Thursday, October 22, 2009

Hubert Nakitare (NONINI)


NAME: Hubert Nakitare
BIRTHDAY: October 1, 1982
JOB: Artist
GENRE: Genge
RECORD LABEL: Pro Habo Entertainment/Decimal Media/Homeboyz

BASE: Nairobi, Kenya


Nonini is a Kenyan hip hop artist originally signed to Calif Records, but later joined Homeboyz Productions where he produced a couple of his hit songs. He is currently working on several recording houses with Pro Habo music being his base. He was introduced to the Kenyan urban music scene through his debut single "Nonini ni Nani?" His steady rise to national and regional popularity did not begin however until his 2002 track "Manzi wa Nairobi," a song which praised the beauty of Kenyan women and follow-up single "Weh Kamu". He went on to release his debut album Hanyaring Game in late 2004 which included the hit "Keroro" a sheng term for beer.
Later, Nani Mwenza, his collaboration track with Tanzanian musician Juma Nature, became a regional hit. In his most recent great creations, he has collaborated with local artist Nameless to create a Friday anthem appropriately title "furahi-day" which has received much airplay over the weeks. Both songs were on his second album Mwisho Ya Mawazo, released in 2007. The album featured number of more guest musicians, including Nyota Ndogo, Mercy Myra, Professor Jay and Q-Chief.

Awards, Recognitions & Highlights

  • In August 2007, Nonini was among 100 most influential Kenyans as selected by The Standard newspaper.
  • Nonini won the best music video category at the Chaguo La Teeniez Awards in 2008 for his video "Mtoto Mzuri".
  • At the 2007 Kisima Music Awards P-Unit won the Boomba Group category. For Nonini, it was the first time he won a Kisima Award, despite being on the limelight for years. Their second single is known as Kushoto-Kulia; meaning left-right. Both songs are on Nonini's Mwisho ya Mawazo album.
  • P-Unit won the best group category at the Chaguo La Teeniez Awards in 2007 and 2008.
  • The group was nominated for the inaugural (2008) MTV Africa Music Awards.
  • At the 2008 Kisima Music Awards P-Unit won the Boomba Group category, as well as together with DNA the Best Collaboration category for the song "Una".


He recently started up a whole new crew known as the P-Unit (pro-habo unit) that consists of rappers Bonnie, Frasha, Gabu and himself. The crew has released some songs most notably "Si lazima" which in swahili means it's not a must. "Si lazima" is a song that talks of times in a relationship where a couple doesn't need to have sex they can just go home and chill. People have found the song quite ironic to the messages he portrayed in his previous songs. He has recently produced a number of songs including ‘Kumbuka ft. Lady B’ and ‘Kadhaa’ which have all topped the music charts in Kenya.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Robert Kamanzi (Rkay)


NAME: Robert Kamanzi
JOB: Music Producer/Artist
GENRE: Gospel/Afro-beat
RECORD LABEL: Moja Entertainment Ltd.

BASE: Nairobi, Kenya

ROBERT “RKAY” KAMANZI is a Burundian native, a singer, songwriter, performer, studio engineer, music producer, record label owner and a business man. “Music has always been part of my life” he proudly adds. An entertainer from an early age, He entertained class mates in school and lead a dance group in high school. He started making music professionally in 1998 when he moved to Nairobi. In 1999 He realised his passion for music when he got a job at Nextlevel studios where he gained a lot more experience in production, working with artists such as the late Poxi Presha, Nairobi City Ensemble, Talma, Jomenes Boys na Band and many more. "I have worked in various studios in Nairobi such as Homeboyz Studios, Ketebul Productions, SoundMinds Studio and Nextlevel Studios". In 2001, together with his best friend Mbuvi, they started a gospel record label mainly signing gospel musicians called ShammahBoyMusic, and produced artists such as Roughtone, Henrie Mutuku, Jogg-c and many more. 

