Eko Dydda is one musician who loves giving a good show. He is known for holding his fans and audience captive with his energetic performances.
He was thrust to fame by his smash hit Niko na Reason with rapper Holy Dave. This was followed by other hit songs like Me and My House, Nina One, Sir, Ghetto and most recently Vidole.
With his stagger type of rap, Dydda has been afloat the gospel music industry for close to seven years and just like fine wine, he is getting better and better with age.
Since 2010, the Vidole rapper has received numerous Groove Awards nominations, and has won the Male Artiste of the Year title twice, this year included.
And even though he seems to have it all right now, the ride to the top of the charts was not always smooth.
He says that were it not for the grace of God, he would still be hanging out at studios in River Road waiting to record songs for free.
“I don’t know how I got here, it’s not like I’m the smartest person. Back then, I used to exist, kill time waiting for the following day to arrive, sikuwa na form,” he says with a chuckle. “I used to spend the whole day watching TV series wondering what other people were doing with their lives,”
Dydda recalls spending the entire day hanging out at J Blessing’s – top music video producer – studio at River Road. Together with other upcoming artistes they would sit outside the studio waiting for an opportunity to record songs. Blessing would record the songs for free.
But studio fees were not the only problem. Back then, rap was not considered serious gospel music. Even studio owners did not think much of it
“Hip hop was considered secular. People were against it, even at church the audience would still hear the words but still, they didn’t accept it,” says Dydda.
But things began looking up for Eko Dydda in early 2009, when gospel artiste Kanji Mbugua took a chance on him.
“I thank God for him; he wanted to see me succeed in music and financially. When Kirk Franklin came to Kenya, he made sure I performed and got paid the same amount as the other artistes, some of whom had been in the industry longer,” Eko Dydda
The rapper has two children, Favor Dydda and Wisdom Dydda, aged five and three respectively. The youngsters are already walking in their father’s footsteps.
“The fact that my children are in the industry is not by default. I did not push them. This is all God’s doing. If it were man’s doing, then every footballer or musician’s child would be a star. Not every kid can do this; it’s a special gift especially to us as family,” he says.
Dydda has a project dubbed Tribe-All Generation, a movement that seeks to shun tribalism. The movement encourages intermarriages and naming of children in a manner that sets them up for a global village.
It is the reason his sons have such unique names. Dydda, legally changed his name to Eko Dydda and refuses to disclose his birth name saying it will defeat the purpose of the movement. He only wants to be identified as a Kenyan.
Dydda says he’s happy he married his childhood sweetheart whom he fondly refers to as his “favorite friend”.
“Our union has lasted this long first because of God, and secondly because of the great friendship we have. Our relationship is based on character, not material things. She is the first person I tell everything, be it good or bad news,” Dydda says.