His claim to fame is “Pressure” a trap record he released early last year. The video enjoyed airplay across international media but when he released his mixtape ‘Papa La Kusini’, late last year, fans got to understand why Odinareh Bingwa really is South C’s finest. On his latest song, “Kama Zamani”, Bingwa fuses that old school zilizopendwa sound with new school rap. He opens up about being a rap artist in Diani, South Coast.
KV: What drew you into Hip Hop?
My elder cousins played a lot of Shabba Ranks, Spanner n Plies but my dad played Mugithi all the time and some Lingala music. When I came of age, I chose Hip Hop because that’s what my heart had settled on.
KV: According to you, what’s the epitome of success music wise?
Touching the lives of the people I speak to through my music even without me having to explain.How much you entertain, inspire and influence a generation or a community through your sound is the epitome of success as an artiste.
KV: Talk to us about “Papa La Kusini”… What inspired the name?
I’m a Kenyan rap artiste from the coast. Papa is shark in Swahili so it means Shark from the South. It’s an analogy for who I am and where I represent.
KV: Which Kenyan Hip Hop acts are doing a really great job putting on for the culture?
Guys like Nyashinski and KJones are flying the flag high. I see Shukid and Steph Kapela doing justice too. AD Famo, Wakadinali and Magode. I listen to a wide discography from trap to hardcore.
KV: Which artist would you secretly love to tap into their creative process?
Fena Gitu and Nyashinski, of course.
KV: Which artists have had an influence on your artistry thus far?
I listen to a lot of 70s and 80s music.I get a lot of inspiration from the likes of Daudi Kabaka, Les Wanyika, Fundi Konde, Samba Mapangala and new age guys like E-Sir for how he put Swahili on the map, Cassper Nyovest (SA) and Johnny Vigeti.
KV: The biggest challenge you have faced as a KE Hip Hop artist would be?
It’s really hard for a new artist to break into the mainstream scene, which is not only for me but for most new talents as well. I’m still working to overcome it. They (radio and TV) said we don’t have quality production in terms of audios and videos we gave them that quality now let’s see how it goes.
KV: Tell me about your latest release, “Kama Zamani”.
I have this compilation CD with over 200 zilizopendwa songs from all the legends in Kenya and East Africa and every time I play it and I hear a sound I like for example great saxophone rhythm or a distinct guitar, I mail it immediately to my producers. I sent an old song to my producerTeknixx and told him I liked the guitar strings.He sent me a crazy beat and I wrote a song that compared the lifestyle now to the one there was way back, kama zamani.
KV: How do you plan to take out 2017?
We’ve been busy with a lot of production. We put out Kama Zamani first but I still have two more videos done and ready for release after we finish with Kama Zamani. I hope you all will ride with me and support my craft as well. By the end of the year, God willing, I hope to solidify my place in the ears and hearts of Kenyan music fanatics.