liked the attitude and the idea.

How do you stay consistent?

God and hard work can never go wrong. I put in a lot of work and learn a lot behind the scenes. Divine aligning has favoured me too and I’m thankful how things have happened. I have met people in the right places and time feels so wild for me. I’m just grateful to God for keeping me.

What was the inspiration behind your just-released Pisces SZN project?

It’s my zodiac sign and it was my birthday project, so I had to do something special for me last minute. It was just me levelling up and challenging myself. So, I linked up with producer Jaaz Odongo who was all in to work with me.

I went all-versatile on it with the genres and I’m proud of giving people some different stuff they could vibe to. It was all fun and I just got inspiration from all over the place. We had live instrumentation and we are planning a music video for Spicy SZN featuring Ru.by and Taio Tripper, so watch out.

As a female artiste, do you feel pressurised working in a male-dominated industry?

I’m just doing my part and I was prepared for the hardships of the industry. I just work hard and come out fighting not expecting to be spoon-fed because I’m a woman. I was raised well, so my work ethic speaks for itself, but respect is not for bargain.

What happened to your vlogging passion?

Just had to balance a lot of things, but I’m keen on bringing back some visual content and expressing my personality more. Who are your favourite Kenyan acts? Sautisol, MDQ, Blinky Bill, Bahati Bookings, Ru.by, J.Kali (rest in peace), Kahvinya, EA Wave, Karun, Taio, Khaligraph Jones, Daisy Ndede, Steph Mumbi and Mbogua Mbugua Mbugua just to mention a few.

What’s your last word for dream chasers?

Dreams are great, but to turn it to reality you have to do what you love and do it well. Everyone’s time is their time, so trust your own timing and be prepared for the world by educating yourself and be the leader of your future. Just go for it!

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