Who is Hulda Serro the artist?
Serro the artist is a singer, songwriter, instrumentalist, performer and overall lover of music.
How did you get into showbiz?
Ever since I was a kid, I always loved music and was drawn to anything music related. This was the case throughout my school years and so when I finished high school, I decided to join the Kenyan girls’ choir before going to campus. I was there for 8 months and my experience there was so wonderful that it made me want to pursue music as a career. I decided to study music in campus and I also went to Sauti Academy just so I could learn as much as I could. Through Sauti Academy and KU (where did my undergrad), I got opportunities to perform and I kept moving up from there.
Rongai catapulted you to the limelight; how was the process of writing and producing the hit track?
The interesting thing with the writing of this song is that it was not even planned. I was in the kitchen washing some dishes and I got the melody and lyrics for the chorus in my head. So I stopped cleaning, grabbed my guitar and started to explore this idea. I came up with what ended up being the 2nd verse of the song and stopped it at that. About a week later, I needed a song for a songwriting assignment for my Sauti Academy class and I thought that song would be perfect, so I finished the rest of it and when I presented it to my classmates, they loved it more than I thought they would and there and then, I knew I had a good song.
During the first edition of the Jamhuri Festival where I was performing, Polycarp ‘Fancy Fingers’ Otieno of Sautisol was present and when I left the stage, he approached me and told me that he was interested in producing that song, he was pretty excited about it and it was so surreal to me because Sautisol were my idols through my entire high school. Even during our first studio session, I was so nervous, I mean, I was in the presence of one of my idols! But he was so warm and he made me very comfortable on the mic and the overall process was so wonderful.
Your live performances are critically acclaimed, what is your preparation process before a show?
Thank you so much. Every time I get booked for a show, I usually do some research and figure out what kind of audience am I expecting. There are times where I will just stand and sing and there are shows where I want to be crazy and even remove my shoes, dance all I can and have the best time ever. I have a wonderful band with a wonderful music director and together, we usually try our best to create fantastic sets. Also, the main goal for my band and I is usually to have fun. When you have fun, it is very easy to pass on the same energy to the audience.
Do you have any plans of doing your own show exclusively for your fans?
Yes of course. Currently I have a show called UANI that is running, such a wonderful event where we get to engage in conversations and enjoy some music as well. People should check on our social medial pages (@serro___ and @uani.byserro) for the next dates. I also have plans of having a Serro Live show for the fans which will be just a concert of me showcasing the music that I have been writing for a while.
It has been quite some time since you released something, what are your plans? Should we expect any project from you?
I released a single, Okello, not too long ago. People can go check that out on youtube and on Boomplay. But I am also currently in the studio working on some projects that I am excited to share with the fans in due time.
You have a great manager, would you advice upcoming artists to get management and why?
Thank you (On his behalf). I would definitely advise them to. Having a person/team that takes care of the business side of the music allows for an artist to be an artist and simply create. I also like the fact that I have someone who I can bounce ideas off and they will give me proper advice and will find ways of bringing my ideas to life. I am so thankful for him.
What’s your take on MCSK and do you think artists are benefiting from the organization?
First of all, I think that it is very important to have a body that collects returns on behalf of artists and works with copyright issues; it is wonderful. But when the body that is supposed to help you is the one stealing from you, then what is the point?
I don’t even think MCSK is operational anymore and even when it was I was not a member. I did not see the need to based on the number of complaints from artists who were members. The returns from MCSK never made any sense compared to the success of artists or of certain songs. So it would be safe to say that MCSK was not that beneficial.
Who are some of the artists you draw inspiration from?
Locally: Sauti sol, Fadhilee Itulya,
Internationally: Yemi Alade, Amanda Black, Miriam Makeba
What advice would you give to young up and coming artists?
Just keep doing it; it will all make sense one day.