William Kamore (Kymo) and Moses Kariuki (Stigah) literally electrified Kenyans with their hit single aptly named Thitima, which was released in 2016.
Thitima is Kikuyu for electricity. The song received praise and condemnation in equal measure. It was criticised for not being a ‘typical’ praise or worship song. Nevertheless, the single won the duo two awards, – Song of the Year and Afro Pop Song of the Year – at this year’s Groove Awards.
Given the mixed reactions, the duo say they were taken aback that they emerged winners.
“We were a bit surprised, but we are happy we achieved our goal of delivering the word of God in a unique way. We are happy that people finally accepted our song,” they say.
However, their fellow musicians foresaw Thitima becoming a hit.
“I think they (musicians) took us seriously because some of the big names in the industry called to congratulate us on doing a great song. We even got requests to collaborate with some of them,” Kymo says.
They are a dynamic duo that is thriving on doing music with a comical twist, right from the lyrics to their videos. They say this is a trend they will continue capitalising on and their latest song Gathigiriri follows the same script, quirky lyrics with a humourous video and catchy dance moves.
“We feel great because we have done something that Kenyans love. We want people to listen to our music, otherwise we will each be singing our songs in the shower,” Kymo jokes.
When Thitima was released last year, the simple but catchy song got flak from some for trivialising the gospel; others, however, thought it was teaching the Bible in a funny way.
The duo reveals that it took 15 minutes to lay out the track and only two hours to write the song.
“I had an idea and the only words I had in mind were ‘uuuii thitima’,” says Kymo who is in audio production. He was the one who came up with “Thitima” as he was making a drop (a signature audio clip that helps identify a deejay) for DJ Cozmo.
Coincidentally Stigah, a longtime friend of his had passed by the studio and he asked him to record the song with him. And the rest as they say is history.
“We have been friends since 2006. Stigah had come to check out a project I was doing for him but I hadn’t finished it, I think he was mad about that,” Kymo recalls.
The two are happy that the song is not only a hit with the youngsters but to the older generation as well.