Eystone Aoko Mukubi popularly known as Maluda, is a Kenyan Gospel music rapper. Even though Hip Hop is not a popular genre in Gospel music, he continues to defy the odds using his lyricism to preach the word of God.
This rapper’s star quality is undeniable. In 2016, Maluda won a Groove Award in the HipHop Song Of The Year category for his song Easy featuring Juliani. His most popular songs include Have Mercy, Niko Kwa Mtaa, Glory to The King, and Nishampata.
The Glory To The King hitmaker recently made a comeback to the scene after a 2 year long hiatus with his song Uwezo featuring Scar Mkadinali. KV caught up with him to get the details of his comeback among other things
Congratulations on your comeback tune with Scar Mkadinali. How did that collaboration come to be?
I met Scar in the studio as I was recording my single Have Mercy Ft Khaligraph Jones, and we’ve been friends all through. Even away from music, we have always been keeping tabs on one another. So, we are not strangers. When it came to the song, I was recovering from COVID at the time. I received a call from ALJAZEERA headquarters and on the line, was my pal Kevin Lukayu who works as a manager there. On the other line was Scar. It was a 3-way call at 5 am in the morning. So I later called Motiff and the rest is history. Scar sent his verse ASAP and we laid it down in minutes.
You said that Uwezo was written when you were sick. It is more vulnerable, unlike your previous releases. How was it tapping into that other side and did the illness inspire any other tracks?
It was an experience like no other. Imagine writing a song, not knowing if you’ll be well enough to release it. I had to master all the hope I could gather while writing the song and that kept me going! The other tracks to be released were not inspired by my COVID situation, because as soon as I was healthy again I got motivated by other factors of life.
What were you up to during your hiatus from music?
I needed time to reflect and get myself and my thoughts in order. Even though I wasn’t releasing music I was writing and recording whenever I got an opportunity to. Also, as an artist you just have this feeling when it’s the right time to go about your music business. When the time is right, God opens doors for you.
Your songs are mostly Hip Hop do you intend to try other genres?
Yes! Most definitely! That is on my bucket list. I believe it’s all about the timing, I’ve also been around to know Kenyans love diversity. The more flexible an artist can get the better for them.
Hip Hop is a genre largely associated with bragging, and women. What inspires you to spread the word using this genre?
Hip Hop like any other genre is a tool> I honestly think everyone talks about what’s in their heart. If I’m a braggart, I’ll brag in my music. If I’m a weed smoker, I’ll talk about smoking weed in my music. It all comes down to what’s in your heart. I’m a Christian and talking about my faith comes naturally to me. It’s not forced. If I was a plumber I’d be a Christian plumber.
In your entire catalog, which of your song did you have the most fun making?
I have a new song I’m about to release. It’s by far the most fun I’ve had in the studio. I wrote and recorded the song in like 30 minutes. The recording was not planned as I had an initial track I was to record on. But for some reason, I could not come up with anything. So, when the producer loaded this beat, the words were just flowing from me. I have never laid down a song so fast.
Do you do music full-time? Does the hustle pay?
Unfortunately, I don’t do music full-time. I’m an IT administrator, I do believe one day soon I’ll be able to live off my music. As to whether it pays yes it does, but it has room to improve. It needs to get better.
Live shows or studio sessions? Which do you enjoy the most?
Wow! That’s difficult! I enjoy studio sessions, being able to record and come up with ideas, execute them, and actually listen to what I created. It is just an amazing experience. Live shows are awesome because of the fan connection and the energy you get from people who love your music.
What setbacks have you experienced in your music career so far?
I once gave this radio personality my music and before listening to the song his response was, “I don’t do gospel.” Most of the time when someone realizes you are a Christian rapper they associate you with having boring music. Being judged before you’re given an opportunity is a narrative that some people need to get over. Later that song ended up winning a Groove Award for the Hip Hop song of the year in 2016.
What moments have been the highlight of your career so far?
Hmmm! Working with people I admire like Juliani Khaligraph Jones etc. winning an award and being nominated for an international award. Those will forever be in my heart.
Which artists do you dream of working with?
Sage Chemutai. She is actually my favorite singer! I feel she’s underrated. I would also love to work with Guardian Angel and Nadia Mukami.
After such a powerful comeback, what projects are in line for release and what more can fans expect?
I’m wrapping up my EP titled In My Own Words. After that, I’ll drop an album. My second single should get people ready to put on their dancing shoes.