There are times when conducting interviews you do not find the perfect phrase, to describe the interviewee. Such are times when this ‘perfect phrase’ is so elusive and there is little option but to think hard until the veiled word finally reveals itself.
This was the same experience with when engaging Barak Jacuzzi, a guy radiating warmth, depth, thoughtfulness, humor, energy and a sense of self-belief. His stern facial expression when talking, reveal a person with real energy and so engulfed into what he is doing.
As you start talking to BARAK, all of these impressions – Focus, passion, energy, and more -, will describe this man. The 23 year old has an almost tangible, and perhaps even a conquering air surrounding him. Varcity’s Contributor Brian Gondosio talked to him and he reckons the best word to sum up this guy is INTENSE.
Who Is Barak Jacuzzi?
I am Barak Jacuzzi, a Kenyan entertainer, mostly raised in the United States, South Carolina. Over my entire life I have shifted between Kenya and the US. I was in Kenya partly for my primary school education then came back again for college at USIU where I did a course in Broadcast Journalism.
Are you a rapper and how long have you been in the industry?
I am not a rapper, neither am I a musician, I am an entertainer. I refer to myself as an entertainer because I am an all-round entertainment person. I have loved good music for as long as I can remember and I was even throwing parties when I was only 15 years old. Maybe my official debut in music was when I decided to come back to Kenya in 2011 and ever since I have been part of a couple of projects including participating in ‘Don’t break the beat’ and I have also cameoed in Octopizzo’s ‘Ivo ivo ivo.’
What do you do exactly?
Besides music, I host events and radio shows. Having studied Broadcast Journalism, I can do everything that is media related which includes videography and every other thing that entails entertainment. My song ‘Shakkakon’ went viral online and I also partook in the freshology cypher some years back.
Why did you choose Kenya when you had the opportunity to break big in America?
Kenya is my homeland. I am Kenyan, above everything else. Kenya is one of the fastest growing economies in the world currently and I want to be a part of every good thing of this country that I love so much. And I am here for good.
Was it easy leaving your life and family in the US to come to Kenya?
No, it isn’t. But I am here to create a revolt. I want to be Kenya’s Nick Cannon or P-Diddy. I want to Star in TV shows, besides dancing, rapping, emceeing, and hosting. Kenya is ready for me.
You are very energetic and enthuthiastic, where do you get all the energy?
We are the Obama Generation. I am inspired by Barack Obama, my namesake (chuckles). Above all, it’s my ability to keep it real that gets me going.
Who do you look up to in the Kenyan music industry?
I am currently working with Octopizzo.
I look up to Nameless and I want a collabo with him. I also love Sauti Sol, these guys are a real sensation. And obviously Octopizzo, whom I have a very good rapport with and I partly attribute my fortune to him.
As you can hardly converse in Kiswahili, how do you intend to reach out to the masses?
I am Kenyan in every way despite the language difficulties. I blame my parents for not teaching me Swahili at a young age. But all in all, I can speak a little bit of Swahili and I am learning. What is important is the content I bring, I bet they will love the quality even with language difficulties.
I have been accused of faking my accent at times.
What do you love about Kenya?
Like any other place, Kenya has cons and pros. Just to mention a few, last week while I was heading for an interview at Nation FM and I got arrested by a cop. I had left my passport home and I only had with me an expired alien card and the held me for over 30 minutes in handcuffs and I had to part with 500KES to be released. I was mad that I missed the interview. Besides that I have been pickpocketed a couple of times and also conned. But all this has been a learning curve, now I know Nairobi better.
What about Kenyan ladies?
Kenyan girls are beautiful and quite witty. I love them all and in fact I am single and ready to mingle.
Where is your favourite Kenyan destination?
I have been to several places in the country and coast is my favorite destination of all time.
When you are not entertaining, what do you do?
Wow. I am all-entertainment. But I mostly surf the web and studying and writing videos.
What would you like people to know about you?
I love to keep it real. I am a unique blend of different things. I have actually directed myself and I plan to co-direct all my videos.
What should we expect from you?
I am targeting a revolution in the Kenyan entertainment industry. I want to start my won media house. I am working with Octo on something big, my next single is going to be out soon.
Barak is surely a guy set out for the evolution of the Kenyan entertainment industry and to keep in touch with what is going on around him check him out on YouTube: Barak Jacuzzi, Twitter @Barak Jacuzzi, Instagram @Barak Jacuzzi and also on Facebook Barak Jacuzzi.