At age 50 years now with a stream of awards in his lobby, a lot of broken records and admiration from hundreds of upcoming music producers and artists, veteran music producers Tedd Josiah is looking back at his career, and is not really that happy.
Josiah decided to focus on his bag business a few years ago, but he wishes he’d done it earlier.
“There are things you do and wish you started them earlier, like doing my bag business is much better than concentrating on doing music,” he said on social media.
For 30 years, Josiah has been producing music.
He started out as a musician with the group Ebony Affair before forming a new group, Hart, in 1993. In 1995, the group was axed and he joined Sync Sound Studios as a producer.
He went on to make legends as a producer working with artists such as Necessary Noize, Kalamashaka, Gidi Gidi Maji Maji Suzanna Owiyo and many others.
But after losing his wife two years ago, he quit his producer job to make his late wife’s fashion business a reality. And that’s when it hit him, music hasn’t been paying him enough.
“I love music but looking at finance, it has not been beneficial at all. I feel sorrow when I think about it,” he said.
Josiah further added that the new path music has taken isn’t something he’d like to be a part of, a reason why he feels comfortable retiring.
“I am not a fan of sexually overt music, and I wouldn’t want to make music that is only talking about sex,” he said.
“I wouldn’t come to help them even if they asked me to because I wouldn’t even understand how to do it.”
It’s a bit alarming, or rather, discouraging to hear someone who has been so impactful in the Kenyan music industry say such a thing.
Josiah is also the founder of Kisima Awards, one of the first awards in Kenya. He has been in several industry-changing projects that a lot of artists are benefiting from.
His first retirement was in 2008 when he had to relocate to London after claiming his life was in danger following his decision to campaign for Raila Odinga in the 2007 elections.
In 2018, a few years after returning, Josiah announced that he’s officially retiring from music to focus on his fashion brand JokaJok that was started by his late wife Reginah Katar who succumbed to a short illness in 2017. She was only 26 years old.