Its that time again where we get all up in the business of an amazing African act who is pushing boundaries and doing great things.
Today, its the turn of one of the baddest femcee’s all the way in Kenya. She goes by the stage name of Xtatic. This East African rap star started off as a singer and as faith would have it her interest for rap grew stronger each day. She says she decided to become a rapper mainly because there were not that many femcees in the game, plus she felt there was so much many females could do that wasn’t being done.
Now lets get chatting..
–Before we get into the questions about your music ,tell us a little bit about your upbringing?
It was simple and quiet, my dad was an engineer and a lecturer my mum was a secretary at an international scientific research institute called ICIPE. We (i.e my siblings and I)mostly played indoors hence we were such a relief to our parents since we were never the naughty or the “getting lost in the neighborhood” type of kids..lol.
Although, It wasn’t always smooth especially when we grew older with an alcoholic dad who had issues within, but that’s a story of another day.
– -Aww would hate to open old wounds. Now, for some of us who have no clue, could you describe the Kenyan music scene?
– Do the artiste support each other or is it just each man for himself?
Well the support for each other has grown over the past year or two.
It was always each man for himself until artists realized that, that we can’t make it widely without each other.
The Kenyan music scene is growing and the beautiful thing about it is that it’s diverse, we almost have all genres being represented very well in the country with very talented artists.
– -Do you feel female rappers need to work 10 times harder in order to be considered relevant?
-Do u face any challenges as a femcee?
Yeah in fact I always say that statement all the time, sometimes I hope that will change but I know that it’s a very slow processed change because this is a very male-dominated industry, I face the same challenges of not being considered over a male rapper who probably isn’t as hard or (even) skilled.
We will always have to prove ourselves more than guys even though every time I say that people are always saying that it’s not true, then I’m proven right when you find in a whole concert/show the ratio of male to female performers is 1:7/8 or even sometimes none.
They say this or that guy has worked harder but what they really mean Is “prove yourself again and again and again
I’d advise any upcoming female artist not to get broken by this, because it honestly can leave you feeling that it’s not the right industry for you.
– -You were the first Kenyan act to be signed to International label – Sony Music, how has the journey been so far with the music label?
-Do you have control on your music?
Regardless of who I’m signed to , I will always have control over my music, I decide what to go for, what to take up next, what is being released and what not. If I say no , I mean no and that’s it.
It was/is a great feeling having been signed by a big label but things just started running slow and that as a rapper wouldn’t serve me great since we always need to have content out to stay relevant.
– -Love that. Now, a little bird told me some time in your life you almost gave up on music, what made you decide to reconsider?
I guess it’s one of those moments as an artists you feel like you’ve hit a plateau when that’s really not the case, just wrong people in your life and the industry cons weighing down.
So it’s never really a premeditated rather accurate decision as much as it’s a decision based on pressure creeping in.
– -Lets go back into time, in 2010 you participated in Channel O’s MC Africa Show. What were some of your highlights?
Well, meeting fellow emcees , getting to share a stage with them, battle rappers(of which I realized I really wasn’t ready for..lol)
And also meeting pioneers and rappers I looked up to growing up.
– -Tell us about your recent mixtape “Let Me Explain”
-Which of the songs is your favourite.?
I don’t have a favorite on the tape..(laughs), but I can say that the track I feel I poured out my heart and its even liked most by people (which is surprising to me) is “B.I.G.H” featuring South Africa Rapper; Devour Ke Lenyora , who was such a easy person to work with and I was so excited to have worked with her.
– -Tell us about the recording process?
Recording the tape wasn’t so easy. It came at a time my mum was sick and I was taking care of my family and I couldn’t help but think about that and just feel sad at times, but then again it motivated me to just do it. That’s why it’s a tape dedicated to her mostly. Unfortunately she passed on a month after its release.
I recorded at a studio owned by a very great producer called Randall, he is very easy to work with and brilliant with direction. He gave me lots of advise on some of the tracks on the tape.
– -My condolence on your loss and hey it sounds like Randall is the man! Now away from music, let’s talk fashion, could you describe your personal style
– What outfit would we never catch Xtatic in?
I don’t know what outfit I wouldn’t rock , maybe some of the “sandal heels” (low heeled ones) they just don’t tickle my fancy.
Oh yeah and flared pants/wide leg trousers.
My personal style is kind of like a sexy tomboyish look … It gives me so much edge when I’m not over girlish but at the same time I’m not too much of the popular cliché boyish/female hard rapper type.
– -What else is “cooking” in Xtatic’s world?
Me and management are just brainstorming over the next project, new singles , collaborations and more videos. Basically just more content to keep it going.
Big thank you to Xtatic and her management for being a great sport.