Nikita Kering

Nikita Kering, 19, was the recipient of two Afrimma awards in 2019, the youngest person to have won the awards.

| Pool

Why Nikita Kering is going places

What you need to know:

  • She has been nominated in the 2021 annual Afrimma in the Best Female East Africa category.
  • In 2019, she was the recipient of two Afrimma awards – the youngest person to have won the awards.

Young, beautiful and with a voice that leaves the crowds mesmerised, singer Nikita Kering has proven that she is not just your girl next door when it comes to music.

Having shot to stardom at the tender age of nine, now 19, she has established herself as a music powerhouse with her unique sound.

She has been nominated in the 2021 annual Africa Muzik Magazine Awards (Afrimma) in the Best Female East Africa category.

In 2019, she was the recipient of two Afrimma awards – Best Female Artist in East Africa and Revelation of the African Continent – the youngest person to have won the awards.

“This nomination is very encouraging and it motivates me to keep on working hard. It also shows me that I am going in the right direction,” says Nikita.

In the eyes of her fans, she is the girl that has it all, but being famous, she says, comes with a lot of pressures.

Nikita Kering

Kenyan music artiste Nikita Kering.

Photo credit: Pool

As an artiste who has been releasing hit after hit, the pressure of always wanting to top her previous work is constant for her.

“The bar has already been set too high and I think everyone sort of expects me to bring that ‘wow’ factor to all my music and projects. This, sometimes, can be very stressful for me. When I was younger, the pressure was tenfold because everyone around me felt like they had to be the adult to tell you what to do and where to go and what not to do. But growing up, I have learnt to take one step at a time with my music and personal life,” she explains. 

“However, that does not mean I do not feel the pressure, I do, especially when working on a new project, with the team... because they all want is whatever I am working on turns out great,” she adds.

In June, Nikita released her eight-track EP A Side of Me. The songs talk about different life experiences.
One of the songs in the album, “Ex”, was the topic of discussion among the dreaded Kenyans on Twitter (KOT), who felt the things she talks about in the song are too grown-up for a teenager.

“The inspiration behind the EP and the songs in it was not as deep as people want to believe. I just woke up one day and my mum was like it is time that my producer and I did something. The individual pieces in the EP are stuff that I have been putting together for a while and they are things that I would really say are a description of who I am and if not who I am, then who I hope to be,” Nikita says.

Nikita Kering

Singer and songwriter Nikita Kering during The Finest Concert at Royal Gardenia Grounds on February 14, 2021.

Photo credit: Kanyiri Wahito | Nation Media Group

“My songs have some level of maturity and playfulness, that is why when I make my music, I create it for everyone – young and old. Age is never my first consideration or the only thing I think about, the important thing is that I have a message, that I have something that I am trying to put across, my main aim is to create music that everyone can relate to.”

So how has she been able hit all the right notes in her career?

“I wouldn’t say that I am doing everything right; I would say that I am doing everything differently, by taking a different route and I am grateful that it turned out great for me.”

Nikita agrees that the music industry can be a very intimidating space, especially for newcomers, and what the Kenyan entertainment industry lacks is systems that create mentorship programmes for artistes.

“Young people need to educate themselves regarding the industry because there are not so many people to educate us in terms of mentors. So it is up to an individual to just be determined to find the right information about the music business that would help their career. This will help them not fall in the trap of people who will just misuse their talents,” she explains.

Her hope is that Kenyans will listen to more pop music from home, as this is the only way the industry can grow.

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