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SNAPPY 7: Habida – Kenya musicians think they know everything

Singer and song writer Habida is back with a new single and is promising bigger things to come this year. The bubbly singer graced Nairobi News studios for a chat.

1. Tell us about your song Sweet Love? – I recorded the song in London after meeting these new guys with fresh new sound. I recorded the song really long time ago and I wanted to play with the words because as you know I haven’t lived in Kenya for four years. For me it was a fun way to talk about how much you love your country and as you know, my name means love. So I was like Kachumbari na Pilau and Sweet Love came out of it.

2. Why did you decide to open your own studio? – I didn’t want to come back and be another artiste. I have lived in different places in Africa since I have been gone and no one seems to know about Kenyan music. We as musicians we do not cross borders and I know why. So my idea is to come back and not just be another artiste but to uplift where I can and make a difference.

If I can start a studio and invite artistes who do not have a platform to produce their music and yet they have the talent or educate them based on what I have learned. Some Kenyan artists think they know everything. I will only help those who want to be helped.

3. According to you, is writing and singing songs inborn or is it a skill that one can learn? – Back in the day it was inside, but nowadays you can learn it. Nowadays there is an app for everything. That is why I think music doesn’t have substance any more. An artiste can put out a song and after two years we do not listen to the song anymore. I think to have a song that we can listen ten years later that is inequality, but to have a song to listen to in the next five minutes, you can learn that.

4. How has motherhood changed you? – Motherhood has made me want to make the world a better place. You look out and you are like, “Oh my God, my son is going to grow up in this world?” My daughter is in a school where they have no problem with the older students kissing in the school compound. I went to the deputy head teacher and asked about it and he was like, “What is the problem?” So my kids have made me want to fight more and I guess that is what makes me even do what I’m doing – do more for the industry.

5. What is your most embarrassing moment? – I was performing once and my heels got stuck on stage and I couldn’t move. I was supposed to move and I just stood there and the people who were watching were wondering why I didn’t move. For me that was embarrassing!

6. What advice would you give your 21-year old? – Wow! That’s a deep question. If it was someone else it would be easier. Not to compromise and be okay with not failing. I would have told a 21 year old Habida to dream bigger, that is what I would have told myself.

7. What should we expect from you in the future? – A lot. I want, Inshallah to be able to release a song every two months and then release an album at the end and as I have said, open a studio and produce artistes that can cross borders so that when I’m sitting in South Africa I am not the only Kenya artiste with Sauti Sol. I want us to be respected as an industry. That’s what you can expect from me this year.