Rappers AY and Mwana FA have in the past collaborated on various projects including an album from their days as members of the East Coast Team that was a major force in the emerging Bongo Flava industry.
Over the weekend the two released their latest single ‘Upo Hapo’ but this time it involved another hip hop star Fid Q, something that left many wondering whether they had formed a new group.
“If that was the case then it would be a blessing to us and to the industry but as far as we are concerned this was just a project that we felt we had to do,” says AY when he visited the Citizen offices.
The new video has been a great hit already as it takes a different route from the flashy lifestyles that most Bongo Flava videos of today display.
“We wanted something unique that tells the kind of maturity that we as artistes who have been on the big stage for almost 15 years,” says the singer.
According to AY they three are already established artistes and stars in their own right who are already doing well in their careers.
“When you look at what Fid Q and Mwana FA has achieved there is no need for has to go in the direction of putting up a group for now,” he says.
He adds: As you are aware I have always collaborated with Mwana FA on many songs so I felt there was need for to come up with something new that injects in new energy and that is what Fid Q brings into the mix. After the Dar es Salaam launch the trio intend to embark on a countrywide media tour before they take it to the rest of East Africa with Nairobi and Kampala on top of the cards.
“We have always set the standards, long before anyone ever thought of going to record abroad I was already working with the Ogopa Djs and later when the Nigerians came into the picture I was there,” says AY
In another development, AY whose last major hit was Zigo Remix says he has been silent since that release because he believes there is need to create demand as opposed to the idea of visibility.
“As a brand you have to create some longing because if you are always available then at some point you could become irrelevant to the very fans that you think you are reaching out to,” he says.
According to him despite the blame falling on artistes for producing a certain type of music, he says fans shape the kind of music that because without them who else would they be producing the music for.
“Artistes always try to stay relevant by bending to the torrents of the day or else they would get broken should they resist,” he says.
He sees the rivalry and constant squabbles in the industry as a sign that there is some money that is coming in otherwise all this would be uncalled for.
“Right from the days of East Coast, we never believed in stunts. The rivalries that you see now in Bongo Flava are because there are some gains and that is why the fights have become a common place,” says the rapper.
AY began his career with the group S.O.G. in 1996. He decided to go solo in 2002. Though there are no records available AY is believed to be among the first Bongo Flava artistes to have recognized the commercial potential of hip hop earning him the tag ‘Mzee Wa Commercial’.
He was member of the musical group known as East Coast , but now he’s no longer part of the group. He has released several songs and albums most of the times collaborating most with an ex-coast artist MwanaFA with hits such as Habari Ndio Hiyo, Usije Mjini and many more becoming hits.