Witty, edgy, and will definitely make you dance are just some of the words used to describe Maandy’s music. The self-styled Kabaya; a sheng word used to mean baddie, sings in Sheng and Kiswahili, with club bangers like her latest release Tena. May has arrived and so has Maandy as streaming platform Spotify has announced her as its EQUAL Africa ambassador for the month.
Her music is bound to get you on your feet and is currently enjoying massive airplay on radio as well as at clubs. Maandy is a versatile multi-genre musician. Her debut albums Frisky and Kabaya slip between rapid-fire Trap, Hip-Hop grit, and bouncy Dance Hall styles showcasing her love for her craft.
Maandy joins other Kenyan musical titans such as Muthoni DQ, Nikita Kering’ and Xeniah Manasseh who have also been Spotify EQUAL ambassadors in the past. EQUAL Africa seeks to spotlight and amplify the voices of African female artists breaking down barriers and making waves in music. In addition, it amplifies their music by exposing their catalogue to global listenership.
Maandy began her musical career in 2016, churning out bold and high-quality music while steadily growing her fanbase. Some fan favourites since then include Sirudi Home, Shash na Lipgloss, and BTW
“Being a part of the EQUAL program means a lot to me. I feel seen and appreciated for my work as a woman in the music industry. Navigating a male-dominated industry requires composure and a lot of resilience. As intimidating as it might get sometimes, one has to realize they have just as much right to occupy these spaces as the men,” says Maandy
‘’At Spotify we feel privileged to be able to support and usher in the next wave of talented female artists to new audiences across the globe. We are very proud of Maandy and her contributions to the genre and will continue to support her as she grows as an artist,: says Phiona Okumu, Spotify’s Head of Music in Sub-Saharan Africa.
1. What is that one surprising thing your fans might not know about you?
That I am actually a very shy person in real life. I know most people might not believe it because I’m very expressive in my music, but I am very awkward in social settings.
2. When did you realise that making music was in your destiny and what is your WHY for pursuing this craft?
From a very young age, I was always drawn to music. So after I completed my high school education, I knew that I wanted to pursue it as a career. I honestly never saw myself seated behind a desk, working a 9 to 5. I would say my why for pursuing this craft is, music makes me feel like I belong, and I feel like that’s one thing all of us desire, just to feel like you belong.
3. Which African songs or artists did you grow up listening to?
Growing up, I listened to a lot of Kenyan artists. Especially street music, mostly from Ogopa Records, and a lot of Genge from the likes of Mejja, Ratatat and Lady S. It was the women who did the Genge sound that inspired me to become the writer I am and to this day I listen to a lot of their work.
4. To someone who has never heard your music, how would you describe the sound, tone, and style?
I would describe my sound as edgy, fun, sexy, and unapologetic, a reflection of living in Nairobi as a young woman. My style is very upbeat, cool, and rhythmic.
5. Any advice for someone dreading following their dreams?
My advice to anyone dreading following their dreams is, you are missing out on one of the most beautiful journeys you would ever experience. Take a chance on yourself, and you will be surprised by how much you can achieve and how much you are capable of.