The Kenyan music industry has proven to be expanding thus experiencing a whole dynamic and immense growth. This has become so possible through giving new artists a chance to showcase their craft and talent. In this segment of ‘Artist to watch’ we get to feature Valarie Moraa a new rising versatile singer, songwriter and a dancer. Moraa has shown immense passion for music all through her journey from doing musical covers to now producing her own music. The Nairobi- based artist speaks to us about her music career and future plans.
DESCRIBE YOURSELF TO PEOPLE WHO DON’T KNOW YOU WELL, WHO IS MORAA?
My name is Valarie Moraa, a very talented 19-year-old singer, songwriter, creative entrepreneur, and a dancer whose currently pursuing a degree at Maseno university bachelor of arts, drama, and theatre.
TAKE US THROUGH YOUR UPBRINGING AND HOW YOUR INTEREST IN MUSIC BEGAN?
I come from a Christian home. My interest in music started way back in Sunday school, I remember how passionate I was singing in front of the church’s congregation. Growing up I never saw myself as an artist despite my friends calling me ‘msanii’. Joining highschool I happened to participate in a talent show while in form one and won. The award spiked a lot of motivation in me. I started writing my own songs not knowing when I’ll ever produce them. I even joined a school band where I learnt more about my voice and the power behind it.
WHAT INSPIRES YOUR STYLE OF MUSIC?
I’ve grown up listening to so many artists via the celebrated radio station Classic 105, so I have to say listening to the likes of Whitney Houston and Marie Carey has really impacted my style of music. I tend to pour out my emotions during my songwriting sessions thus contributing to it.
HOW HAS YOUR EXPERIENCE BEEN NAVIGATING THROUGH THE KENYAN MUSIC SCENE?
It has not been that challenging since I started off with covers. I did music covers all through my highschool and the positive responses that I would receive from both Instagram and TikTok was immensely motivating. So far I can say I have loved the experience of performing in events and getting to meet new people everyday. I have heard from artists and creatives that I never imagined would ever see my work online, the likes of Kendi Christine, Karun, and Emma Cheruto just to mention a few.
WHEN DID YOU START MAKING YOUR OWN MUSIC?
I officially started doing studio projects the moment I joined campus. As i have said I had songs that I had written while in highschool. At the onset of my university life I got to meet my current producer ‘Sketch the artist’ and worked on my first project dubbed ‘Nailed to the heart’ featuring Timothy Githinji. The reaction was very motivating and with no time I formed a band alongside my two friends and coined it as ‘Hotspot Band’ . As a band we have so far worked on many songs not forgetting an EP that dropped late last year dubbed ‘Heartbreaks and Highs’ .
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER SO FAR?
So far my biggest highlight has been I being able to record my second song after a long time dubbed ‘ What is love’ and shot my first ever music video for my song ‘By my side’ . It took me a lot of time and hardwork to be able to pull it off. I have also collaborated with some other artists on songs like ‘Closer’ , ‘Over’ , and ‘Friday Anthem’. Recently I just released a single ‘Fire on Fire’ that dropped on 14th February.
WE FIND YOUR SONG ‘By My Side’ TO BE SO SENTIMENTAL AND POWERFUL WHAT IS THE STORY BEHIND IT’S INSPIRATION?
The song is actually from a personal experience. There is this boy I had a crush on while in highschool. ‘By My Side’ was written during my night preps and sung it to my deskmate who highly rated it. Coming to campus it was among the songs I talked to my producer about and we worked on.
YOU JUST RELEASED A SONG DURING THE VALENTINE’S, TALK ABOUT ‘Fire on Fire’….
Fire on Fire is about a lady who is deeply in love with a man, but the man is not ready to get attached to her. So the lady basically says that she will wait expressing the love she has for the man.
WHO WOULD YOU LOVE TO COLLAB WITH IN THE NEAR FUTURE?
Definitely Nikita Kering, Sautisol, Brandy Maina, Kinoti, Ethan Muziki and Bridget Blue.
WHAT IS YOUR MESSAGE TO ANYONE WHO WANTS TO VENTURE INTO MUSIC?
I’d tell them to believe in themselves, workhard and never stop.
WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT FROM YOU?
I have a lot of written songs and just thinking about it, I can’t wait to release more fire songs and perhaps an EP before the end of the year.
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