Fast global rising Kenyan superstar King Kanja, popularly referred to as the African King, is with new vibes! The US based Kenyan artiste is one of the few Africans who have made it to some of the most prestigious global award red carpets including the BET awards. He was also nominated for the AFRIMMA awards in 2017. He now stands out as a potential first- ever Grammy award winner from the country.
This is a dream he promises to work hard and deliver for Kenya. The award-winning artiste was born in London but brought up in the US. Kanja started doing music after he quit Basketball due to an injury that cut his promising athletic career short. He used to be a shooting guard before getting a serious injury and ending up in the studio.
He has been doing music ever since he was 16 through the passion he found in fusing together African tunes with American vibes. He incorporates a unique sound of hip-hop, RnB and some Afro tunes to his music. This has received great appreciation from his fans and even other artistes in general. His genre of music comes from inspiration drawn from several iconic artistes like Bob Marley, Boyz II Men and Michael Jackson. He claims that he is out to bridge the wide gap between African American culture and the native African culture through music. He brings out the African culture in his music through fashion and rhythm while at the same time mixing in some hip-hop vibe to resonate with the African Americans.
His sense of fashion also tells it all. Despite being born and raised away from Africa, he still identifies himself with the African heritage. His hat has become part of his signature especially in the US where he enjoys a massive fan base. He believes that pan Africanism is a very important virtue in every black American and that others should emulate him. His latest project dubbed ‘MUCHOKI’ can tell it all. The 6-track EP blends some of the most unique sounds from across the continent that have been mixed and mastered to fit the global market. He has worked with Kenyan producer Ulopa Ngoma, US producer Lucky G and Nigerian producer Samklef.
The EP was released in February following the success of “Mambo ni Leo” that he did with Kenyan rapper Petra and American R&B veteran Bobby V Brown. In ‘Muchoki’, King Kanja showcases how diverse and flexible he is when it comes to creating content that will fit the African market. His efforts to promote the African craft within the global market are visible through the various award nominations that he has received so far. He was back in the country this summer to perform at a number of concerts while promoting his just-released EP. The King is back! So let’s wait and get a feel of his vibe for the period he is in the country.
For more information on music grab a copy of The Outsyder in The Nairobian every Friday.