Awards, Recognitions & Highlights
  • In 2003 he produced Kora Award nominees Jemmimah Thiong’o with her hit song Mwenye Baraka (Akisema Atakubariki) from her best selling album in kenya, and Esther Wahome with her hit song Kuna dawa.
  •  He has produced over 60 albums to date and hundreds of singles for various musicians besides his 2 solo albums.
  • He is the co-founder and MD of Moja Entertainment Limited, the founder and CEO Ingoma.Inc label and the producer at the new MingiLove Studio a division of Moja entertainment Ltd.
  • Robert is the current winner of the INTERNATIONAL YOUNG MUSIC ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR 08 AWARD held in London in June 08.
  • He is also Producer of the year 07 and 08 at both Groove Awards and Kisima Awards.
  • He is the producer behind MTV MAMA Award winning song ‘Sunshine’ sang by Nameless featuring Habida.
He wrote and arranged music for various groups including his own group Shammah who brought to you the hit song "Ukilya Moko" that went on to become the first religious song to receive massive airplay on secular stations.
He has also worked with the great Oliver ‘Tuku” Mtukudzi as well as various artists from East and central Africa such as Nameless with his new hit single Nasinzia, Mr. Lenny, Prezzo, Sema, Deux Vultures, Xyzee, Sarah Kiarie, Mwana FA, crazy GK, Proffesor J, Lady Jaydee, Bobby Wine, Nazizi, Wyre, Owiyo, Ambassada with his hit song Watoto Inkane, Iddi Achieng, Richard Kawesa, Gospel fathers, Sana, Kidum, Redsan, Renee Lamira and Africa based Denise Gordon from New York. In 2000 he released his debut album SOLUTION mostly sung in Kirundi and Kinyarwanda and became a big hit in the Great Lakes region. His latest album is said to be a revolution in the gospel music industry around East Africa.
Some of his works have gained recognition around the continent and many being appreciated around the world.

Paul Nunda (JuaCali)

NAME: Paul Nunda
AGE: 29
BIRTHDAY: 12th September 1979
SIGN: Sagittarius
BIRTH PLACE: Nairobi, Kenya
JOB: Artist
GENRE: Genge
RECORD LABEL: Calif Records
BASE: Nairobi, Kenya


The humble and down to earth Paul Nunda was born on 12th September 1979. He was raised in California estate that is in Eastland area, Nairobi. Though he was not seriously involved in music, he started rapping when he was still a student at Jamhuri High School. After his O levels in1998, he got actively involved in music. After seeing how progressive it would be to uplift music in Kenya, which was yet to be fully appreciated, he hooked up with his childhood friend Clement Clemo Rapudo to start Calif Records in the year 2000.

Awards / Recognitions

  • MOBO Awards (2007) - 'African song of the Year 2007'
  • Kisima Awards (2005) - 'Artist of the Year' 'Song of the Year' for Kamata Dame'
  • Chaguo Le Teenies Awards (Various since 2004)

Initially, he was a producer alongside Clemo. They looked for artists who had the potential to make it in music but all was in vain. Nobody thought it could be a successful project and so very few people were interested. It was then that pressure from Clemo and a few friends forced him to pick up the microphone, and so in early 2001, Juacali the artist was born. With the studio being in California estate, started by youths from the same estate, Juacali simply means Discover California estate. By then, the estate was not known much to be in existence but the studio has clearly changed that. He released his first song Ruka, a dedication to Calif Records. Although, local Music at the time was poorly received, the song managed to top the local charts.

In 2003 he did a collabo with other artists such as CMB Prezzo e.t.c. to do the hit song vile tafanya. In the early 2004, the genge hardcore rapper released his third single,Nikipotea tena, which again become a major hit. This was a major opening in his career as a rapper as shows started flowing in and everywhere he went everyone would praise him for the unique-ness in his talent. He led in all charts and his name stuck in the hearts of his fans that were increasing everyday. In mid 2004, he was featured by Flexx in the hit Nyundo, which was nominated for several awards such as Kisima awards, Chaguo la teenies e.t.c. Later that year he hooked up with Pilipili to do a hit party joint Kamata dame. The song drove fans crazy and led the charts locally and even gave a few shows abroad e.g. Genge tour in 12 US states, London, Dubai e.t.c. It became a big boost to the artists and the studio in general. Up to date, it plays in every route matatu, media and no club session can end without it being played. It also won several awards in 2005.

