We’re always told the youth is the future but we’re so reluctant to listen to up and coming budding musicians. I recently spoke to two young rappers hoping to make it big one day. Get to know two of the 31B label rappers: Unchained and J. Mars.
What are your full names?
Unchained : Ian Emmanuel Wang’oma
J Mars : Jeremy Marsolia
How old are you?
Unchained: 22 years old.
J Mars: 21 years old.
What is the meaning behind your stage names?
Unchained: A friend gave me the name because I had none.
J Mars: I originally thought of JerMars but I was told it’s whack so I sat downand thought about it and got something different. I think I’m super different, out of this world so that’s what Mars is.
What University do you go to and what courses are you pursuing?
Unchained: Egerton. Marketing Communications – Advertising and Promotions.
J Mars: BSc in Range Management. About management of rangelands/drylands.
When were you certain about pursuing a career in music?
Unchained: High school. We used to go to the piano room and rap.
J Mars: Ever since I was a kid. More so immediately after I finished high school.
When did you start actually making music?
Both: After high school.
J Mars: I worked at Wambi Brothers studios then Motif’s studio then now I’m with 31B.
What inspires your lyrics?
Unchained: My life. Every song is related to my life.
J Mars: Every dreamer has a story. When you really want to pursue your dream. The fact that I have a team.
What does 31B stand for?
On the 31st of October 2015, we were all chilling and there was a lot of thunder and lightning outside. It was a crazy day. The B stands for believe.
Do you have any upcoming projects?
Unchained: Chaos. The state the world is in right now. It’s a mixtape that will bring chaos to the industry and in my life. Every song will explain a chaos.
- Mars: Dreams Bigger than Life. I came up with it after looking at our lives. It’s an EP.
Who inspires you musically?
Unchained: Locally, Johnny Vigetti. Internationally, Jay-Z, J. Cole, Joey Badass.
J Mars: The people in my life. I feel like I should do music for them.
What has been the best moment of your career so far?
Unchained: Two big people in the industry, that I will not name, invited us to an event. We got there and they switched on us, said they didn’t know us. At first they only agreed to play one verse off one of our songs but as soon as the DJ started playing one of our songs, everyone in the building got up out of their seats and started dancing. When the main event came on no one was even hyped to see them.
J Mars: Creating our own team. That was the best thing ever. You know everything’s gonna be alright.
What do you hope to achieve in your career?
Unchained: To change someone’s life with music and also to generate enough income. I want to change the industry so Kenyan music can be played worldwide.
J Mars: Making people see that you achieving your dreams is the best thing that you can do. To change lives for the better.
What are some hardships you’ve faced?
J Mars: Getting your music to the media is a hustle. You have to pay them even if your music is actually really good.
What are your dream loval/international collabos?
Unchained: Locally, Johnny Vigetti. I actually met him once so doing a collabo is a must. Also Abbas has really great punchlines. Intrnationally, Nasty C, Falz the Bad Guy has some good songs, Skepta and Jay-Z.
J Mars: People who have the same mental reasoning as me. I really like Nyashinski. Internationally, I’d really like to work with Dreamville artists.
Where can your songs be found?
By next month they’ll be on Spotify and such.
Any final words of inspiration for aspiring musicians?
Unchained: Just believe in anything you do not necessarily music.
J Mars: Chase what you really love to do, it’ll take you where you want to go.