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Naiboi Worldwide: The Rise And Fall Of Kenya’s Top Musician And His Whereabouts

Michael Kennedy Claver, popularly known as Naiboi, has been in the music industry for about two decades. The celebrated artiste became a household name, especially after switching his name from Rapdamu to Naiboi.

The artist coined from the term Nairobi Boy. He served Kenyans with hits after hits and boldly spoke about the promotion of Kenyan music.

He was also a critique of media stations that played international music while neglecting Kenyan music.

Here is his story as told by WoK,

Launch of his career 

His love for music began when he was a young boy and his parents supported his journey. The artist launched his music career in 2003 when he recorded his first song.

Speaking to Kybe Photography in a past interview, he said it was very expensive at the time as he had to cough Ksh3,500 to record his song.

He saw an opportunity prompting him to buy the software and began producing music for other artists. He produced for the likes of Avril, King Kaka, Qty, Kristoff and Wyre. He established Pacho Entertainment, a record label that became a force to reckon with.

Soaring high 

It was not until 2014 that Naiboi began to gain traction with the release of the song, Welle Welle featuring Timmy Tdat. The song propelled him to success and after years in the industry, people began to take notice of him.

As his success rocketed, his songs received massive airplays on radio and he performed in various shows.

In 2016, two of the songs he featured on, Gudi Gudi by Kristoff and Tingika by Rankaddah, went on to win the Breakthrough Video and Best New Artist awards at the Pulse Music Video Awards. 

In 2017, his song Problems topped the charts in Kenya and was played everywhere. 2018 was one of his best years as his song 2 in 1 became a massive hit.

It featured a number of celebrities including Frasha, Nyashinski, Sauti Sol, Kagwe Mungai, Mwalimu Rachel and Fena Gitu. It was meant to be a promotion for another song.

However, it became a sort of national anthem to various factions and is currently his most watched video on YouTube with 6.9 million views.

It received two nominations for Male Video of the year and Viewers Choice of the year at the 2018 Pulse Music Video Awards.

At the eve of 2019, he performed with the award winning reggae group Morgan Heritage and there was a hint of a brewing collaboration afterwards.

In 2019, he was chosen as one of the Kenyan artists to be featured on Coke Studio Africa. The same year, he enjoyed relative success with songs like Sondeka, Mmoja and Somaga attracting huge viewership. 

In 2020, he continued to enjoy success with songs like Rada featuring Avril and Black featuring Nyashinski.

He also unfollowed everyone except his son from Instagram the same year citing in an interview with Emos Njoroge that it was not good for his mental health.

He had become addicted to the app and would check it everyday and compare himself to others who were doing better. 

Disappearing from the limelight 

Naiboi entered a contract with Universal Records that stifled his career for a period of two years.

The afropop artist said the record label had barred him from producing music for two years saying he needed good lawyers as he had hundreds of songs which he couldn’t release. He released a 10-track album the same year. 

“All I ever wanted is to release music for my fans. And I know my fans are worried wondering what’s up with A Naiboi!! My Hands have been tied for almost 2years now. And I am tired of being at mercy of these people,” the frustrated artist shared in October 2021.
He went on to add: “I might need serious lawyers. I might, I think. Nimefika mwisho. I Miss NaiBoi as much as you do. Pray for me. I keep everything to myself a lot, but imefika mwisho. I love music so much it hurts to have over 800 songs and I can’t release even a single one.

In 2022, he did not release many songs with his last release being Killem Widit in April. The song did not perform as well as his previous hits managing to get 45k views on YouTube to date. He has since disappeared from the music scenes with fans wondering where he went.

Whereabouts

Naiboi is said to be in Miami Beach, FL-USA, reports this blog has not been able to independently verify.