Ndegz is a Kenyan producer, singer, song writer and a rapper. He began his journey into the music world as a studio engineer at Enkare Studios, co- owned by Eric Wainaina and Tim Rimbui. Ndegz later co- produced and was featured in amongst Kenya’s biggest club bangers of 2011, Skamaress alongside Madtraxx and Kora. Having felt the need to re- strategize, he took a two year break from the music industry and is now back with a bang, having even scooped last year’s Break Through Video Award during the Pulse Music Video Awards for his “Twende Nyumbani” video. He describes his music as cool, sexy and kick ass and thinks that the best piece he ever wrote was “They Don’t know me” , a song that he shelved, but one that he describes as the realest he has done so far.
Your music is very diverse, with a touch of RNB, Hip- Hop and Afro- Pop. What inspires your style?
A lot, but I was raised on RNB. Therefore, a lot of my musical influence and the way I write my music comes from RNB, which is very smooth….the Boys To Men, Usher and Baby Face kind of vibe. That’s the core influence of my music. However, later on in life I learnt of Hip- Hop and got to appreciate the Rap culture. I therefore blend the two (RNB and Hip-Hop) and fuse it with my being a product of Africa, with the need to dance being ingrained as part of our continent’s culture. So taking bits of all of that is what makes my music what it is.
Your main target audience is the ladies which has earned you the title “Ladies Man”, why that particular group and not the men whom you probably understand better or any other group?
As much as I say my music appeals more to the ladies, I think it is to fault, because I sing music from my point of view as a man, hence lots of men can agree with me. Most people referred to Twende Nyumbani as a “Fisis’ Anthem” (Hyena Anthem), and Fisis are made mainly up of men. So much as I am singing to you as a lady, my message is coming through from a man’s point of view and men can relate. I therefore think my music does resonate with both sexes, just that I am speaking to ladies.
What makes Ndegz so different from any other multi- talented Kenyan artist?
My believe in myself and my brand because regardless of what happens and how things play out, I am going to be here. A lot of artists get disheartened when things do not go their way but for me, I want to be here. I might do other things but music is not something I can deny. Kenya’s Music Industry is still young and it is about time we start uping our game. Not just as artists, but the whole structure and everyone involved. We need to build each other and I want to be a part of that process. So even if (God forbid) I lost my voice, I wouldn’t stop being in music because I feel like I have much to offer, just from the way I think, to the way I put things together, brand myself, my art and my talent, that’s what sets me apart from the rest.
Future Collaborations you aspire to work on…
There are plenty of artists whose work I admire including Tanzania’s Joh Makini, Uganda’s Radio and Weasal and Kenya’s Kaligraph Jones, Sana, Victoria Kimani and Sauti Sol. Beyond East Africa, I would like to work with Nigeria’s Cynthia Morgan and WizKid and South Africa’s Heavy K production- wise.
What’s that one thing as a music creator that you would like to be remembered for even when you are no- more?
I want to leave behind a legacy that will have me be remembered for having made the most out of the least. We are yet to reach our potential as a country and I would like to among those remembered for taking us as a country to another level. I want people to have conversations saying “Remember how Ndegz did it or…Ndegz did this and paved the way for us” And if I can be that guy who puts Kenya on the map or makes it easier for the next Kenyan artist to do what I am doing, then I would have lived a full life.