Singer ALIVYA talks Life in Kenya, Her Love for Singing, and African Culture...
Mistah Wilson: Greetings, Alivya! We are honored to have you here with us for this exclusive interview with ThaWilsonBlock Magazine. How ya' been?
ALIVYA: Great, I have been good , am grateful and honored to be here with you, too.
Mistah Wilson: So our audience can get a better understanding of you, could you give us a quick background on yourself?
ALIVYA: I was born and raised in Kenya, was raised by a single mother, it was me, my mother and my brother. Growing up was not an easy journey, I faced everything from having both my mother and brother sick and having to take care of them, to lack of finances but one thing was for sure, whenever my mum was healthy and on her two feet , I knew me and my brother would be fed, she is a very strong woman, and she always taught me to be strong. I found peace in song writing and singing , I joined the youths choir at 11 years and the praise and worship team , and I sang among 25 year olds. I participated in music and drama clubs and we toured the country and performed in many festivals and wrote my first song when I was 11.
Mistah Wilson: How was life growing up in Nairobi, Kenya for you?
ALIVYA: Growing up in Kenya was actually fun, growing up, I had lots of friends and some of the games we played that will forever remain in my mind are, hide and seek , and police and robber. It was also about lots of books, we read a lot, I had to take a lot of
classes and I had to pass them all. There was also a lot of church, my mum made sure that I attended all the services.
Mistah Wilson: What led you to becoming a musician?
ALIVYA: My love for singing and the healing effect it gives me, I also got a lot of support from friends and my mum. I love it so much and it keeps me going through tough times.
Mistah Wilson: In what ways do you incorporate African culture in your music?
ALIVYA: I always try to incorporate African drum patterns to my songs even if the song sounds really western, I also dress in African attires in my videos and photo shoots.
Mistah Wilson: Are you currently independent or do you have a management team?
ALIVYA: I have a team that really helps me out, I haven’t signed any management contract yet. I however like to be in control of my work because I feel like I know myself best. I mean I know what looks good on me, I know what sounds good , I take advice though.
Mistah Wilson: Let's talk music! What current and upcoming projects do you have in the works?
ALIVYA: I have music videos that I wanna finish, music videos from some of the songs I have on my E.P. I also have a lot of songs that I wanna record, some of the songs are really heavy and personal.
Mistah Wilson: How about events? Got any upcoming shows we should know about?
ALIVYA: I have plans to do a Kenyan tour, but that will probably be at the end of the year.
Mistah Wilson: How serious do you take your musical performances and why? What are some things you do to prepare for a showcase?
ALIVYA: Lighting for me is the most important thing, followed by my stage presence, I want to make sure that my presence is felt and remembered. I prepare for my performance by testing the lightning and by off course going over the song and the routines like a million times.
Mistah Wilson: When writing and performing new songs, where do you pull inspiration from?
ALIVYA: From my personal experiences, mostly so because I am honest with myself and I understand myself best, I am my worst critique.
Mistah Wilson: Who are some key musicians that have influenced you to be the artist you are today?
ALIVYA: Whitney Houston, she made me want to take vocal classes.
Beyonce because of her stage presence, R Kelly and Brenda fassie.
Mistah Wilson: What have been some challenges you've faced when pursuing a career as a musician?
ALIVYA: Trying to come out of the sensitive and emotional part of me that makes me write songs and getting into the business part. I would say the marketing , business and trying to make money from my art has been my biggest challenge. I also have had to face my fears and come out ,be open and connect with my fans past the level of just giving them songs.
Mistah Wilson: What have been some more of the rewarding things on your journey?
ALIVYA: I love how my E.P came out and I like it that I got to work with amazing and great people while recording it.
Mistah Wilson: Who are some artists or musicians you've worked with and would like to work with some time in the future?
ALIVYA: At the moment I have only been working on solo projects, but I would most definitely like to work with Diamond Platnumz of Uganda Davido and WizKid from Nigeria.
Mistah Wilson: Name 3 of your personal favorite songs of yours..
ALIVYA: I love Like A Prayer Madonna
Power of Love Jennifer Rush
We Found Love Rihanna
Mistah Wilson: What do you plan on accomplishing through your music?
ALIVYA: I plan to use music to touch peoples lives and to provide a healing and powerful influence. I also want to accomplish what I was brought to earth to do.
Mistah Wilson: What positive, encouraging words do you have for aspiring musicians looking to pursue a career as an artist?
ALIVYA: That its possible , with a strong will and not giving up, it can be done.
Mistah Wilson: What overall message do you want your fans to know?
ALIVYA: I want all my fans to know that I love them and that whenever they listen to my songs, they should know that they are not alone.
Mistah Wilson: How and where can people keep up with you online?
ALIVYA: People can find me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook as AlivyaFromKenya
Mistah Wilson: Hey, Alivya it's been so great having you here with us for this exclusive interview with ThaWilsonBlock Magazine! Let's hear some shout outs!
ALIVYA: Shoutout to all my friends in America and at home in Kenya, shoutout to all my fans.