What you need to know:
- My job entailed submitting data from debit cards, credit cards into the bank systems.
- It’s during this time the singing competition happened and I decided to try my luck. After winning, the organisers asked me to record a song and that’s how “Megarider” came to be.
- It just surprises me, to date, how the song turned out to be a major hit.
David Mathenge, better known by his stage name Nameless, has had a successful musical career for almost decades. An architect by profession and currently riding high with his latest jam “Inspire”, Nameless has mastered his art, managing to remain relevant to date.
Recently Nation.co.ke got a chance to hang out with the 41-year-old father of two who is , regarded as one of the pioneers of modern music in the country alongside his wife; singer Wahu Kagwi.
18 good years in the game and still counting, do you even still remember your first song?
Of course I do. The song is “Megarider” recorded in 1999 under producer Ted Josiah who played a huge role in the success of Gidi Gidi Maji Maji and Necessary Noise duo groups. I remember vividly because I wrote the song after winning a musical star search contest organised by Capital FM back then. By that time, I was working at a bank.
Come on, an architect working at a bank?
(Smiling) Actually, I was still in campus then (Nairobi University), but working part time. During the day I was in class and at night working at the bank. You could say I was moonlighting.
Now this is interesting, working at night in a bank, how was that even possible?
(Laughing) Like I said, it was just a part time job that would help me earn a few coins to survive while in school. What I used to do at the bank was basically data collection. I was some sort of data clerk. My job entailed submitting data from debit cards, credit cards into the bank systems. It’s during this time the singing competition happened and I decided to try my luck. After winning, the organisers asked me to record a song and that’s how “Megarider” came to be. It just surprises me, to date, how the song turned out to be a major hit. I didn't expect it.
After graduating, did you go back to the bank to seek employment?
No! Not really. Actually I have never been employed again to date. After the release of “Megarider”, I started getting all sorts of attention from the showbiz circle and before I could blink I was receiving countless requests to perform. They were paying handsomely, going by rates back then. At a point when I was figuring out whether to look for a job or not, I thought to myself ‘Why can’t I concentrate on doing music?’ I could see the returns were rewarding. I ended up deciding to stick to music and joined Ogopa Deejays. It didn't take me long before I could release my first album, “On Fire,” in 2003.
So basically you have never ‘tarmacked’ like most of us?
(Laughing) Hehehe! I’m not sure about that, but I could say I was lucky.
You were very close to the late E-Sir, what’s is that one thing that you miss about him?
Nameless: (solemnly) Honestly, it can’t be one. Being around E-Sir was just amazing. There was always this positive energy around him, his charisma was so marinating. I really miss the simple things we used to do, like hanging out together, studio sessions. In a nut-shell, his company is what I dearly miss.
After his death rumours started going round that you sacrificed him to Illuminati so that your career would blossom?
Nameless: These rumours, whenever I think of them even to date, still hurt me. Many didn't understand the kind of relationship we had. Maybe they thought we were just musicians and nothing else. But it was more than that, we were family. I knew his parents and he had met mine.
Imagine how painful it was, you there mourning one of the best things to ever happened in your life then you hear this kind of sh**t doing rounds. It was nerve-wracking to say the least.
Your entire career to date, contrary to your nature, remains controversial. Why is that?
(Smiling) Trust me man, I don’t know. I really can’t tell why that keeps happening to me.
What’s that one scandal that tore your heart apart?
There’s so many, I guess I lost count. The craziest one I ever heard was that I had a baby with Amani, whom we have been raising secretly. Then there was one that I was flirting with one of my female dancers when I released “Juju”. I also remember when I did the song “Sunshine” with Habida, rumours emerged that I was having an affair with her. Remember these ladies have been great friends for a long time and we have total mutual respect.
Some of these love affair scandals happened while you were dating your wife Wahu, how did she react to them?
Just like any other lady would, you know. Ladies are always very protective. She would ask all sorts of questions, just to be sure. Luckily enough, she is always around my music video shoots and knows what happens. Again I say, I’m blessed to have her as my wife. She perfectly understands perfectly what kind of person I am.
Last year, you refuted rumours claiming you’re not the father of one of your daughters with Wahu. With your daughters all grown, especially Tumiso, how did they react to such news?
As a parent, you really need to be firm by instilling moral values in them. Always ensure you speak candidly with them. I make them understand the position we are in as their parents and that not very many people wish us good.