Katapilla is a hip-hop artist from Kenya. Many know him from the Odinare Challenge which was setup by Khaligraph Jones and Odi Bets of which he became the winner, but there’s more to the artist than just that. Many know him from his hard flow of rapping and his creativity while setting up the bars. Katapilla has been active this year having been featured in most songs from various artist. We caught up with the music artist to find out more about him, his musical journey, and his upcoming music projects.
Kindly share something about yourself?
I used to play football as an attacking winger way before I became a rapper, I’m a big fan of dancehall music and I can actually make dancehall tunes but hip-hop is where I’m at vibe wise. I don’t know how to ride a bike haha.
Can you briefly speak about it upbringing and how you got into music?
I was born in Naivasha October 22 1997. My family shifted to Nairobi when I was still little so I grew up in Huruma area before relocating to Kibera which made most of what I am today after the 2007 election skirmishes
What was the first project you released when you started putting it music out?
First project I released was a hip-hop track on YouTube Titled “fake friends” I guess around 2017.
Song got major love from my people in Rongo university where I was studying at that time and from that song I’ve always been working on stuff
Who or what inspired you to make music?
My music inspiration comes from different avenues.
I have role models I look up to, Tupac , Abbas Kubaff, Khaligraph Jones and even some of my peers.
Also my daily life situations inspire me to write and be better.
What could you say has been your experience navigating through the Kenyan Music industry?
My upcoming years in the industry were a rollercoaster. Right now I’m maneuvering fine more connection, quality work, Good times ,bad times we live and learn and grow. I’ve made friends, enemies, and that’s just how it is I’m still in it though we’ll see how it goes but the working is constant
Currently how do you feel about the state of Kenyan music?
I feel the Kenyan music industry is deep in the struggle of trying to find a definitive sound and it’s okay that way. Artists are diversifying their styles as it should be. The fans need to play more of our music. Also the artist has to make sure he/she delivers quality music
When you came together with Hassan, Chumba and John to form Afrocentric what vision did you guys have in mind?
From the name Afrocentric, we had that motive to change the game employing that African touch of greatness with genres that come our way. We have our debut album set to drop by early next year ,you should pin this comment for then Hehe
Let’s talk about your single ‘Swali’ which was a hit. What made you come up with the concept of the song?
Swali is one of my favorite projects.
For sometime I had been recording random hip-hop music with random bars and flows and catchy hooks, I suddenly felt like it was too easy for me I wanted to challenge myself to make something different, something hip-hop ,cool and easy but at the same time classical content, I then overheard some of my friends arguing like which country had the best hip-hop exports between Kenya and Tanzania and there I wrote myself a banger!
Are there any upcoming hit projects that we should expect from you this year?
Yes definitely fire music coming through, expect nothing but greatness from me from now on. I’m dropping a hip-hop joint titled “SIZE YETU” plus visuals on Friday. I have a special banger with Femi one also set to drop.
My mixtape is scheduled for December too.
Who would you most like to collaborate with in your upcoming music projects?
I would like to work with so many artists. I’ve been targeting a KOB collabo , Masta VK, Kristoff, I sure want to organize a hit with Scar Mkadinali too. I also would like to kick it with Bien in studio some day.
If you could open a show for any artist who would it be? And Why?
Any Kenyan act as long as the promoter paid me right. You know what time it is!
It’s been a year since you won the Odinare Challenge, how would you say the money has helped grow so far?
The Odinare challenge was a game changer for me. I had to make sure I move different, work different
Put more time, effort and money on my craft. Also it taught me a lot about friendships and life in general.
How do you feel the internet impacted the music business?
The internet has actually made it easy for acts to be out there. Although it has its side effects and all
It has made it easy for an artist to promote music and brand him/herself for fans to relate with them out there.
If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?
If I could change anything about the industry I would make sure cooperates put more money in the industry so that artists get more cashflow and push their work internationally. I would Abolish MCSK and replace it with a more serious and work ethical commission. I would play more of Kenyan talented musicians on TV and radio and offer major acts with big opportunities to shine and flourish, I’d also make sure any international act stepping foot in Kenya to perform and make money leaves a verse here with one of our big acts for international promotion.
When you’re not making music, what are you up to?
If I’m not making music I’m listening to music I made. I also play soccer to clear off my mind whenever I’m not in studio.
I write poems and movie scripts just trying to Sharpen the craft.
What is one message you would give to your fans?
One message I’d give my fans is keep streaming, sharing, viewing and playing Kenyan content, kama kuna show, fika!
Sing along with us in shows! Buy our merchandise and our albums.
Also spread peace and love in these tricky times.
What’s next for you?
I’m about to drop more content than ever before. More visuals from me. Bodies of work, and collaborations here and there.
The grind never stops 💯
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