David Mathenge, the acclaimed Kenyan musician popularly known by his stage name Nameless, says that the beautiful Kenyan ladies inspired his songs.
“If you look at my songs, 80 percent of them including Juju, deadly all the way to butterfly are inspired the beautiful Kenyan ladies.”
Speaking to Citizen Digital, he said that apart from a few, Kenyan ladies are morally upright.
When it comes to groupies, Nameless has learnt how to manage it over the years.
“Some are just overwhelmed by something, others have a crush and others have bad intentions. If I see you have bad intentions, I just stop you immediately.”
Nameless is the MCM of the day, not only because he is a multi-award winning hit-maker or an amazing husband to his wife, songstress Wahu or even that he is 6’2 ladies, but also because of his other qualities.
David Mathenge a.k.a Nameless
Nameless, who is surprisingly the last born of five, grew up in Ngong’ as a very playful child. It is in this playful nature that he got the scar on his forehead.
He says that he got the scar while emulating James Bond by tying a rope on two ends and trying to swing from one end to the other, when it accidentally broke and a metallic object fell on him.
“Even though I played a lot, my parents raised me as a disciplined child.”
Nameless went to Nairobi Primary School progressing to Strathmore Secondary School before joining the University of Nairobi for his undergraduate degree in architecture.
During his campus studies, he started exploring the music world.
It took a while for his fans to learn his actual name, David Mathenge.
The Kenyan pop artist was known for a very long time as Nameless but he did not arrive to this name easily.
He had come up with several nicknames.
“I came up with ‘Slimy Talls’ and ‘The Mechanic’, which had me performing in overalls.”
Music and architectural career
Nameless rose to fame in 1999 through a star-search contest on Kenya’s urban music station 98.4 Capital FM, which he won with his original song “Megarider.”
The song was about a penniless young man who is trying to seduce a woman but only has enough money for bus fare and not the high-end lifestyle she desires.
He later recorded the track with producer Tedd Josiah and it went on top of the charts for weeks.
This was the turning point in his musical career.
He went on to sign with the Ogopa Deejays label in 2001 and collaborated with artists such as the late E-Sir on “Boomba Train” and Amani on the regional hit “Ninanoki” in 2002, which broke Kenyan chart records by remaining nearly four months at number one.
Nameless has juggled his two careers from his university days and although they seem very dissimilar, Nameless says that the two are almost synonymous.
“Surprisingly, they are not as apart as people think, they are very similar because they are both creative arts. One you are ‘creating buildings’ and the other you are ‘creating music’, so the principles are the same.”
According to Nameless, the two careers reinforce each other and as he continued to polish his music, he also polished his architecture.
“It took a lot of discipline, a quality I have cultivated throughout the years up to now.”
He practices architecture partnering with other main industry players.
One thing that has helped Nameless in his music career, his ‘business’ as he calls it, is his background in campus life.
“Music is a business and has to be treated as such. You can live fully on it, I have done that, it is possible if you take it seriously, and you have the talent, the passion and good business organization.”
However, Nameless emphasizes on the importance of having that backbone of education.
Over 15 years in the music industry, his secret is having strategies, a good team behind him and having good relationships with people in the industry.
“I pace myself, I don’t want to burn out, and I tell myself this is a marathon not a sprint. Keep giving your fans music in different ways.”
“Reinventing yourself is also important, which is a challenge but learning to blend remaining young and fresh but also growing.”
This is how the Ugandan song Butterfly, came about.
After several years of growth, it was time for Nameless to release a creative song in Luganda, which was always one of his dreams, and also thank his Ugandan fans for supporting his music throughout the years.
The song is about a man who is struggling to learn her language to be able to tell her how he feels about her.
Nameless is married to Wahu Kagwi and together they have two daughters, Tumiso, 9, and Nyakio, 2.
Despite occasional marital problems, Nameless says Wahu is the best thing that has ever happened to him. Given the chance to go back in time, Nameless says he would marry her gain.
“I am blessed!” He said excitedly, adding: “When I met Wahu, she was my first love – and the minute I saw her, I was sure I wanted her for a wife.”
Nameless admits to watching Wahu silently and appreciating her for all the things she does a wife and mother.
Tumiso, just like her mum, contributes to her father’s music career with her opinions on how he has written a particular song.
“Tumiso says she wants a swimming pool in the house and I always tell her that if she wants one, she has to write songs and sell them, so she contributes ideas.”
“I feel good when she contributes because she is exercising her creativity but she is also concerned with understanding about intellectual property and contributing to it,” he added.
“Am very blessed to share with my children and see them grow.”
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