GIDDY KEYS - MY STORY
I was born in Kakamega, in a place called Ikolomani. We were brought up in a village where people do a lot of gold mining. Also my family, they did this. I have five brothers and four sisters. One brother is living here with me, the others stayed in Kakamega. I arrived in Kibera only last month. My cousin had told me to visit him, so when I came he introduced me to Kica.
Music is something I always wanted to do in my life. That’s why when I found Kica doing this, I decided to stay. In Kakamega it was more difficult – there was no organisation like here. I used to play alone in the house. Life in Kibera is different from the one in Kakamega. Here, you need money for everything, even for water.
I like smiling. I don’t get angry that easily, but when I do, it’s real. Sometimes I’m stressed. Then, I play the guitar and I feel cool. I feel that it’s okay.
As a child, I was very shy. I never liked staying in a crowd. Going to school was hard. They used to bully me a lot. Sometimes my brother would come and deal with them. He was beating them up! I just tried to be persistent and continue my education. But when I reached form two, I dropped out, due to a lack of school fees. For about two and a half years, I didn’t go to school. Then I went back. Last year, I finally finished my form four.
My uncle helped me a lot. He was the one who decided to pay my school fees. My mother and father have also been important to me. Even my religious leaders, my pastors… They have helped me get through harder times. They’ve encouraged me. My mother and grandmother saw me playing and they told me: “You should pursue this.” And of course my brother, he introduced me to music. He was a very good singer. When he sang, it was as if he had two voices at a time. It seems impossible but that’s how he did it. He impressed me so much.
When I was little, I used to see my dad playing the guitar. I would sit next to him, watch him and listen to the sounds he made. One day I just decided to take the guitar and try. I didn’t want to stop anymore. My dad gave me his guitar so that I could do it more. When he saw my passion, he showed me some basics. After that, I went on teaching myself.
I love music. Especially singing and playing the guitar. My step brother was the one who had made me discover this. He was doing music, and one day he called me to tell me: “Hey, you can do music, too! If I can sing, you can also sing. Because we are brothers.” He introduced me to what I love most. When he passed away, I decided to do music. For him and for me.
2012 was when I started writing songs, when I was about 14 years old. I often sing love songs. I don’t really know how to call the genre but I’d say it goes in the direction of R’n’B. When I fall in love, she inspires me. I feel like in need to write this down. My music depends on my mood. If I feel like writing about love, I write about love. If I want to sing to thank God, I do that. It’s a feeling. When I write, I feel it. Once I feel something, it’s easy to write.
Life as an artist
I remember a rather difficult moment: Once I was going to perform somewhere with my brother and a friend that had a group. We reached the place. I had my instrument which I wanted to perform with. I passed it to someone, and when we reached the stage and asked it back, they told me: “Someone has taken it.” I had to leave the stage. I couldn’t perform anymore, and there was no way I could afford a new one. This was a very sad moment for me.
A good memory is from when I performed in church. I sang my song there, and when it was over, there was a lot of applause. It felt so good.
I performed in church, at school, and once even in front of the Spanish embassy.
In the future, I just want to have a good life with a happy family. I want to grow and be a responsible man. I don’t want to be a bad influence, I’d like to do good. When I see people fighting, I’d just like to go up to them and tell them to forgive each other. I would like to be a good example and be able to tell them: “I’ve been in this situation and what I did was this and that.”
I want my music to be heard. Through music, I would like to help my family. It would be good to have a little income to support them. But for you to go to the studio and record a song, you need to have money first. If not, you just have to wait. Another challenge is that some people are not happy about you singing. They tell you: “Focus on something else.” But I’m ready to make sacrifices for music.
My biggest dream is to be the greatest musician. I feel like I’m doing my best.
My message to the community
I would like to tell the community to support their talented people. And to the talented people to support the community. The future depends on their talent.