Elani have come from far starting their musical careers at open mic sessions to performing for some of the biggest concerts in and out of the country.With their latest single ‘Sirudi’,I got the chance to have a word with them to know what they are all about and this is what they had to say:
What is the inspiration behind the song ‘Sirudi’ featuring Jaguar?
Sirudi was inspired by the plight that we see in the news everyday regarding domestic violence against men and women in this country. We decided to come together with Jaguar to finally speak out against this vice and hopefully create a situation in which the country is talking about it and victims no longer feel that they need to shy away and hide the problem.
What is the secret for staying together as a group?
We believe that the easiest answer to that question is that we are very good friends. And we keep our common goal at the Forefront of our minds. We make sure and we communicate well and work hard together respecting and understanding each other’s value.
How is your law career coming along(Maureen)?
Very well, thank you for asking. As an advocate of the high court of Kenya, there are several doors that have opened up, especially regarding my work as a member of Elani. I plan to use my career to continue to assist Elani in any way that I can.
How do you handle your celebrity status when your out there with over zealous fans?
Our fans are great! And anyone whom we find who is overzealous is usually just excited to see us and we are just as excited to see them. We love everybody who comes up to talk to us and take photographs and we really really appreciate Team Elani. Without them we would be nothing.
How did you end up working with Chameleone on the song ‘My Darling’?
It was such a fantastic project that we took on with Chameleone from Uganda. Working with a legend like him was such an honor. He had come into the country to work on Coke Studio after which we requested a meeting and he obliged. During the meeting, completely out of the blue, he asked us why we don’t have a song and suggested that we get a producer there and then (it was about 2am!!!) To work on the song. We were so excited and could not turn that opportunity down. And that is how my darling was created.
Did you ever receive all your royalties from MCSK after creating a viral complaint video on YouTube?
There is still a very big issue regarding corruption within the music industry that we hope we can continue to highlight. Our video created a lot of conversation about royalties as a whole and has awakened to the minds of musicians to the necessity understanding what they are owed and what is due to them. We were hoping to start a conversation with our video, and that is exactly what we did. But we are far from dealing completely with the situation. We will continue to look into the law, to look into the organizations that are tasked with collecting and dispensing what is due to us. And it is our hope that we can continue to be the voice of the musicians who are coming up facing the same problems that we are.
How was the whole Big Brother Africa experience for you when you went to perform for the eviction show sometime back?
It was a great honor to be called to perform at the Big Brother Africa show in South Africa. It was a great learning experience, and we got to see firsthand the professionalism that goes into the back end of the show, and shows like that as a whole. It was quite the daunting experience because we knew that we were in a different country,and it was possible that a lot of people would not know us and our music, but it was also a manifestation of the fact that music is universal,because the fans were excited and it was electrifying.
How was the whole Coke Studio Experience for you?
Coke Studio was a different musical experience for us,be strict with our time and more professional.met many musicians like Chameleone and Chidimna. We were there for a week and it taught us how to be more focused.
What challenges have you experienced throughout your musical journey?
There are several challenges that we face and will continue to face throughout our career. The main one that we believe is hampering the success of Kenyan music,is the corruption within the Kenyan music industry. Artists work hard everyday to put in time, money, effort and love into the work that they do,and it is only fair that they receive what is due to them when their music is out. That is a big challenge that we are hoping we will be able to fight , so that musicians especially of the future can probably benefit from that for which they have worked.
Describe the whole UNCTAD 2016 experience?
We are very honoured to be a part of the UNCTAD14 Forum that took place in Nairobi.We were tasked with creating their theme song and it was a pleasure and a challenge.To be surrounded by so many passionate,powerful young people was refreshing.We hope to be able to work with them moving forward.
Any advice to upcoming music groups?
To any upcoming musicians we would say, work hard , keep praying, keep focusing. Do not be swayed by naysayers and people who believe that you cannot achieve your dream. Keep working on bettering yourself and do not settle for anything less than what you deserve. Do not compromise on quality and be a diligent worker.
Any last words?
We would like to thank Team Elani and all the people who have brought us to this point. We do not take you for granted. We love to talk to our fans on social media and are very able and available presently connected through our social media pages.
So please follow us at:
@elanimuziki on Twitter and Instagram ,
And subscribe to our youtube channel, elanimuziki