Evano Shezol is a rapper and O-MWAMI Wear hip hop clothing entrepreneur currently based in Kahawa Wendani.
You can check out his music on Soundcloud, Youtube, and Reverbnation. He’s also on Facebook and Twitter @amicusmuzikae
1. Share some of your mistari and talk about where they came from, what they talk about, what inspired u to write them.
First, My real names are EVANS ANYANGA, my stage name is , O-MWAMI WEYAR (EVANO SHEZOL). now 23 years old and here are some of my mistari drawn from one of my songs….
..>>>kwa hii usanii I got a doctor of philosophy…/ speech niki-make utaskia tu makofi…./ niko biz daily kusaka hizi pesa…./ nauza omwami wear hadi sokoni comesa…/ siwezi wekwa coz najua kuwekana…/ olukano olukano mi nazidi kuwakana…./ kuna madem walidinda kuni-show there age…/ sahii nashangaa tu venye wame-age…/ najua motto si nguo utaomba mtu…/ omwami wear si nguo itashika kutu…./
2. Where are you from, What was it like growing up?
I was born in kakamega county in a place called butere….where the Kenya railway ends……but I was brought up in kahawa wendani estate, in nairobi.… I was raised in an averagely stable family who gave me the best education to university level at the university of Nairobi. Am a proud holder of a bachelor of commerce degree in finance… though my parents don’t support my music, I appreciate them for supporting me indirectly by taking me to school. My mum taught me how to be responsible and to work hard in everything I do to succeed.
3. What kind of hustles were people involved in?
Small businesses and small scale farming as a source of food.
4. Can you talk about your clothing line, Omwani Wear? How were you able to begin to produce the clothing? Who do you have working on the designs? What have you learned from this process that might help other young entrepreneurs?
Hhehehe…. Omwami wear started as a joke… I didn’t know it will reach this far… I mainly started it to be able to finance my music in case I don’t get employed. After the university I joined accesskenya for internship, the little money I was paid I used it to start the line.
I print and brand my tee shirts, jampers, hoods, ladies tops, spaghetti tops, etc at authentic imprints located in kahawa wendani., under graphic designer BEEBO and Julee shine. I have learned that it takes patience and hardwork to succeed in anything, the way you interact with your fans and customers brings good will to the business. Accepting criticism and having positive self esteem adds more value.
5. What does hip hop mean to you, What made you get involved in Hip Hop?
Its means a bunch. I can’t do without a studio and a producer. I have to clear my voice like every time I visit a studio-its my source of revenue. I flow in any beat on this earth but my flow remains hip hop in nature. Hip hop completes me, its makes my day, I love hip hop music. Music Is my talent, I was born with it in me, that’s the reason for my involvement.
“PROJECT PUNCH is a music and recording project where artists contribute 500 bob each time a recording is announced and come up with a song which we record. It doesnt end there, i and my producer market the song to our ability but the duty is in the hands of the artists to create a network i.e they market the song to their respective fans or friends hence increasing the fanbase of each artist. The project aims at bringing out new talent. Artists who are talented but have never even visited a studio or have financial constraints..”
Tafadhali, talk about Project Punch. What inspired you to take this step to help out young artists? Who else is involved?
>>>it came to mind late 2012, when I decided to involve myself in charity. But the bible says God helps those who helps themselves, I had to introduce a small fee 500/= for the artists at list to get involved in the contribution for the project. I thank O-MAE and CHRIS MUTHAMA the producers who have made the project to succeed… they understood my initiative and agreed to help.
Even me myself I was taken to BASSLYN RECORDINGS by LA-BALAA, who introduced me to o-mae. I could not have reached this far without the help of this two guys. I could take long before paying for the whole song but o-mae used to understand, and I thank him for that. As a way to give thanks to him I decided to start the project to market the studio to artists and at the same time assisting the artists to get access to studio.
7. You have worked with O-MAE Basslyn Embakasi. Av found his beats to be spectacular. What’s it like being in the studio with such a talented guy?
It feels great and it’s not a lie he is talented when it comes to hip hop beats and mastering of the vocals and the songs in general. He is understanding, I guess because he went through the same challenges in the music industry. He will always tell you if your flow is up to standards ama kama haitoshi mboga. Generally he has supported me a lot , he is out to help artists succeed in the industry.
8. How do you see hip hop artistes making money today?
through selling albums and mix tapes. Selling t-shirt merchandise etc. looking for or being invited for performances and shows . part of the Kenyan audience is biased, they tend to go for dance shows or where kapuka or genge artists are in attendance, and that affects hip hop music. Most hiphop artist use the money they make in investing in businesses that will add stability to their art.
9. “Wakenyawazalendo, tunataka peace, amani everywhere, amani everywhere”
““the clock is tic-tic-ticking while this people politicking…all they think about is their pay day, tribalistic, animalistic, cannibalistic, -type people, tryn to make me hate another for their own sake, but for my sake, I preach peace, no violence”
You’ve recorded a peace song, “Amani Everywhere.” What is your hope for the young people in Kenya? What local institutions do you see helping the cause of peace?
