Q&A: Muthoni the Drummer Queen

Muthoni the Drummer Queen isn’t your regular artist. She’s one album down, taking life by the horns and riding off into the sunset. Her website calls her “a living, breathing singer of the hero variety… in this life”. This Kenyan-based hip-hop artist isn’t afraid to make things happen, which is perhaps why she’s also the CEO of one of Nairobi’s most loved outdoor music events. Muthoni is also an ambassador for FA254’s African Designers for Tomorrow competition, and we couldn’t be happier to have her with us. We caught up with Muthoni recently for a quick Q&A and here’s what she had to say:   
- What inspires you and gives you your energy? My inspiration comes from my life motto, “I Am. A creative being in image and likeness of the Creator.” As human beings, we were put here to create, and this notion is a deep belief that I have instilled in my life.   – Do you have any major musical influences? Missy Eliot, Kanye West & Busta Rhymes.   – In your experience as a female who makes hip-hop music, do you find there to be much sexism in the genre? Being a woman making hip-hop is no different from being a man making hip-hop. The bottom line is you have to be good. As a woman, there are things you have to be aware of, like language. Hip-hop generally is very misogynistic.   – When you’re not making music, you’re also the organiser of Blankets and Wine, a popular monthly outdoor event in Nairobi. How did this idea come about? Event organising is different from what I do. I run a brand that delivers a music-lifestyle event. I used to do my own shows from 2005, so I had already learnt how to put on a music event. In 2008 I was really frustrated, I had released an EP called Mambo Bado & my 1st video had also come out. I felt like my music career had stepped up but the space I was in had not. Blankets & Wine came about because I was frustrated with the gig I was doing back then, I needed a new space and a new way to present my music. So in one brain storm session with my friends the idea was born.   Muthoni 3– You released an album, MDQ, last year. What are you working on now? I am actually working on the re-release of the MDQ Album. Before the end of the year I will be releasing the complete MDQ Album. The album we released late last year was the advance copy of the album. The objective of this exercise was to test the market. This was my 1st full hip-hop album and I wanted to see how it will be received and at the same time we were testing a distribution mechanism: a mobile based system that involved people receiving the music directly to their phones by sending a text.   – How would you describe your fashion style? I would describe my style as Evolutionary. It’s eclectic with an ability to adapt to my many roles: as a musician & as a Boss Lady. A Fusion of Afro, contemporary and modern styles which incorporates my love of superior art. I strive to make myself a blank slate & my style to be living Art. – You’re an ambassador for FA254’s African Designers for Tomorrow. Why do you think it’s important to get behind young African talent?   I believe in Africa, I believe Africa is the future.   Check out Muthoni’s new music video: “Nai Ni Ya Who”