Artist Spotlight: Singer Maandy Goes In-Depth On Her Latest Album

Maandy is a Kenyan musician who is a singer, rapper, performing artist, and songwriter. She only began her professional musical career in 2016, churning out bold and high-quality music while steadily growing her fanbase-and now she is a household name in Kenyan music. Maandy is a versatile multi-genre musician whose debut albums “Frisky” and “Kabaya ” slip between rapid-fire Trap, Hip-Hop grit, and bouncy Dancehall styles. 

Recently, the femcee released her third studio album, Flavour. The project has 11 tracks and I got to talk with her about it.

Maandy, congratulations on the release of your highly anticipated album! The reception has been phenomenal so far, with fans praising it as a humorous body of work that they relate to. How does it feel to know that your music has struck such a deep chord with listeners? How does it feel to finally share this particular project with the world?

First of all, I would like to thank my fans for their undying support. I feel a sense of accomplishment having  released this album. It was a labor of love, I am extremely proud of myself for putting this together and also being able to release it and received as much love as I have.

Talking of humor and relating it to the themes on the project, where do you get your sense of humor despite the album mentioning some traumatic experiences like an absentee father and growing up in poverty? “Your album showcases a remarkable blend of vulnerability and humor. Can you tell us more about the role of humor in your life and how it influenced your songwriting process?

Oh, most of the songs on the album are just a reflection of my current state of mind and also my experiences. I wouldn’t say much of it is humor, maybe with songs, such as Spoil, but the rest of it is pretty much who I am, and what I have experienced. Maybe it is perceived as humor, but in an actual sense, I don’t take life that seriously. I just like to laugh and have a good time and enjoy myself, which is something I think I have been able to do with this album.

The album also showcases a consistent theme of confidence and claiming your space. Can you share with us the inspiration behind this empowering theme, are there any particular experiences in the industry that make you feel, you need to be more vocal about your achievements?

Not really. My personality is quite strong. From a very young age, I have been someone who takes no nonsense. I also like to give myself a pat on the back because what I do and how I do it is not easy. I am the brains behind everything, and once I have reached a point where I have accomplished what I wanted, definitely expect me to be loud about it. I feel as though we have conditioned our artists to be shy and to downplay their accomplishments and it shouldn’t be like that at all.

Another major theme is sex: you take a bold and explicit approach to discussing sex, showcasing a celebration of female sexuality. Can you elaborate on why you chose to tackle this subject matter in such a direct and brash manner, and what message you aimed to convey through your music?

I feel like the message I relay is just being comfortable in your sexuality. Once again, I have always been a vocal person, I am not shy in any way, as I had said earlier, I also speak from my own experiences. At my age, these are just the things I feel and think and as an artist, I shouldn’t be saying something different in my music and living in a different way. There is no particular message I wished to pass,[in this regard] I’m just being me.

You used four different producers yet they managed to create beats that complement each other and have a recognizable sonic nucleus. Can you share insights into the collaborative process between the producers, did they consult each other, and how did each understand what you wanted?

My process is not very complicated especially when I’m selecting producers to work with. Usually, I let the producers dictate what direction they feel I should go in, and half the time they might have the same idea or something close to that. However, I feel each has a different approach though because I worked with the beatmakers who are used to me, and the sounds more or less felt similar.

The way the album fuses sounds and subgenres is exemplary. How would you describe its overall sound though?

At the point I am at in my career, I feel as though I should not be boxed into a sound or subgenre. I simply do whatever my vibe takes me to. I understand in this country it is easy for us to dictate what kind of sound or genre an artist does; however, we need to learn to embrace everything and not box everything into one corner. Let our artists be free in whatever space they feel safe in.

And now, let’s talk about the artistic vision of your album. While it certainly offers a flavorful buffet of themes and sounds, there have been comments suggesting that it lacks a cohesive thematic concept. Do you think this criticism is justified? Better yet can you explain what your artistic vision for the project was?

When you are dealing with an artist like me, you have to be extremely open-minded. I am not one dimensional:I rap, I sing,I do Dancehall,I do hip-hop I do soulful music, I do Afrobeats. Whatever thematic concept, I choose it to be within the frames of everything I am capable of doing. I cannot wake up and stick to one sound or stick to one beat or even one style. I have to be as diverse and as smart as I have been blessed to be. My artistic vision was for people to see and appreciate my growth over the years and how much I have been able to expand myself between these frames. If they feel that it’s justified for them to say, I have no cohesive thematic concept then so be it.

Overall, what was your experience making this album? Who did you make it for?

I made this album for those who appreciate real good music. I had an amazing time. I was able to walk with new talented individuals. My songwriting showed up and showed out with this project.

Marketing plays a crucial role in reaching a wider audience and creating a lasting impact. Could you share some insights into your marketing strategy for this album? How do you plan to connect with your fans and introduce your music to new listeners?

These days marketing is not much of a rocket science subject. I was able to partner with Major streaming platforms, such as Spotify to push this project, not only within the country but also to parts of Africa, such as the West and the South. Through this, I have been able to triple my numbers across all platforms. I will simply do what is required of me with this project, social media, and print media, and also plan a show towards the end of the year.

As we wrap up, what message do you hope listeners will take away from your album, and what can we expect from you in the future as an artist?

I expect my listeners to fully immerse themselves in my art and also appreciate and understand my growth. Expect more great vibes