Finally, i present the Lyra Aoko interview.
I’ve read a lot of reviews about you and the general opinion seems to be you’re going to hit the Kenyan scene so hard we’ll think it used to date Chris Brown (ahem- those may not have been their exact words). Whats your take on all the hype around you?
Chris Brown! Jeez wizz I loooove him!! Slight ADD scratch that! haha…back to the question… I get really excited by the hype! I would be a zombie if I denied that. Whenever someone mentions Lyra Aoko in a positive way it really helps boost my psyche for what I’m doing. It’s the small things, like a fan commenting on one of my songs telling me they love it. Or a certain cool person liking my music page, or the amount of airplay I’ve been getting from local radio stations. I absolutely love it! Every artiste always feels like they haven’t reached their peak though. I’m on a steady rise and I know that with the right support and direction I will make it to the top.
How was the competition for you, did you listen to the other competitors and go “oh, brilliant, ive got it made here” or was it an edge of the seat not-even-a-manicure-could-fix nail biting type situation?
The competition… was the randomest plot EVER! I was surfing my facebook and saw the zikistar competition as one of my events. The prize was a galaxy tab and I thought that I would look really good holding one (it’s a girl thing) .On the day of the competition I had to go through a “preliminary stage” meaning we had to sing in front a group of judges first before we could get to sing on stage. That part was fun because I was able to sing without feeling strange since there were only two people in the room with me. The number of people outside the tents frightened me actually.
I managed to win though:-)
Fear is normal, if you don’t experience the nerves before a performance you’re a beast. But I was confident in my talents…
*does a slight jig*
Lets talk about the fame. How does it feel to have fans now? And while we’re on the subject, any stalkers yet? You know what they say, stalkers are like the badge that you’ve made it in showbiz.
I don’t think I have managed to attain the level of fame I will eventually get (everyone has to have a goal), but the attention so far has been really cool. The only times I get to experience the “fame” are when people who know me commend me on the music I have already put out. It’s the greatest compliment when something you put so much work into gets even the smallest level of appreciation. Stalkers in the virtual sense have been too entertaining. The number of friends on my personal face book profile reached its limit a few months ago. I had to block and delete a couple of individual because of the nature of their messages. My face book inbox is a scary place. In person many people are really cordial when it comes to expressing their opinions on my music though. No creeps yet and I’m happy about that.
What about haters?
If they hate they do it behind my back. Plus those who know me know that I’m a happy person. Therefore any hate will be taken positively, and thrown back with excess love hearts and smiley faces. A couple of my songs do not agree with some individuals. It may not be their taste but for sure somebody else out there will appreciate it more than they do. Do it for those that love you… That’s my motto.
But is it an ego boost knowing that unlike most people, when you say “screw the haters” youre not referring to a, you know…imaginary group
Hahaha screw the haters! 🙂 #word. Haters make you grow as an artiste. So screw you people with constructive criticism for they shall make me even better!!!!
Do you ever have stage fright?
As I said before, if you do not get scared before a performance you are a cold person. The nerves push you and make your performance even better than you could have ever imagined. The adrenaline before and the feeling of accomplishment after performances, are surreal.
What about a pre-performance ritual. Maybe it makes me a bad person but im wishing its going to be hilarious. An artist I know does a head stand before going on stage
That artiste friend of your needs help! haha I pray… then drink excess water and talk at a rate of 3822846872442734734 words per second. It helps calm me down.
One of the interesting things about your music is the range; from Happy to Sioni to your feature on Radio Love, they could all be from different artists. Is that the effect you’re going for or are you just experimenting with different styles for now?
You noticed! Yeah! I love experimenting with different genres because it pushes me to express my creativity. Every song is a story, every melody a soundtrack to a whole new experience. When I write a song I try to make it as catchy and musical as possible…Let’s just say that I am an artist and the different genres of music I do are the different colors on my ultimate work of art. (quote me quote me!!) I released a rap song a few days ago adding to the confusion. This element of surprise makes my days I tell you!
I hear you get a lot of free Samsung products. Could some interviewer (cough cough) expect some of that love to flow from your (no doubt) generous spirit?
Samsung was very instrumental in giving me the platform to promote my music. Contrary to popular belief, I only received the galaxy tab and the two recording sessions at Homeboyz studios from them(smiley face) I managed to gain a wealth of experience from the Samsung staff and I’ll forever be grateful to them for their support.
In other words… buy your own merchandise!! Wosaaaaahhhh!!!
Your favorite Kenyan artists at the moment?
Camp mulla! (They changed the game. Trust me…This industry was looking bleak) Sauti sol (love love them) that is all. There are so many talented artistes out there but those are my favorite at the moment
So is music a full time thing for you?
It will hopefully be a full time thing for me. I know it sounds very corny but it’s my life. I once went a week without my music sessions (earphones plugged in, music zone thing) it was horrible. My mood changed, I was lashing out at people and it was all because of the withdrawal symptoms I didn’t realize I was having. It’s an addiction I tell you.
Is it different at work/school since you got famous?
Not really. I like the fact that the friends I have made in my school are real. Normalcy is key in this business. There is the occasional “are you that girl on TV” followed by a nod and a smile. I love the fact that I can be recognized yet still continue my life as a ‘kawa’student.
So far, whats been your favorite venue to play at?
Alliance Française, because the crowd is more often than not genuinely interested in the quality of the music. My performance at Galileos during the launch was also pretty epic. There were so many industry cats and their attention was what I needed to get out of my shell.
This is, admittedly, a trick question. Whatever you answer, I (and many others) will judge you forever based on your answer. So consider it carefully. #TeamTom or #Team Jerry?
Team jerry!!!! That mouse is too gangster! Tricks nini nini! Tom was a fala! (For shame. All Tom wanted was a good lunch and to keep his masters house mouse free. He was a hero.)
What’s in your DVD collection Stash of pirated movies that you can’t get enough of and one that you’re ashamed to own?
Moulin rouge! This movie gave me so much hope for love. That is all.
Whats the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far that you didn’t expect from this business?
Monetary restraints have been one of the challenges so far. If I could I would have a million and one videos, three hundred billion songs and a clothing line. Many artistes in Kenya opt for corporate sponsorship and this can be a disadvantage in terms of marketing .The process of making a name for myself and not just among my peers and online followers has also been tough. The beauty about it is that patience pays. I’m bidding my time and I know that my hard work will pay
Whats going on with your career at the moment, any new projects for us to be expecting?
I have done a couple of songs with notable musicians in Kenya (I don’t think I’m allowed to name names just yet) they will be released over the next few months. I have been recording frequently and these songs will be released and hopefully help cement my name in the industry.