When we met him, he looks cool, calm and collected. He is one man who serenaded the crowd at the Varcity Piknik 8th edition. His composed nature and love for music left many in a frenzy at the Piknik as he kept the audience on a move, yearning for more.
He is a hype man and that can be generated from the performances that he had. Here are some of his responses to the questions that we did ask:
QN: Describe yourself…
Derrick: My name is Derrick Obara Obuon’g. I am saxophonist who has been working with bands. I got my breakthrough when I worked a band that did accompany the contestants to the show dubbed I Can Sing Season 2 that ended recently.
QN: How was the experience working with I Can Sing Season 2 contestants?
Derrick: I learned to see a musician from a different perspective. I also managed to understand the challenges musicians are likely to face.
QN: How is your musical journey?
Derrick: I did study Bachelor of Music at Kenyatta University. My journey towards music began when I was in primary that later escalated when I was studying in Pumwani High School. I did join the Music Choir at High School and practiced the saxophone when I was in form three.
QN: What did you do after High School?
Derrick: I joined the Kenyan Boys Choir. I did train some school for a music festival as did some fusion and gained ground chorally. I ventured now purely as an instrumentalist in Kenyatta University.
QN: What differentiates you from other artists who haven’t studied music but are doing it as a talent?
Derrick: There’s a big difference. I can say the ability to do things differently on issues to do with performance etiquette, audience analysis among other things.
QN: What are some of the challenges you have encountered as a saxophonist?
Derrick: Majority of Kenyans have not yet appreciated live music. A saxophonist plays live music even if it is recorded. We need to gain confidence in the stuff that we do.
QN: Where do you see yourself as a saxophonist and a brand in the future?
Derrick: I still can sing but as a brand am a saxophonist. I want to fuse Swahili Chakacha with afrobeats, soul and jazz music. I want to come up with a genre. I call myself an Afrophonist a.k.an Afrist.
QN: Which other events have you performed in apart from Varcity Piknik and how was the reception?
Derrick: I have performed in Tribe. The reception was good.
QN: Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
Derrick: Hopefully, I see myself releasing albums and having my brand established. I also look forward to giving platforms for upcoming musicians.
QN: Who is your role model?
Derrick : Kaku Elam. He is a saxophonist into Jazz industry.
QN: What’s your view on Play Kenya Music Campaign?
Derrick: I support the movement. We need to play Kenyan music irregardless of who sang what.
QN: What’s your parting shot?
Derrick : Music is life.
You can watch his performance at the Varcity PikNik 8 here and share your comments.