Kenyans.co.ke on Sunday, May 24, caught up with Under 18 and Sitoi kitu kidogo hitmaker Jimwat, real name James Mburu, who revealed what he was up to, away from the public radar.
The artiste opened up on various topics including his return to the music industry, his recovery from alcohol addiction and the evolution of the Genge sound he helped pioneer into Gengetone, which is currently ruling the charts.
Jimwat disclosed that he was currently preoccupied with his come-back to the music industry, his new record label and his foundation meant to help youth dealing with addiction.File image of popular rapper Jimwat
Having last released a single in 2019 titled, Fresh Baba, he revealed that he was working on several other songs and videos which he urged fans to look out for.
The artist noted that he had recorded another video with acclaimed director VJ One who shot the visuals for Fresh Baba.
Associated with BMG Empire after leaving Calif, Jimwat clarified that he had since left BMG to focus on building up his own entertainment company, Jimwat Entertainment.
"Right now my focus is on my comeback and re-building my brand. I'm working on new music, in fact, there is another video from VJ One other than Fresh Baba. We did a live-stream show the other day with a company called 33 Beats.
"I am building up my stable Jimwat Entertainment. We are working with various artists, one of them is J Blue. I released a collabo with him last year (2019) as well.
"But I am also busy with my foundation, the Jimwat Solo Foundation. Our work is on recovery and addiction, and we work with youth and institutions on these issues. There is a different way the youth in the hood can hear a story from Jimwat," he stated.
The Jimwat Solo Foundation
His foundation, he explained, partners with various organisations to help addicted youth work towards recovery and to raise awareness on drug addiction.
Jimwat knows all too well the detrimental effects of alcohol addiction, as it derailed his music career which took off at Calif Records with several hits between 2003 and 2012.
Jimwat created a unique, story-telling style and released several popular singles before falling deeply into alcoholism which he battled for years, before recovering and telling his story.
He made a come-back to the scene in 2019, revealing that he would seek to continue with his Genge 'edutainment' niche which sees him address various topical issues in society.
Songs such as Sitoi Kitu Kidogo are an example of what Jimwat calls Genge edutainment, fun songs that offer useful information to the public.File image of former Calif Records star JimwatDaily Nation
He revealed that he was working on a new release called Singedo, a Genge edutainment song that looks back at his own battle with alcoholism.
Questioned on how getting sober had affected his creative process when it came to making music, he explained that his new music was grounded in reality.
"I can say my creative process right now is more real. I'm more in touch with reality so I speak about topics that affect everyone and topics that can actually help people.
"It's more of Genge edutainment because it touches on different aspects of society and works inside and outside the club," he stated.
Jimwat acknowledged the rise of Gengetone, a Genge Sub-genre, but maintained that he did not plan on switching up his sound to suit the new wave.
"Change is inevitable, it is inevitable that Genge would evolve and now it's Gengetone. We have to welcome it.
"However, where we disagree a bit is on the subject matter of the songs. Gengetone seems to have a lot about partying and sex, but there is a way you can talk about these things without being derogatory. For example our song Paulina, it was all about praising women and it was a hit but it wasn't derogatory at all.
"I'll be sticking to more of the Genge edutainment style that captures issues that are real and people can really relate to," he stated.
Watch Jimwat's last single Fresh Baba below:
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