Tonicah, a Kenyan born UK based musician has released a new fascinating Hip Hop single titled “Balance” (Yang).
It is a street promo track with the best elements for Tonicah to introduce herself to the public.
The second part of the track titled “Balance” (Yin) will be included on Tonicah’s forthcoming album.
Tonicah, whose full name is Maurine Tonicah Akinyi, is a young woman but a veteran in the music industry. Apart from being a Lyricist, she is also a composer who has studied different genres of music including classical music and jazz piano. Tonicah who is also a sound engineer, has studied energy healing and natural product formulation.
Here’s an exclusive interview she granted The AfroNews.
Tonicah, please tell us something about your new song “Balance”. What motivated you to compose this track? What message are you trying to convey through this song?
The inspiration to this song and all my songs is life. Whatever I learn and go through, I put it into words. Just about everyone is searching for the right person to compliment or complete them because with everything we do, the purpose of it all, of life I suppose is to observe balance.
With this track it’s just me letting guys know what I am looking for because that is a question we all get asked a lot. And for me it’s all about the state of mind. Some search for people to elevate their pockets, status or whatever but you see mine is to go for the long lasting. Physical and material things are too limited. If you meet someone who can help elevate your mind, no matter the outcome, you’ll always be fine.
How would you describe your music?
The sound is Hip Hop with a lot of world sound influences, mostly jazz as that is my thing. Stylistically, my writing is poetic and I delve into matters metaphysical. You know, questions and thoughts about the being, spirit and nature. I am blessed to be able to have a platform to connect with and observe the elements of nature and the elements of Hip Hop artistically. I focus heavily on the forgotten 5th elements of each which are spirit and knowledge respectively.
Why did you decide to become a musician?
I didn’t become a musician, I just grew up with it already in me and just never left it alone. From the dance competitions as a child, poetry contests to songwriting, then learning to play instruments, doing production for others and now I am stepping up in front of the mic. Who knows what’s next. I am currently in the process of writing my first children’s book series. I would like to teach and share knowledge with children in the future but definitely making music is my passion.
How many LPs or tracks have you released so far?
I have worked on a few tracks, mostly collaborations. But I am working on my first EP at the moment
What are some of the problems you are facing as a musician in the UK?
I am not facing any challenges that I may not have foreseen beforehand. Having worked behind the desk, assisting other artists with their projects, I knew what challenges I would have ahead of me and it’s just a matter of dealing with each challenge as it comes while keeping my focus on the goal. It’s an exciting part of the project full of lessons that I wouldn’t look down upon at all.
Are you working on any new tracks? If yes, what type of songs should we expect?
Yes, I am working on the EP, release date is still unknown. My first official single is a song titled “Dream Chaser” which is also the name of the EP. The single is out early next month. At the moment, I am letting each song manifest itself with little interference so I don’t want to prematurely judge or label the final outcome. I will let people give their take on it when it’s out.
What are your future projects?
At the moment it’s all about finishing the album, getting out there on stage and just connecting with like-minded people.
Generally, what messages do you try to pass across through your music?
The importance of knowledge of self, seeking inner truth. That’s what we are here for isn’t it? It’s hard to begin your works when you don’t know what the assignment is and no one but yourself can lead you to the truth.
What’s your advice to young people who would like to become musicians?
It’s not an easy road but if that is where your passion lies, be willing to put the time and effort without ever losing the will. Overnight success happens only to those who have been putting in work through the years.
Any African musicians you greatly admire?
Nneka; Suzanna Owiyo; Ferre Gola; Asa and many others.
What’s your message to Africans in UK?
Represent the beautiful continent well and never lose the culture. We have a beautiful and rich culture that we tend to ignore or look down on with shame when it is a culture of such high reverence, the birth of everything else, second to none. We just need to reconnect and rebuild.
Any plans of releasing a song in Dholuo, your mother tongue?
Not yet. I wouldn’t do the song justice just yet. That would have to be done to perfection if it had to even stand a chance in competing with all those fabulous Dholuo compositions out there. My mom is still waiting for me to do something on an ohangla riddim. That is definitely foreseeable.
By Stephen Ogongo Ongong’a