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Snappy 7 – Sasa Basi: Appreciate local music and artistes first

He is a jack of all trades, fitness trainer, graphic designer, poet, fashion enthusiast and rapper, that’s how US based Kenyan artiste Sasa Basi identifies himself.

He was in the country recently and Nairobi News caught up with him for an exclusive interview.

1. How did it all start? – About 10 years ago I started writing songs before I met up with a few friends and we did a few tracks. I took a break and in 2017 I came back and rebranded as Sasa Basi and I released Lakini Bado.

2. How can you describe your music? – Personally, I like music and mentally I try to be versatile. Mostly I write and sing about everyday life. But sometimes I also like to make feel good music even if it doesn’t have any message. And then there are other songs that I want to pass a certain message – my everyday life and the things that I come across.

3. Why sing in Swahili? – I used to write in English before but I came to realise that if I sing in English I will be competing with millions of people. I also found out that if I sing in English I will not be authentic. When I sing in Swahili I feel authentic and I relate with it.

4. What’s your take on Kenyan music and do you think it has grown? – As Kenyans we have to consume more for it to grow and for the artistes to also earn. In the US, we are many but majority of the residents there like to listen to what is being made in Kenya. That is why I want to try and push my songs in Kenya so that I can come back to US for them to listen.

US based Kenyan artiste Sasa Basi. PHOTO | COURTESY
US based Kenyan artiste Sasa Basi. PHOTO | COURTESY

5. What are your dreams? – My dream is for Kenyan music to be able to compete with other internationally acclaimed music. I would like to see local music being first appreciated by Kenyans themselves first before others doing it.

6. How can you describe yourself? – I have these mantra that you should treat people the same way you would like them to treat you. I would not like to lose my humility. My ego should never be bigger than who I am.

7. Last words and advice – Just stay focused, push and believe in yourself. Sometimes there is this pressure that you want to be like somebody else which can lead you to quickly give up in the industry. Stay grounded, humble and keep pushing.