We the 90’s kids listened to him at a time when Kenyan music and lyrics were the in thing. The music industry has definitely evolved over the years but he still remains inexplicably relevant. He is the King of Genge, the Legend himself Juacali and he tells it all to @amos_njeru and @victormatara
welcome to KU, we have been expecting you. How many years in the industry so far?
Juacali: Since 1999..you are the students, you do the math in like 2 seconds.
Amos: 16 years and still strong.
Juacali: 1999 where were you guys? In class 2?
Amos: (laughs) 1999 I was joining nursery school
Victor: I was two years old (all laugh)
Amos: we have seen various artists who have come and gone over the years. What is different about you? What has kept you outstanding?
Juacali: I used to go for interviews and tell people that I love music. The only way I could prove that statement was to remain in the industry. I am not driven by fame or money but by passion because I love what I do.
Victor: In life we all have those people who inspire us to do things. Who inspired you to do music?
Juacali: my musical journey has been quite different because when I was a kid I naturally loved listening to lyrics. I was interested in what an artist had to say so I really can’t pick out one person who inspired me. I remember I had these LP’s with Bob Marleyand Stevie Wonder lyrics. I used to not only listen but read along the lyrics as well. Like 2pac used to be very emotional and I liked him for that. Notorious big was very lyrical,that was his strong point Redman was very funny and I picked strong points from different people.
Amos: So everyone contributed to you coming up with genge
Juacali: Totally. Even reggae. Big up to all reggae fans!
Amos: Are you still in Calif?
Juacali: (laughs) you have to Google that
Amos: (laughs) not the studio, the hood.
Juacali: oh yeah the hood. Not really, I moved from Calif a long time ago. You know something about big fish in a small pond. It reaches a point when you grow you have to move. However, that is where my heart is. I was born and bred there so I really cannot forget Calif. My music still has the same feel and same stories.
Amos: Is most of your music inspired by stories from Calif?
Amos: How was your life growing up in Calif? There is verse ‘ naandika hii verse ka niko njaa’ was that true?
Juacali: very true. I remember that day it was around 2:00 pm and we were very hungry in the studio. I think the hunger inspired me. The moment I wrote the first line the rest just came flowing. Most of my songs are inspired by my life in Calif you know, Calif is like any other hood like climbing trees and playing shake.
Amos: When you started out, did you get support from other people; say your parents and other people from your hood?
Juacali: absolutely. I believe that if it were not for the support I got I wouldn’t be where I am today. That is why whenever I go for interviews I try and convince music producers, presenters and the like to support upcoming artists because that support is what kept me going. I am especially grateful to Clemo’s parents who gave us their living room to use as a studio. That was a great sacrifice and we could not let them down we just had to deliver.
To be continued…
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