Jay A is undoubtedly one of Kenya’s top new school rappers. His music has topped Kenyan charts, making it to the likes of MTV base and Channel O.
Celebrated for Dumbala and Gello, the youthful hit-maker has also partnered with Jamaican artist Tiana on Don’t Stop.
In an exclusive interview with Citizen Digital, Jay A revealed facts about him that most people don’t know.
- He broke out of a ‘love triangle’ to get his girlfriend
Sorry ladies, this sharp-dressing star is taken. What is interesting, however, is how he met his significant other.
“I had gone to MMU (Multimedia University) to perform when she caught my eyes. For me, she just stood out. Funny thing is that I was introduced to her through her best friend who surprisingly was interested in me while I was not. My relationship with Sham kicked off there and then and the best friend had no chance with me at all.”
So, what happened to Sham’s relationship with her friend?
“Well, since that incident the two have not talked and I prefer not to interfere with whatever is going on. Funny thing is that she also became mad at me for being with Sham and not her and as far as I can remember I had no intentions of being with her at all!
- I cannot forgive my better-half if I find her cheating.
“Truth be told, if I find my woman cheating I cannot forgive her. I don’t understand how some men can live with that and still go back to them. As I know myself, I wouldn’t want to associate myself with her.”
What if you feel guilty after leaving her?
“There is no way I can feel guilty for leaving her, heck! I will be so happy that I have left her even if we have been dating for many years.”
- He hates women with “fake looks”
With “surgically enhanced” women like Kim Kardashian and Vera Sidika gracing covers both locally and abroad, what is Jay A’s take on women who adopt this trend?
“I really hate women who put on fake things like eyelashes, nails so that they can look beautiful. Being yourself and staying natural is the best thing ever. I don’t see why one should go through all that trouble; it doesn’t make sense at all.”
How about the jeggings and tights that most young women wear these days?
“Waaah! That’s another thing; I really hate zile tights zinakaa jeans and the ones which have the American flag.
- Where he gets his fashion sense from
One thing that you notice about Jay A when you meet him is his distinct dress sense. So, just how does he pick out his clothes?
“The mood that I wake up in is the one that inspires me to dress how I dress each and every day. However, I still have to maintain my identity as a rapper.”
Given a chance, would he wear skinny jeans?
“No way! Guys should just stop wearing them, kwanza some just wear the ones with extreme colors. However, if you are a dancer and you are putting on extreme colors, I have no problem with you.”
- He got a TV gig because he ‘looks like a spoilt kid’
“I got the opportunity to work on a series known as The Confessor. The producer of the series just looked at me and told me I looked like a spoilt kid and I will be perfect for the role. I acted as a spoilt governor’s son.”
So, is he really a spoilt kid?
“In my family, I am the last born but that does not mean I am a spoilt kid. I have two other siblings – my big sister who is the firstborn and my big brother. We all were born and raised in Malindi.”
- He got expelled in Form 4
“My high school life was amazing; I enjoyed every bit of it. I was a trouble maker to some extent. I remember there was this time when I was in form 4, the whole class was expelled apart from three students.”
What would prompt such a reaction from the school?
“We were almost doing our KCSE and the teachers had given us time to study on our own. So majority of my class members decided that we were not going to study and nobody can force us to do so. That, however, led to our expulsion.”
- He’d hate to be irrelevant
“My greatest fear is being irrelevant in the music industry. When I am away from the music scene for some time, I usually feel like I am letting people down.
So, what is his take on the ‘kings’ of Kenya’s hip-hop industry?
“The only kings I know are the ones in England. I always believe if you are doing music, do music be yourself and focus on it. Mambo ya beef tuachie watu wa butchery.”
- The reason why he’s successful
“It’s all about strategy and hard work, if you enjoy what you do, you should be able to give it your all. Hard work always pays off.”
Jay A has recorded a new track with Jamaican star Tiana –an experience that he says was amazing.
“Tiana is amazing; working with her was a privilege. Most people think she is a ‘spoilt’ person but she is very down to earth.”
- What to expect in the future
So what does he have planned for the year?
“Projects, projects and more projects, I will be working on both personal and group projects.”
Now that he’s expanding outside Kenya, who would he like to work with internationally?
“I would also like to work with Wiz Khalifa, I admire him so much. On the other side, I would like to learn production, especially video production so that I can produce my own music.”