Moji Shortbaba: Itakuwa Ngori hit song changed my life
Kenyan gospel musician Moji Shortbaba, born James Muhia, exclusively spoke to Nairobi News about his music journey and how one song in particular, Itakuwa Ngori, which was released seven years ago, changed his life.
The song was by the Kelele Takatifu duo before they pursued solo careers.
“Itakuwa Ngori by Kelele Takatifu opened up doors for me. That was the first song that showed me what a song can do. It got me on a plane to the United States of America, I was all over the country- I was like, I didn’t even know Kenya had certain corners.
I didn’t even know certain churches existed until then. I once found myself in Mt. Elgon in Cheptais invited by the Salvation Army Church. The doors this song opened and the rooms it introduced us to- it was a whole new world,” said Moji.
Moji revealed he always dreamt of being an artist but sometimes hid his dream and lied about wanting to pursue “good sounding careers.”
“I always wanted to be an artists since I was young. [When asked] I just used to say a lawyer so that people wouldn’t be shocked. I didn’t want to shake the system because no one had ever been an artist in my family or village. There was a time for a few months I even used to say astronaut, I think I went with neurosurgeon for a while- I just went with some crazy, good sounding careers, but in my heart of hearts, I knew I wanted to be somewhere in the creative economy. That was all I ever wanted since I was maybe 12 or 13-years-old,” added Moji.
With a music career spanning over 12 years, Moji said he hoped his legacy would be people speaking well of him as an individual outside of appreciating his music.
“I hope that whenever people meet me, they forget about my music, but when they meet me, they are either happy, touched, or inspired.
The music is out there, but the person, when you experience the person, I want people to say, ‘If you knew Moji, he was a really good guy.
He made me feel a certain way’ I think that is the most important thing because I’ve had experiences where I’ve consumed people’s music and craft. Still, when I met them, I could no longer interact with their work because they guy who sings and the physical person did not match,” explained Moji.
“As much as I can make people feel nice- and as a Christian who believes he carries the Spirit of God, which is calm and gentle- it means every room I enter, I will influence it and change the environment and people will not forget that. I want to be the biggest artist this world has ever seen, but mostly, my focus is on the people I interact with.”