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Vinny Flava: From Hawking Smokies And Undergarments To Becoming One Of The Most Popular Artist In Kenya

Vinny Flava, real name Vincent Mgenya Omondi,  is a talented Kenyan artist who has taken the music industry by storm. His song, Habibi, released five months ago topped the charts on Kenya’s trending videos on YouTube in the music category. The song currently has over 1.3 million views on YouTube and was hailed a masterpiece by most of his fans.

Here is his story as told by WoK

Love for Music and Moving to Nairobi 

His love for music began early in life. Having grown up in Burnt Forest, Eldoret he was not gifted academically. However, he knew he loved music. 

In a recent interview on Obinna TV, the artist revealed that he moved to Nairobi in 2016 with plans of becoming a big time artist. The journey to stardom was not easy as he was met with numerous rejections after approaching producers. 

Odd jobs 

To make a living, he started smelling smokies. However, the business failed, forcing him to try his hand as a construction worker. He worked until he developed weakness in one of his hands. 

This prompted him to look into a business that would make him money and was not strenuous. This is how he started selling women’s undergarments. 

Joining EMB Records 

During this period, he kept alive the dream of becoming a musician and was able to get celebrated gospel turned secular artist Bahati’s number. 

He later realized he had been talking to someone disguised as Bahati until later when he got his real number. He unsuccessfully reached out to the artist numerous times.

At one time, he was asked to write an email and never got a response. 

Through persistence, Bahati picked his call one day and he found himself signed to his then music label, EMB. This seemed like a dream come true, however, three months later, the record label closed down and all their contracts were terminated. 

Flava decided to stick to Bahati and did a number of odd jobs for him. He wasn’t willing to let go of the artist whom he thought would pave the way for his success. He would drive the artist’s car and run errands for him.

Early 2022, Diana Bahati revealed on Instagram that she had signed her first artist under her label, Diana B Entertainment. She disclosed it was Vinny Flava and in response he thanked her for the opportunity..

“My name is Vinny Flava, from Diana B entertainment. Today is one of the biggest days in my music life. I give God all the glory. Forever grateful to the special souls that made this a success. Forever grateful to my super able management for making this happen. To my new followers, I call you my family, let’s do this. Much love to the Bahati’s family, @diana_marua and @bahatikenya,” he wrote. 

The two went on to collaborate on the song Mubaba. Posted on her YouTube channel on 2nd February 2022, the song has over 2.3 million views. 

Breaking out on his own 

Later, he seemed to pursue the journey on his own. He explained to Obinna that leading up to 2023, he was very broke. 

The music seemed not to be working and a song he had posted on his channel had barely made 100 views. Hence, he said he looked up to God and asked for his help to market his songs. 

When he released the song, Habibi, he did not expect it to be a hit the way it was. From then, he felt as if all those years of holding on to his dreams had finally paid off.

Today, his channel has over 113k subscribers and over five million views. His music video Nyako has over 2.2 million views while his recent release Gal Toto has over 277k views. 

The singer said in a past interview that music is spiritual. He said no one can succeed in the industry without using a certain power, either evil or good. According to him, it is the power of God that has seen him break through in the music scenes. 

Relationship 

The artist is in a relationship with Gee Nganga. The couple share their journey on Gee Nganga’s YouTube channel. He said she has been with him even when he had nothing and was living in a tiny house.

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