Kwani? Open Mic Reloaded August 2010
Featuring: Dela and Wanjiku Mwaura
MC: Cindy Ogana
Date: 3rd August
Venue: Club Soundd
Entry: 100 Ksh
About The Featured Poet and Musician
“Spontaneity is my middle name and being a dreamer is a strength I have.
I hail from central Kenya born was raised there!
Poetry…? I like thinking a lot… the special thing about my thinking is that I like thinking in short sentences. And the best way to put that down is through poetry. Poetry is a way of relaying a message through in short and precise and sometimes intense manner.
How did we get started…Poetry and I, go back a long way. As a kid, I would go for solo verses but there, I only experienced a prescribed form of the art, where I did as was asked and but not as I would have wanted. However, being on stage for poetry stopped for the four years I was in high school though I was composing poems, more of a way to express my self than for performance.
Premier show: It started as a favor for a friend who needed a poem for scrutiny and I performed for the people present and Wham!!! A Eureka kind of feeling engulfed me and I realized that I had to keep at it…. Or lose it (the talent) for life. Since then I normally have a poem for every occasion.
Inspiration: I get deep warm feeling that provokes me to write every time, from different things in life like an experience, a person I have met, a social vice or simply a good feeling from within. Also from neo-soul artists and other poets like Thea Monyee, Georgia me, among others who have contributed to an expansion in my poetic horizon. That also explains why I normally carry a note book with me… Coz I never know when the inspiration will strike.
Aspirations: I always dreamt of being an astronaut…There was something out of this world (literally and not literally) I felt, as I envisioned myself up on space. Now the dream has changed to an innate desire to express my self as eloquently as I can, through the spoken word! And that is just a comeback from my past which I am pursuing.
Achievements: There is an inner satisfaction that comes with being able to follow through with your dream and that is the first achievement I have. Others include sharing a platform with great poets like Pepe Haze, Wanjeri Gakuru, the Kenyan poet, and many more great poets, and doing the spoken word in motivational forums in the city.
Last word: There is so much simplicity in life if only we would learn to see it, revel in it and indulge in it!”
Dela’s love for music started at a young age when, while only 7 she was already singing in church. In primary and high school she continued singing and was an active member of the choir. She always wanted to be a recording artist so, after high school she formed a group and tried to work with other producers but it didn’t quite work out.
Late 2007 she met Andrew Mageto of JME studios and he produced for her the track ‘Nakuegemea’, which was subsequently released in March 2008. It was when she was working with Mageto that she became interested in live music and it’s also through him that she got her music into mainstream radio. In the University of Nairobi, where she is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture, she met Dan “Chizi” Aceda (dubbed the crown prince of Afro Fusion). She decided to do background vocals for him in order to polish her performance skills.
Since then she has done background vocals for MAMA award winner Wahu , KORA Award winner Achieng Abura, KISIMA Award winner Didge, Stan, Wendy and many others. She has performed at various events like Tusker Project Fame, Idols, Sawa Sawa Festival, WAPI, Spoken Word and Love is…. both as a solo artist and as a background vocalist. During August and September of 2009 she has performed in the Netherlands, Sweden and UK as part of the New East African European tour organized by Penya Africa.
She has signed to Penya Africa through whom her debut album Paukwa is being released in November 2009. It will be a fusion of Afro, Neo-Soul, Reggae and Hip-Hop. The producers working with her on the album are Wawesh, Mageto and Sweden based Mastah L (Andreas).