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Masauti: I was discovered by a blind producer

By Sinda Matiko September 20th, 2023 2 min read

Many legendary musicians throughout history have been discovered in the most unconventional places.

Toni Braxton, the R&B icon known for her sultry vocals, was famously discovered at a gas station.

Pumping gas one fateful day, she was approached by songwriter William Petty, who recognized her talent from local talent showcases and invited her to record a demo at his studio. Braxton, still unknown at the time, would go on to achieve global fame.

Adding his name to this list of unorthodox discoveries is Masauti, a Mombasa-born artist who attributes his musical journey to a blind producer with a keen ear for talent.

Also read: Masauti: I dropped out of school because I wasn’t smart

Masauti shared the remarkable story of how he was discovered by Ian Michapo, a producer who couldn’t see with his eyes but possessed an extraordinary ability to recognise unique vocal talent.

Masauti recounted, “There is this producer by the name Ian Michapo; he owned a studio in Mombasa. I used to go there daily for rehearsals. I loved music but couldn’t sing, so he used to give me tracks from different artists to rehearse with, hoping to improve my vocals.”

He added, “I was always the first person in the studio, and Ian, who is actually blind, would come later. Every time he arrived, he made a habit of standing outside the studio to listen to me rehearse.”

Masauti reminisced, “I didn’t realize he was doing this until one day during my practice, I heard him shout, ‘Nakuskia mzee, masauti hayo yanaanza kukua hivyo. (“I hear you, man, those vocals are starting to grow like that)’.”

He noted, ” And, that is how Masauti [the brand name and artiste] came to be.”

For Masauti, Michapo’s unexpected mentorship was the turning point in his career. He credits the blind producer for giving him hope and shaping him into the skilled musician he is today.

“He was patient with me,” Masauti emphasized, “It was a friend who noticed my love for music and introduced me to him. I wanted to be a singer, but I couldn’t sing. Ian is the one who nurtured me.”

Also read: Popular singer Joyce wa Mama nearly goes blind after an attack in a club