Bigomokoro Banyako Blaise from Congo better known as Bany is an artist who believes in Music Business and blending what you want with what your audience would like to hear. Bany moved to Kenya from the East of Congo in 2008, in this same year he learnt how to speak English. In 2009 he joined Strathmore University to study BBIT then later undertook his Masters in Business Administration, which he completed in 2016. He released his first single of the year “Nikupee Mapenzi” late last month.
He spoke to me about his journey in the Kenya music industry.
When did you begin music officially?
In 2013 I had live performances with my band, Bany and the Band at various events like The GoDown Gig, Choices, weddings, private and corporate functions as well as festivals. I decide later to branch out of that and brand myself because with the band I did a lot of covers. I began to record my own music and working as well to support my music, to be able to record but I stopped last year. Right now I am just focused on creating content.
What is the inspiration behind “Nikupe Mapenzi”?
My state of mind.; I cannot really say that I wrote it for someone or because of someone particular it’s just that moment when your sub conscience inspires you. The state I was in at that time just translated in to the song.
Did you face any challenges while shooting the video for the song? What were they?
Well, a friend helped arranged the location in the estate. I found it ideal, as it is what I had envisioned for the video so that bit was not challenging at all. However, the market scene was a bit tricky for us because after some time while we were shooting some people came claiming pay for this or that when the director had already spoken to the stall owner of the exact place at which we were shooting. Long story short, we had to leave due to the commotion that sparked from the whole issue. We had with us the equipment for shooting which is quite expensive.
What was your highlight or your favourite moment during shooting the video?
I enjoyed every moment of it because it was like a dream come true for me but if I’m to pin point a particular moment, it was when the director said, “It’s a wrap”. I just felt relieved that we’d completed the shoot.
Who do you look up to musically?
Papa Wemba was great, his music is timeless, Fally Ipupa, Kofi Olomide, for him to last all this time and every album is a hit is just admirable. I also like Asa from Nigeria. I also really respect Kenyan artistes because they have their own style like Sauti sol, Nyashinski, and not because of the hype but because they work really hard. I’d like to work with Khaligraph jones and King Kaka, I feel like their style fused in to my music would just amplify the whole thing. I love their style.
What challenges have you faced in the Kenyan music industry?
You know in unlike most businesses, in music you have to start pretty early when you are young so as to make a lasting impact. When you’re young, the resources are barley there and doing music is really costly especially when it comes to production.
Then family also does not quite want to invest in music, many people don’t. Some wonder why I’d opt to do music full time as opposed to going back home and looking for a job or looking for one here especially after my masters.
But I believe that music is a business and I am passionate about it, about monetizing my passion.
When I first went to R Kay, the producer, I was a rock artist, he told me to go and listen to African music. He told me to do what music people like, then when they become accustomed to me and like me and my work, then I can do what I want, I’ll have their attention. I believe in striking a balance between what you want and what the audience wants, make a cocktail of what you do and what is trending. It is important to study your market first before plunging into risk. Keep your style and signature.
What more can we expect for you the rest of this year?
I’m working on a new video for one of the two songs that I have written but haven’t released. I hope to release both videos in the last quarter of the year, the first in September and the other in December. I plan to get my brand out there and definitely generate more income.