I sent out a request for an interview with Needah. You must have heard about her, a multiaward winning hip hop and rap female artist. We wanted to know what makes her tick, her highs and lows, future plans and many more. This is how it went down
You have such an interesting name. How did it come about?
Needah is officially known as Eddah Nyangasi. Needah is my stage name and was derived from my two government names, “N” from Nyangasi and “eedah” from Eddah. I started my music career way back in 2008, while I was living in Kisumu. Currently, I live and work in Nakuru. But I still represent ma hood, K-town, coz that’s where my music career was born and bred. Despite being a rap artist, I still stay humble and God fearing.
Most female artists in Kenya take R n B to be their genre. Can you also be classified as part of the R n B group?
I count myself among the few, if not the best, hip hop and rap artist based in Kisumu. I have multiple awards as proof of this. I was named the best female artist in October 2014 in Vybez Awards. My “k-town” video also won an award in the same event. I have a passion for rap and hip hop music. Some of my rap songs have life and love themes but I can’t say they are R n B.
Who is your music producer?
I work with various production houses as long as I feel the producer is up to my standards. I’m always an open minded chic. At the moment I am working with midnight studios on my next album
How many singles and albums have you released so far?
So far, I have managed to release six “dope” singles. They are “swali” and “tamu love,” both released in 2008. In 2010 I did “hip hop ni life”, “k-town” was released in 2013, “safari” in 2014 and “drizzling sorrow” done in 2015. I have a mix tape called “safari”, my latest, which I released and launched in May 2015. My music can be found also on, Mkito- http://mkito.com/artist-profileneedah/4592, Reverbnation, Soundcloud, Amazon, iTunes and Deezer
Who are your role models?
In my music career it’s none other than Nazizi. I started listening to her rap way back when I was still in school. At that time, I found myself singing along to her songs especially that song that went like “mama mama nataka kuwa rapper kaa kalamashaka.” I also listen to a lot of Eve, Eminem, Juliani and Missy Elliot.
In life generally, my mum is my main role model. She has a very strong fighting spirit and I think I pick a lot of life lessons and skills from her.
Fans can be very harsh critics sometimes especially to female artists and their music. What are they saying about your music?
My fans love the fact that I go hard on ma lyrics. My songs have some punch lines that you won’t expect to come from and “innocent” lady like me. But now I have a challenge with some producers who want me to go soft and commercial. I will try to heed their advice and see if it works for me.
Being an upcoming female rap artist, which specific challenges are you facing in your career?
Since I am currently employed, my job takes a better part of ma time, so my music career is not growing as fast as it should. I’m in a dilemma to focus on one thing, either my job or music. After some time I will come up with a concrete decision and will let you guys know.
The main challenge in this Kenyan music industry is that female artists are kinda disadvantaged. I have been approached by many people to be my manager but as usual most of these male promoters always want something in exchange, and it always has to be sex. I can’t give it to them, so they feel offended and predictably, they varnish. It’s a jungle out there for female artists, always being hunted for sex.
Any embarrassing moments?
That was 2 years ago when I went to the airport to pick my friend’s aunt who was to arrive at about 9pm. I kept waiting for hours till about 5 am and she did not show up. So I had to leave the airport back to my house. You can imagine standing hapo nje with a postcard written someone’s name for 7 hours. It does not sound quite embarrassing now but it was then.
Is there something that you would want your fans to know about you?
Most of my fans do not know how I love promoting talented girls. This passion made me start a foundation called GALENT which supports all forms of female talent but not limited to poets, singers, painters, acrobats, dancers etc. The foundation is based in Kisumu. Talented females of any age can contact the foundation since I believe talent is never too young and never gets old. I’m currently working with around 15 girls.