After the “Kumikumi” incident that took place in Ukambani where several people died of taking too much of the illicit brew, he got creative to educate people and in the mid 2005, he released one of his hottest songs to date Kiasi alongside Sanita, an upcoming lady singer and songwriter. He also released, JUACALISEKTA the mini album in the same year. In the early 2006, he performed in London alongside Pilipili and came back to release his current hit song Bidii yangu featuring Mahatma which is still very popular. Respected for his humble and down to earth attitude, Juacali has inspired many and is aiming higher every minute. Besides helping many upcoming recording artists, he has now released JUACALISEKTA the full album and was set to release NGELI YA GENGE the album early 2007. He has also introduced JUACALI COLLECTION clothing line which produces t-shirts and other attires for sale. With such achievements, we arguably state that Juacali is the king of genge. He later on released the single "Kwaheri" featuring Sanaipei Tande (formerly of the Coca Cola Popstars group SEMA) which can arguably be said to be his greatest hit so far in his career. The song which is a mix of Taarab music from the East Africa coast with genge was initially regetted by FM station in Kenya but they were later forced to play it due to overwhelming demand from listeners and became the biggest hit song in Kenya in 2007.

Due to the massive success of "Kwaheri" Jua Cali's schedule has been pack with him receveing a nomination from the annual MOBO awards in the UK from 'African song of the Year 2007', performing in several concerts in the USA and UK plus a major endorsment by the Motorola mobile phone company and most recently performing at the Karibu and Kwaheri concerts in the USA.

Stella Mwangi (STL)

NAME: Stella Mwangi
GENDER: Female
BIRTHDATE: September 1986
JOB: Artist
BASE: Norway

Born in September 1986, Stella Mwangi aka STL realized her potential in music at the age of Six. Her interest in music resulted from racial discrimination she was subjected to following her family's move from Kenya to Norway in 1991. Music made her feel good about herself and at the age of eight she could relate to Public Enemy, Queen Latifah, NWA and Salt & Pepper. In 1998, she worked with an African Youth group known as "The Rise" where they produced an album called "Maroon" which was released in Norway 2002 and had among its tracks the single 'All about the Benjamin'.    
Awards, Recognitions & Highlights
  • Curtain raised for International artists – like Ron Browz, Paul Wall, Ludacris, Angelique Kidjo, Common, Talib Kweli, Slick Rick, Dead Prez and Public Enemy
  • Nominated for MTV Africa MAMA awards in 2009 for the Best New Act Category
  • KISIMA Award - Best new and Promising artist – 2006
  •  Five nominations in the Chaguo La teeniz Awards in Kenya – 2006
  • Best album of the year in Senegal - 2005 - having worked with Wagable on two of their songs Performed for Nelson Mandela while he was in Norway for an AIDS eradication campaign. - 2005 Her songs have been chosen by Position Music and Choice Tracks (based in L.A) as a soundtrack for various films

In 2005 STL and "The Rise" performed for Nelson Mandela while he was in Norway for an AIDS eradication campaign. Since 2002, STL has been working with two production teams; Rumblin Music and JayArr Music. Her Break into the African Hip Hop scene came in 2005 when she worked with a Senegalese Hip Hop group called Wagable in their Debut album, Senegal, produced by Rumblin Music. She was featured in two of their songs 'Babylon' and 'Do it' which topped the charts in Senegal and Gambia for several weeks. The album scooped the Best album of the year in Senegal for 2005. 

In Kenya STL has worked with top Hip Hop artists such as Michelle, Abbas Kubaff ,Kantai and reggae artist Ousmane. In 2006 she got five nominations in the Chaguo La teeniz Awards in Kenya. Then she had been in the Kenyan music scene for only three months. Though she did not win, it propelled her to win in the KISIMA Awards three months later for the Best new and Promising artist. 

December 2006, STL had a performance with MTV Alert in Nairobi, Kenya. She has curtain raised for International artists like Angelique Kidjo, Common, Talib Kweli, Slick Rick, Dead Prez and Public Enemy during their shows in Norway. Her songs, "Crazy", "Feeling Love" and "Swing", which she featured on produced by JayArr, was picked by the Position Music and Choice Tracks (based in L.A) as a soundtrack for the films 'Save the last dance 2', 'American pie 5', 'Redline and the series; 'CSI (New York)' , 'LasVegas', 'Ghost whisperer' and 'Army Wives'.     
STL has had shows on festivals in Norway while working on her Debut album and has released her single 'Take it back' and it's music video in Norway and Kenya in November 2007. The single has been widely accepted especially in her home country, Kenya    
Her fans should not fret yet because we expect much more from STL in the future.