Yes…. We did it on our third session of project punch recording, and it stood out….many people liked it and we were proud of our work. Our leaders should be involved fully in bringing the people of Kenya together instead of dividing the nation. The youth should not follow the negative directives given by their leaders to participate in violence and looting. We want peace, love and unity to take this country to the next level. NGO’s , the government of Kenya, a small group of politicians, artists,civil societies and other institutions just mention a few have been on the forefront to run peace campaigns about a peaceful Kenya and I appreciate that.
10. How do politics and your own personal values impact your work?
I don’t like politics… the first time is when I did a song for musalia mudavadi and we were never appreciated to our expectations. We were given too little that it never made an impact to my life. I do music as a career and my personal values add value to it, i.e the way I interact with my fans, the way I appreciate them , it all adds goodwill to my art and talent.
11. Besides rappers, who else do you see ‘doing’ hip hop, other artists, deejays, dancers, graffiti artists, activists, hustlas, etc. ?
I have worked with authentic imprints in kahawa, they do branding both customized and design. They also do graphics, they design banners. I have also worked with deejays e.g dj tiky tosh who is now based in nakuru, dj birb G – the deejay in KU, deejay joe mfalme, dj deno, dj brooks, dj sixs, dj godson, dj gibo, just to mention a few.
As a summary I appreciate every one that has added value to my works of art. I also appreciate my producer o-mae, chris muthama of chris music, and those sales representatives who work for me under omwami wear e.g lox de chiz, jurrassiq baqs, eknah, o’ryan, Clinton obare just to mention a few. Other artists I biggup khaligraph jones he is the artist to beat now!!!.. xtatic, washamba wenza, wenyeji, kalamashaka…. Yaani haya wasanii ni wengi… I can’t mention them all. Biggup.
12. Name your favorite musical artists, who are you listening to sasa?
I listen to myself a lot and I cant lie about that! Just to improve my art. I listen to every artist on part time. Sina favourite. Am not choosy I appreciate talent and I listen to every link posted on my wall.
13. What are some obstacles you have encountered during your involvement in the hip hop scene(s)?
My greatest obstacle has been my parents, they don’t appreciate me doing music, but I appreciate them for giving me education hence investing in my talent indirectly.
14. You have supported female artists. Talk about working with Laikkah (the gal featured on “amani everywhere”)
She is talented, she is good in rapping in English, she is both a slow and fast female rapper and I appreciate her for adding flavor to my music. She is also an artist. Anasoma art KU. I have also worked with ruthie wuthie and liz hailz. Am yet to work with more in the near future.
15.Why do you think there aren’t as many femcees?
Maybe they are shy. Some lack seriousness, some fear being taken advantage of by our producers or male mc’s so they lay back.
16. How have women contributed to hip hop in East Africa?
Women have proved to men that they also can make it in this industry which is full of challenges. They are an icing to music. They make fans want to listen to your music again and again. They complete the industry to be precise.
17. What can you say about any community hip hop projects helping young people today, that you know of or are involved with?
I didn’t want to get involved in them coz every artist was doing them that’s why I started a different project, ‘’project punch’’, to help young upcoming artists, to be informed and to fulfill there dreams. But I support any artist who is out to help the community as a whole.
18. Could you describe some positive things you have seen hip hop communities doing? Whether it is artists sharing resources, a place to stay, getting linked with work
I have seen artists visiting children homes, giving their donations of food, clothes and money.
Artists have visited disadvantaged communities, slum dwellers etc. and have been involved in cleaning of the environment and interacting with them, playing football with them, sharing meals with them etc.
19. How are you interacting with artists across the globe and also particularly in East Afrika?
Most of them we interact through the social media, we share ideas, we do collabos through emailing. Its great they appreciate my work and I appreciate theirs to build the east African community. We also create a mutual friendship that promotes peace, love and unity.
20. What sort of positive things do you see happening with young people in Kenya?
Engaging in community development projects,.
Entrepreneurship , and businesses.
Political leadership and other forms of leadership.,
Technology and innovation.
Engaging in safe sex
22. How can people learn more about your work, music, performances and projects you are involved in?
I stay in kahawa wendani along thika road. I have two mix tapes so far each with 12 songs- ‘’a total of 24 songs’’, which I sell at a fair price of 200/- per copy. Here are links where one can find my music.
23. please give a brief bio of uaself.
am Kenyan artist born in Kakamega county and raised in both Butere district and Kahawa,Nairobi area…..My love for music started way back in primary school at St. Peters Mumias boys,..where i spent most of my evenings composing poems and coming up with my own graffiti designs.
My dream came into reality in high school at moi forces academy(MFA)..wen i discovered i could rap and not only write poems..i became the king of rhyme scheme in the same institution and that motivated me alot…it also strengthened my talent and music became part of me…it became an art from ma heart….its my passion and i love music than anything else..
I started my recordings at Basslyn Recordings,Embakasi..under management of Brian O’mae…(producer B.) While at the same time taking a degree in business (B.COM) at the University of Nairobi…..at the moment am also working with Chris at Chris Musik…and i appreciate the value the two producers have added to my talent.
Am also running a clothing line, OMWAMI WEAR, in partnership with Lox de chiz, an artist at chris music. Am also working on my third mix tape , and a couple of videos. Thank you.