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Jua Cali: TikTok has given me confidence to release my latest album

Legendary Kenyan musician Jua Cali has revealed that his newly-released Utu Uzima album took him three years to complete. Speaking during an interview with Nation FM on Friday, May 5, 2023, the rapper said he began working on the album when Covid-19 struck and the entertainment industry had been hit hard by lockdowns.

“Since day one, I made sure I will be an artiste who releases albums. That has always been my goal – to release albums and my audience to listen to me full length. This fifth album was inspired during corona because it was hard for us but since we had a lot of time to think and meditate. I began working on this album. It’s now ready, I’ve released it and guys are loving it,” said Jua Cali.

The album has 16 songs in two chapters. The first chapter was recorded between 2020 and 2021, and the second chapter took off in mid-2022.

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Jua Cali, who is currently on a media tour to promote the album, said the reception to his music is good so far. He also credited his fans on TikTok for taking his music to another level, saying they gave him the confidence to release more music.

“So far so good. I especially big up my fans on TikTok. They have really come through for me because the era I come from, audio has been king before one could even release a video. So TikTok has brought this back. For me, this has given me the confidence to release this album before even shooting videos,” Jua Cali said.

“I am yet to shoot any videos but I have been very confident to release because I know there are platforms where people are just listening to audios. TikTok has really given me strength so a very big up to Kenyans on TikTok. The reception has been amazing,” Jua Cali further explained.

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On TikTok, the song Wajackoyah has been a big hit with his fans. His other hits songs in the album include Habibi, Nipe Mkono and Paradise.

Artistes have been moving away from mainstream media in releasing their music. In addition to TikTok increasing their visibility, artistes have been releasing their music on their monetized YouTube pages as well as audio streaming platforms with global reach.

Jua Cali is among a number of artistes whose music blew up on social media due to frenzied fan love and without extensive promotion by the artistes. Others who’ve experienced this in recent times include Marioo’s Nakupenda, Femi One and Mejja’s Utawezana and Ta ta ta by Bayanni.

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