Entertainment / Music
Sunday, 23 Apr 2017 20:07 EATnmuthoni@kenyafreepress.com
Every once in a while, many Kenyans living in Nairobi and other Kikuyu dominated urban areas are forced to listen to mugithi tunes - traditional Kikuyu songs with modern repertoire. The songs are popular with Kikuyu language FM stations but have also found their way to national radio channels seeking to attract Kikuyu audiences.
Now a new up and coming musician whose compositions have achieved relative success in Kikuyu channels is looking to promote his productions beyond the community. Benson Nderitu Kagunda, whose stage name is Katempa, specializes in Kikuyu urban music, called ‘Kiurban Style’ or rather ‘Kikuyu Urban’.
The genre differs from traditional mugithi in style and fanciness. It transcends the sound forms and accents that have defined the Kikuyu music industry as we know it and appeals to the new generation of listeners. The theme of Katempa's music is love since, he says, is universal and craved for by all humans.
Born on 2 September 1989 in Mucharage village in Othaya, Nyeri County, the musician attended Mucharage Primary School where he sat for his KCPE in 2005 before joining Giakanja Boys High school for his KCSE in 2009. He is currently pursuing a Bachelors of Education degree at Kenyatta University beside performing his music.
Katempa, who has recorded two songs Maria and Kawira, started singing at a very tender age but recorded his first song in 2009. He records with N2B Production with producer Cahcenti. Being multitalented, he sings and plays musical instruments like piano and is now learning how to play a guitar. His favourite artist is Jaguar whom he describes him as a mentor and also comes from the same county.
The singer entertaining an audience.
As a student and singer, Katempa says that his main occupational challenges is balancing studies with art. He also has faced difficulties meeting his production costs, but is all praise for his successes so far, generating most of his income from music and therefore able to provide for his basic needs.
His main career goal is to promote Kikuyu music beyond the tribe. In the next five years, Katempa intends to have his music being appreciated by every tribe despite it being Kikuyu. "I want to take Kikuyu music to the next level," he told this writer in an interview.
His current productions are available online and those interested in learning more about his artistry one can obtain or listen to them on YouTube and Mdundo by searching Katempa Muziq - the name on all his social media accounts. He is single but seeing someone.