The following year, the resilient emcee was involved in a devastating car crash, leaving her unable to walk. Wangechi revealed the same determination displayed in her music and swiftly learned to walk again, the love and influence of music a driving force.
Earlier this year, Wangechi released blazing new single "No Limits", a testament to her sheer power and resolve. Back like she never left, the impassioned emcee speaks to SheMovement.com about her musical journey.
Ayara Pommells: Who were your early music influences and what made you decide to travel down the music path as a profession?
Wangechi: My earliest musical influence was a local musician known as Nazizi. As a child, I used to mimic her raps and soon I found inspiration to write my own and broaden into other influences, for example, Lauren Hill, Missy Elliot, and Kanye West. Ever since then I knew music was the profession I wanted to follow. It was my calling.
AP: You were involved in a bad car accident, but you recovered fairly swiftly. Did the music play a part in your swift recovery?
Wangechi: Yes, we can say that the music played a part in my recovery after a while. At first, I was not in the mood of writing and creating anymore as my life was completely shaken and turned over. After leaving the hospital is when I began serious physiotherapy and worked towards the goal of being able to get back on stage. Therefore wanting to go back to my normal life was a huge inspiration behind my recovery.
AP: Has it changed your perspective on the music?
Wangechi: Totally. I write based on what I’m feeling nowadays. I have to feel what I’m saying before I write it. I currently finished working on my ep entitled “ceilings” and in it, you can see how much of an impact the whole ordeal had on my writing. I am one with my music listen to my songs is listening to my heart.
AP: You are living in Kenya. What things do you love the most about your country?
Wangechi: What I love most about Kenya is the weather, the people around me and the efficiency of the technology in the country. We are a very tech country, so it's easy for most of the country to be online. I also really love the food here.
AP: Social tensions/race relations have been high in the U.S. following a long history of police brutality and social injustices. What’s the social climate like in Kenya and how does this impact day to day life as well as your creative process?
Wangechi: The social climate in Kenya is calm. There is not much tension as there used to be earlier. In 2007, we could say there was a lot of tension caused by tribalism but after the post-election violence, everybody learned from the past situation and did not want a repeat of it. So everybody is accepted, and there is equal justice to all citizens no matter which tribe your in. Tribalism is a thing of the past. Therefore allowing one to be free in their creativity and you can see that even vernacular rappers/singers are listened to by the whole population. If its good music its good music.
AP: Your fashion style is unique. Who are some of your style incomes and why are they so inspirational to you?
Wangechi: Thank you. Well, one of my style icons is mostly local. For example, a group of siblings called “2 many siblings” and an individual Instagram personality is known as “alexisnereah” I think why I look up to them is because they have fully accepted their sense of style, and they are fully themselves when they dress and don’t try to mimic anyone. That is what I’m trying to achieve, to find a style that fully presents me without even having to open my mouth to describe my personality.
AP: If you had to listen to only one album on loop for the next 30 days, what would it be and why?
Wangechi: I would say chance the rappers “acid rap” I am a huge fan of Chance [TheRapper] as I have never heard anything like him before, and he has no comparisons. He is just fully himself and the world accepted his music. The album was my first introduction to his music, and I felt like his music spoke volumes to me. That I should be me at all times, the world will follow.
AP: What three things do you do to escape to harsh realities of daily life?
Wangechi: Watch a series, especially Grey’s Anatomy (I'm a huge fan.) Listen to a lot of music and I also really enjoy chilling with my closest of friends.
AP: We've tragically just lost a musical/cultural icon - Prince. How has his passing affected you personally and how has the reaction in Kenya been after the news broke of his death?
Wangechi: I was really shocked when I got the news about him passing on. I felt like the world lost a very talented individual. It made me remember that the talent imposed on us musicians really affects people, and though most of us didn't know him personally, we felt connected. So music is a very powerful and impactful tool in this world. Most of the people here have also been greatly affected all of my fellow musicians have paid homage to him in their own individual ways.
AP: When can we expect your next release? Will you be releasing a full project in 2016?
Wangechi: I plan on major single releases this year in preparation for my ep that I plan to release later on this year. It’s gonna be my second full project after my mixtape that I released in 2013. Therefore, the fans have really been waiting for a project from me, and it’s finally here. I also plan on completing my Wangechi Sessions series which involved me performing fan favorite tracks live.
Find out more about Wangechi
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/gishwangechi
Twitter - @wangechikenya
Soundcloud - https://soundcloud.com/wangechiofficial
Youtube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJzGbSJpBAppscxVcxOIInw
Get To Know Wangechi Featured
Nairobi-based emcee Wangechi's music journey began at the tender age of 12. In 2013, she released her self-titled mixtape which earned her a loyal fanbase.Saturday, 28 May 2016 00:00 Written by Ayara Pommells