For Denver Walter Oduor hip hop is life and it has been so since he was in class four. Going by the stage name, Denver Cockey, the 21-year-old is a journalism student as well as the Sports and Entertainment secretary at JKUAT. Between school, music, and sports, (he plays rugby), Denver has a tight schedule but somehow manages to do it all.
“I grew up listening to hip-hop from an early age. Since then, I fell in love with it and it only made sense that I would one day do hip hop as well. So when I joined the first year, I decided to get into it fully. I now have several tracks, all recorded but only some are released.”
What is your inspiration?
I draw my inspiration from different people. My mum, for instance, who is a really strong and kind woman. In terms of my music, Lil Wayne is my greatest inspiration. He is the reason I fell I love with hip-hop in the first place.
What are some of the challenges you have faced?
As an upcoming artist, it is quite difficult securing slots to perform in different events out there. Event organizers won’t pay even if you secure that slot. Some radio presenters are also corrupt and you won’t get any airplay unless you pay them. There’s also a deficiency of mentorship in the industry and everything depends on your hard work and dedication.
What have been some of the highlights of your career?
Sharing the stage with some big names in the industry tops the list. I have had the opportunity to curtain raise the stage for both Khaligraph Jones and King Kaka. I ended up landing a recording deal at Kaka empires. Another highlight was winning my first award after just ten months in the industry. I was crowned the male artist of the year at the JKUSA awards 2016.
What do you think of the Kenyan hip hop industry?
I think the industry is not doing well enough. Consumers embrace hip hop from the west more than Kenyan hip hop. We need to do more and support local talent more.
What impact do you want your music to have?
I want to motivate people to get through the difficulties they face. I’ve been able to overcome the challenges I have faced because of rap and I want people to be able to do the same. I also want to make a living out of music.
You can access Denver’s music on his YouTube channel @Denver Cockey. It is also available on mdundo.com
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