Bow James is a mixed media artist dabbling in music and visual arts. The artist who is based in Nairobi, Westlands, recently released a new single, Bad Thing, a song that has both an R&B and trap vibe in it.
Tell us about you?
I am a contributor to the creative industry through various media. I am also a firm believer in the potential of the art and its ability to change and impact lives for the better; financially, psychologically, physically and phylophically.
At what age did you realize you could be an artist?
I’ve been making art since I was a kid, drawing on my parent’s walls, painting and drawing throughout primary and high school and even won some awards for it.
I have seen you post your work on social Media and I like it. Is it hard or complicated putting together the pieces to come up with such beautiful work?
I can’t say it’s hard or simple. Sometimes I do sit in my workstation and find myself blank for a day or two before sudden bursts of inspiration hit me and I’m able to create something. The introduction of digital assistants like softwares and new technologies have however been very helpful to me and they make the work easier and more enjoyable.
Your entry into the music industry, tell us about that?
My passion for music grew stronger and more profound with my desire to create music videos and artist accessories to the art form like cover art. After meeting a couple of musicians and producers, I started applying my interest in the art form, making trap jauns for fun.
So, what inspired your new Single, Bad thing?
I had just joined campus things weren’t so good for me. I was going through financial and emotional struggles and I ended up just writing more music. So one sleepless night while struggling with these things, a tune came to me and that’s when I wrote the song.
So did you just go and record it the next day?
No. At that moment it was just another composition but after performing it at a friend’s birthday, it was evident from the response that it was likely to be something. So I went on to record it and shot the video a year later.
I like the video, its simplicity and it definitely brings out the mood expressed in the audio. Who directed it?
I was eager to create something unique to myself so I ended up directing it, editing it and I even did the set up for the video myself.
How is the reception so far?
Quite good. A day after its release it opened up doors and opportunities which I am currently pursuing. I also set to perform at the Alchemist on 21st April with a host of other talented creatives shaking the underground Nairobi scene.
How long have you been in the industry?
Making music I’d say about a year, making art and graphic work that has to be around 3 to 4 years.
Have you faced some challenges in the industry so far?
Yes. Unsupportive industry, this whole thing of having to pay someone to do their job has been quite a challenge to me. It really undermines the talent especially radio and broadcast media. Getting reliable quality in terms of production had also been challenging but the industry is maturing so I’m sure with time we’ll be having more plugs for exceptional material.
Any low moments?
I have had many low moments but the freshest in memory was having my value as an artist being judged based on my outward appearance rather than my contribution to the craft.
Have such challenges ever made you think of quitting?
Yes I have but then I remembered why I started and I totally put off that notion since then.
What keeps you going through after facing all that?
My love for the craft, it’s my passion. I do it for free but bills have to be paid. At the end of the day that’s what God put me on earth to do, create.
What more can we expect from you?
I am set to drop two more hits in the course of the next 2 months and a project by August. The journey continues.
Any Final words?
The sky is not the limit. There’s nothing stopping me but myself.