Mayuu Sanaa, Leroy and Tito are three young men who came together to form a music group named Bendi Huru, Kiswahili for ‘Liberation Band’. The three teamed up with solo artist Sy and a hit song and their first official single titled Afrodizia. The impressive music video for the track was released just last week; go ahead and check it out along with our interview with them below.
How old are each of you?
Bendi Huru: 22 years old
Sy: 20 years old
What is the meaning behind your stage name, Bendi Huru?
Its meaning is Liberation Band. We chose that name because we felt that liberation is our role in the music industry. We want to encourage people to stand for what they believe in.
Sy: I’m a 20 year old singer, songwriter, an inspiration to the upcoming sound of Africa.
Leroy: Singer, songwriter, performer and a friend to my band-mates.
Mayuu Sanaa: Lover of arts, a creative and a believer in Africa.
Tito: A performer, songwriter, role model to be, vocalist, friend to many and a social person.
What genre would you categorize your music under?
MS: African music in general. It has so many influences from many places. You never know what type of song we’ll put out next.
Who are your role models and musical inspirations?
BH: H_art the Band, Sauti Sol, Juliani and Mandela.
Sy: Mainly Chronixx. Also Sauti Sol, Likizo, Bendi Huru. Internationally, Simi & Wizkid.
What inspires your look?
BH: Leroy is behind the looks, he inspires the looks. He dresses well so we also feel we have to match. It also depends on the occasion.
What are your career and life goals?
Sy: Being the son of Africa.
BH: Leave a name that will impact generations to come positively and to be looked up to.
T: To have a ranch. That’s the one thing I want to get from this music.
MS: To be a source of hope and to inspire.
L: To make people who believed in me proud and create a better future for my offspring.
Do you have any upcoming projects?
Sy: A performance in March.
BH: A new song in a few months and many performances.
Do you have any talents besides music?
Sy: If I wasn’t a singer I’d be an actor. Also football.
MS: Graphic design, IT guru, Running, I’m not that good at running but I’d beat these guys. Programming.
T: Football, Acrobatics.
What are you guys currently studying?
Sy: Music at KU.
Tito: Music at KU.
Mayuu: Communication and Advertising.
Leroy: I’ve finished my studies.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced so far in your music careers?
Sy: Unfair contracts from promoters and labels. Conditions that don’t favour the musician.
T: Getting people to like what you do. Getting to where we are and financially it has been a problem.
MS: Being an artist and a business person at the same time, some people want to dupe you, some people disappoint you. Making money out of the art is also a challenge.
When did you realize music is what you wanted to do seriously?
Sy: When I was 17. I went to Sauti Academy, where they teach people how to sing, write and about the business side of music and I auditioned without knowing what I was auditioning for and ended up in the top 20 out of hundreds of people.
L: Growing up, my mother saw something in my voice. I started posting song cover videos on Facebook and youtube and got good feedback. I accepted growth lyrically and vocally and started making music.
MS: It has always been a process of discovery, from the roots to the fruits. I used to play this drum we had in the house as a kid. When the seed started sprouting, I started playing the marimba, in high school. I also started playing guitar in high school. I learned so much from Kenya National Theatre including poetry.
T: When I was about to do KCSE, a group came to our school and I auditioned and qualified then I won. After winning, I was to do law but I convinced my father to let me do music. He bought me a guitar and I managed to learn how to play it quickly so he agreed. I used to go to KNT.
How do you deal with negativity?
T: By rolling with the positive. We want to push positivity into African people’s minds.
L: Simple; no bad vibes.
Sy: I was born with the disability of selective hearing.
MS: We’ve learned to get thicker skin.
What has been the best moment of your careers so far?
BH: Having these guys.
Sy: When we performed at a birthday party with small kids and they were very responsive.
And the worst moment?
T: When one of us is low or down, everyone is quiet.
L: When you’ve just done a show and you don’t feel like you did your best.
Sy: When you expect something towards your career growth and it doesn’t happen.
How did you all meet and form Bendi Huru, the band?
At KNT (Kenya National Theatre), I (Tito) met Mayuu Sanaa. He was playing guitar and we got together. We went for a performance in Nakuru together around May 2016. We met Leroy around June 2016 and formed Bendi Huru.
Sy had known Tito before the formation of Bendi Huru since he was trying to form a group but he kept failing and coming back up and failing and coming back up til he succeeded with Bendi Huru.
Where can people find your music?
Are you guys single?
All 4: Yes.
Sy & Leroy: Not quite searching but if I find someone, it’s ok.
T: It’s complicated.
Any words of advice for aspiring musicians?
Sy: The only thing that can hinder you from success is yourself.
Tito: Prayer, hard work, patience and discipline.
Mayuu Sanaa: Art is all about vibes. Be true to you. Search deep within and find your truth. Don’t go with the flow.
Leroy: Listen to what these guys said and avoid things that make you uncomfortable.
Find them on social media too!
Sy: sy_matias on IG and Sy Matias on Facebook and Twitter
Leroy: leroy_mromaa_lee on IG and Leroy Muromaa Egesa on Facebook
Tito: juniorjush24 on all platforms
Mayuu Sanaa : mayuu_sanaa on IG and Mayuu Sanaa on Facebook