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EXCLUSIVE: Kenyan rapper King Kerby speaks on “abandoning” Nairobi for Cape Town

Kenyan rap maven and entrepreneur King Kerby has in an exclusive interview revealed the secrets behind his highly anticipated album, ‘Saba.’

The artiste, known for his distinctive sound and thoughtful lyricism, shared insights into his decision to record the album in Cape Town, his unique approach to songwriting, and the groundbreaking production elements that set ‘Saba’ apart from the rest.

Kerby’s decision to record ‘Saba’ outside Nairobi stemmed from a desire to elevate his music to new heights. He explained, “I chose to record the album in Cape Town because I found a producer who had the sound, style, and quality of music that I wanted to make. I had outgrown my current environment and wanted to push myself as a songwriter.” It was a strategic move to break free from the limitations he faced in Nairobi, allowing him to explore uncharted territories in his musical journey.

The rapper expressed a desire to collaborate with different videographers who could capture his artistic expression.

What truly sets King Kerby apart from other Kenyan rappers is his dedication to being a thoughtful songwriter. “I get bored writing generic club bangers or talking about women twerking,” he told Nairobi News. “What makes me stand out is I’m more than just a rapper; I like to be melodic and to stack my vocals harmoniously.”

The album ‘Saba’ promises to be a game-changer, delving into a world of self-discovery, self-actualization, and self-care in a way that hasn’t been seen before in Kenyan music. Kerby teased the technical prowess of the album, incorporating production elements rarely used in the country. “There is a wide range of styles, melodic drill, Afro-pop, even reggae,” he revealed. The surprise element is heightened by the inclusion of featured artistes Ta Eish and O’Hara, who bring vocal dexterity, clever songwriting, and smooth delivery, complementing Kerby’s eclectic sound.

One of the keys to the album’s success lies in the collaboration with Nasty C’s producer, Zino D. Kerby emphasized that Zino D is not just a commissioned worker but a genuine fan of his music.

“Working with ‘Nasty C’s producer Zino D who is a fan of my music and not just a guy commissioned to do work, shooting videos with the same teams that have worked with Nasty C, Bien, Uncle Waffles among others is what truly makes this the mark of my superstar era,” said the rapper.

King Kerby released his third studio album ‘Saba’ in December 2023, having been recorded in Cape Town, and partially in Nairobi.

King Kerby’s other solo studio offerings include 2016’s ‘Metro Empathy’ and 2018’s ‘Mapenzi Sio Dini’.

Hailing from the same peninsula as one of Kenya’s most refined artistes, E-Sir, in Nairobi’s South C area, Kerby’s lyricism and wordsmithery interweave in effortless fashion having to feel this strong sense of alignment with his purpose of making music.

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