Mr Lenny says he and his childhood friend were the first musicians to use the stage name ‘Nameless’. Lenny recounts how they were infuriated when David Mathenge ‘snatched’ the stage name from them.
David Mathenge had won a singing competition, and when he was hosted on radio he said he had no stage name – and that he was going to adopt the referral Nameless thereafter.
Mr Lenny and his friend, Kiama, were forced to change from ‘Nameless’ to ‘Tumaini’ music group.
The Leo hit-maker recalls how his buddy, Kiama, introduced him to music – an art and career he never foreboded he would do.
“There’s a friend of mine called Kiama who introduced me to music after completing high school. We used to live in the same hood. Kiama had started singing way before he completed his secondary education. He asked me to join him and form a music group – which I did after a lot of hesitation. I started off as a rapper.”
“Along the way, rap proved difficult and I told Kiama I would switch to singing. He agreed. Actually, he is the reason I am doing music today. He had a lyrics book that had many songs.”
“We would practice at home throughout the week. Thereafter, we looked for a recording stable – and got Scratch Records. We hustled – it wasn’t easy,” recounted Mr Lenny.
Scramble for stage name
“When we started, Kiama and I called ourselves Nameless. There’s a day we had done an interview on Capital FM. We wanted to release the first song, but the radio station asked upcoming artistes to compete. David Mathenge, better known today as Nameless, won the competition.”
“He did not have a stage name. Jimmy Gathu interviewed him after the win, and asked what his stage name was. David said he was Nameless. So Jimmy Gathu said: ‘Nameless is the winner of the competition and the newest artiste in town’. And that is how the name stuck!”
Nameless seemingly took away the stage name a week after Lenny and Kiama’s mini-glory.
“It had found when we had featured on Nation Newspaper a week before as the duo Nameless (Mr Lenny and Kiama). So when David Mathenge won the singing competition, he outshined us and took the name away from us. We weren’t friends with Nameless then. So when he released his hit song Mega Rider, he became a music sensation; and that is how the name Nameless went officially. That killed our morale completely!”
However, they wouldn’t let go of the stage name lying down.
“My boy even went and told him (David) that he had ‘stolen’ our name and how angry we were at him. Kiama then suggested we be referred to as Nameless 1 and David Nameless 2. When it became impossible, we adopted the name Tumaini. Kiama and I later split. I continued with music since I did not have money to join college.”
Later, when he had become friends with Nameless, he squared out their differences.
“When I met Nameless after joining Ogopa Deejays, I told him how he snatched a stage name from my friend and I. He laughed loudly. We thereafter became friends.”