By Prudence Minayo
Fame happens to some overnight or it can be a slow tedious process and in many situations it never happens at all. Sometimes all it takes is one song, one video or even one picture. The journey to become a well known musician in Kenya is often not easy. You have to appeal to the audience or have songs that many can relate with. Bensoul is a fast rising Kenyan musician whose lyrical prowess and soulful voice have merged together to make him a sensation.
He is a multi talented musician who can sing, compose lyrics and also play instruments. His lyrics clearly depict that music is a way to artfully express what goes on in the society. With him, there is no mincing words or beating about the bush as the message in his songs are crystal clear.
This is the story of how he rose to become a household name and what inspires him and the music.
His real name is Benson Mutua Muia.
While in high school, a teacher commended his voice and told him he had such a soulful voice. Hence, the reason for adding soul to his name.
The multi talented musician is 24 years old. He was born on 4th March 1996 in Embu county.
Benson went to school in his home county and when the time came to join university, he went to Nairobi. He was pursuing a course in civil engineering at the Technical University of Kenya but dropped out after deciding his passion and fulfilment lay in music.
“I was called to the Technical University of Kenya to do Civil Engineering. I did it for three years and dropped out in my fourth year and said this wasn’t for me. There’s this day, I attended Power 254 and saw three boys who were dressed so weirdly. I borrowed Kenchez guitar from H_art the band. They told me they wanted a bass player, and I saw it as an opportunity to keep me busy,” he was quoted by Standard Digital.
It might be safe to conclude that music lies in his blood. His parents were each musically gifted in their own way, which played an important role in his love for music. It was a part of his life from an early age. His father played the guitar while the mother sang at the choir. While he was in class six, he began learning how to play the guitar.
Growing up, he was more close with his mom as he expressed in the song, Nikuchukie. The song expresses how he was raised by his mother in poverty with no help from the dad. He had the power to help out but did not do so. However, he bears no grudges. When he made the decision to take on music as a career, his father was against it but his mother supported the decision.
As mentioned earlier, he was exposed to music from an early age. The first thing he learnt in music was how to play instruments and now he can play a number of them including the violin, bass guitar, drums and is also interested in the saxophone.
He discovered his passion for writing music in high school and wrote his first song. The song was inspired by Lazizi sung by Sauti Sol. The song was well received and this encouraged him to write more songs. He has composed lyrics for a number of artists including: H_art the band, Mercy Masika, Ben pol and Nyashinski.
After moving to Nairobi to pursue a civil engineering course, he met H_art the band at the Kenya National Theater. They formed a good rapport and he began writing music for them.
Later, he joined Sauti Academy and was signed in to the record label, Sol Generation.
According to him, the experience at Sauti Academy was nice. It taught him a lot about the business side of music, networking performance and how to carry himself as a musician.
His debut at Sol Generation was announced in February, 2019.
Since then, he has released a number of songs including:
- Sweet sensi
- Forget you
- No kisses
- Ile kitu
- Don’t question my love
- Lover lover
- Rhumba japani
The song Lucy was inspired by his personal experience. He dated a girl who was also seeing other people.
His recent release, Nairobi is loved by a lot of Kenyans and has about 1 million views in just 4 days. Since the video was released four days ago it has been trending number 1 on YouTube in Kenya with many in the comment session commending him.
The lyricist currently has a high following on social media and has amassed close to 100,000 subscribers on YouTube as of now.
- Artist of the year at the Café Ngoma Awards in both 2017 and 2018.
- Collabo of the year at the Pulse Music Video Award (PMVA).