Multitasker: Radi Mziki is a Kenyan artiste based in Uganda. The singer, songwriter, and performer is the founder of the Radi Mziki Band that has been performing for over ten years. With a knack for music with positivity, she left Kenya to spread a message through sound. She talked to Lawrence Ogwal about doing music in a foreign country and some of her musical plans.
She loves music and wants to use it to send positive messages. Spreading the message meant all to her that she left Kenya to Tanzania and later Uganda which she has made a home while persuing what is almost impossible, the business of music.
What made you leave Kenya to pursue music in Uganda?
Kenya is not a bad place to stay as a musician but for an artiste who wants to spread positive message in different African countries, I left Kenya for Tanzania in 2015 and in 2018 I came to Uganda. Besides spreading positivity, I came for business, I came to do music as a business in Uganda and that’s why I opened up a company, Infinity Music with a Ugandan music enthusiast, Allan Kanyike and together, we also formed the Radi Mziki Band.
Why partner with Allan Kanyike, was he your contact person in Uganda?
Allan Kanyike was not my contact person. We only met in Uganda and realized his love for Ugandan music. We decided to connect and became business partners, that’s how we started infinity music and Radi Mziki Band. The band performs every Thursday at Methods Lounge in Ntinda.
Whats that one thing you realized Ugandan music is rich with?
Unlike other East African countries that I have been to, I realize Uganda has a lot of opportunities, there are lots of talented musicians especially instrumentalists and this was partly the reason it was so easy for me to bring together people to start a band.
In your perspective, what makes music in countries Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda different?
Tanzanian musicians are so authentic, they like doing music in Swahili and they like using their voices. Ugandan singers are into dancehall music besides being strong instrumentalists. In Kenya many years ago, there was a problem of finding our sound and adopting the western kind of music though Sauti Sol has changed the sound and style.
What’s your take on East African music as a whole?
In East Africa, people don’t take music as a business. We need to lobby for funding from our government bodies to help us create structures because music can bring in good money if it is planned for like other sectors.
What is that one thing you have learned musically while in Uganda?
I started doing covers of music from other artistes when I got to Uganda. I never liked doing covers and always preferred doing my own compositions. I have realized that by doing covers, one can improve on their own compositions.
Who is Radi Mziki and when did you join music?
Radi Mziki’s real name is Lillian Wanjiku and I attended schools at Kericho High School, Koinange high School. I started music while in a school choir and later on, I decided to fully join music after doing my Accounting course. I have two albums with songs like Lightning, Pass some love, Positivity, About Love and Togetherness.