T5 interview with Samuel Sichangi

Photo credit: Pool

What you need to know:

  • A lot of work goes into organising events and your general strategy as an artist because most of the planning is dependent on the projected social, economic and political atmosphere.


  • Unfortunately, with Covid-19, it is so hard to make predictions so you end up making plans based on hope as opposed to statistics.


  • But, the beauty of being a creative is exactly that. We are creative.

Samuel Sichangi is a producer, songwriter, rapper, singer and engineer, all of which he exhibits in his new album, Soundtrack To A Heartbreak. 

1. Your album features Kenyan artists such as Xtatic and Lisa Oduor Noah. Why did you choose to work with them, and how was your experience recording an album during a pandemic?
The artists I featured are some of the most genuine and talented humans I’ve ever interacted with in the course of my music career, and some are individuals I look up to. I felt that I had more than enough to work with from the local scene rather than chase after international acts. The selection process was quite meticulous. Those I chose to be on my album were selected because their roles added value to my album in a way that was gracious, and extended vulnerability in a way that fit the theme. 

2. What made you return to the country and hold a concert? 
A few of the artists featured in the album came for the concert earlier this month, and the show was magnificent. I am trying to change this idea that upcoming artists have to wait for somebody else to offer them opportunities to showcase their skills and curate experiences for their audiences. That is why I decided to hold the concert on my return. I had a clear vision for the event and so it didn’t make any sense to wait for someone else to organise a gig that would probably be headlined by a Nigerian, then give me an hour to create my first live experience with my audience. I wanted my fans to know why they were coming and who they were coming to meet and listen to. 

3. As a performing artist, how do you deal with the ever-changing Covid-19 restrictions and how does that affect your music?
It is quite difficult. A lot of work goes into organising events and your general strategy as an artist because most of the planning is dependent on the projected social, economic and political atmosphere surrounding the period you want to hold the show. Unfortunately, with Covid-19, it is so hard to make predictions so you end up making plans based on hope as opposed to statistics. But, the beauty of being a creative is exactly that. We are creative. After all, necessity is the mother of invention, so I look at this as more of a means to find room to grow and find new ways to continue being a mover and a shaker. 

4. How has Covid-19 affected you? Has it made you realise things about yourself, your life, or your choices? What have you been doing different?
The pandemic has certainly affected me, and still does, in the strangest of ways. It has allowed me to exercise more freedom because I now know that there will never be another time like now so I purpose to make exactly the kind of music I want. But, it has also made me scared. It was an ally to my fear in that I was afraid that I might not express myself as much as I believe I should before the world turns upside down, or before I depart from this world due to a Covid related issues, God forbid. That said, this has certainly been an enlightening period for me. I have had time to change perspectives and be more introspective.

5. Have you always been interested in music, or did something different lead you to this path?
Not really, but I think I always knew that I was drawn to music from when I was about 10 or 11. I always felt a connection to music even though I grew up in a family of academics. Both my parents were lawyers so initially I went to law school before I switched to engineering. I hardly ever focused on music. I wanted to be a scientist who made weird things or a mechanical engineer, which I guess I am now. Life works in strange ways. 
 

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