No sooner had Thitima taken over the airwaves than gospel critics came out guns blazing and condemning the song as being too wayward for the industry.
Despite the industry taking drastic transformation over the years, no one had thought that the popular sound drop used in secular music mixes would find its way into gospel and actually become a fad.
But it was here and the song requests and views were being made in high numbers.
So how exactly did the duo William Kamore aka Kaymo and Moses Waweru aka Stiga settle on Thitima as their preferred song title?
“Many people don’t know this, but I was the one who did the first ever Thitima DJ drop,” Kaymo says.
“As a producer, I was working closely with DJ Dolce so we agreed that there needed to be a new authentic drop sound in Kenyan music mixes. The ‘fire baby’ drop had become too common yet it was foreign, so we crafted a localised drop and ‘Thitima’ came to life,” he adds.
Unfortunately, despite the drop getting copy pasted by DJs all around Kenya and even in neighbouring countries like Uganda, Kaymo never got the much needed credit for his work, neither could he copyright the drop because MCSK told him that they only paid royalties for complete songs.
Several years later and Stiga who had heard the drop during a tour to Malawi suggested they do music titled the same, after all, they were originators of the drop.
Whereas this was their first hit song, it was not quite their first musical stint. Kaymo had been in Samawati band for years, up until he met Stiga in 2006 and together they decided to collaborate on music.
“Samawati Band came up in 2004 as a result of our interaction at the Kamata School of Music. Back then I was into music production, Eric was keen on the band, while my sister was a voice coach but together, we felt that we could achieve more. It was then that we formed Samawati Band and started handling our own music production tasks.” Kaymo tells Pulse.
Impressively the quest to conquer and make a mark in the Kenyan industry became the culmination of a relationship as Eric and Beatrice got hitched, leaving Kaymo to ‘third wheel’ in the name of music.
So did he ever feel like an intruder into their union?
“No. Beatrice was my sister before she became Eric’s wife, so that meant that there was a stronger bond amongst us. I started off at Samawati with a sister and now I had a brother in law so it didn’t quite feel like third wheeling,” he explains.
It was during the group’s transition phase that Stiga and Kaymo formed their own group and released No Weapon Formed Against Me”.
“We didn’t quite feel the pressure to perform or rise the gospel music ranks within a short time. We were friends first and that made our projects pressure free because we were willing to learn and grow from each other,” Stiga remarks.
Their music was always hinged on Biblical messages but at some point, they realised that the industry could take a few comical tracks. Even if the music would not be highly received, they were ready to think outside the box and try some diverse dialects in Thitima
“We are both from the Kikuyu tribe, but in the music, we had Luo and Luhya accents. This was because we wanted an aspect of diversity so that Thitima would represent Kikuyu while the other accents would be in place of other tribes.” Stiga concludes.
Going forwards Kaymo and Stiga are set to release new music early November and still in the quest to break new ground musically, they may unveil a new sound into the industry.
“Our new music will be out early November and of course, it shall involve a few unique aspects. From experience, we realised that ordinary music may not fly off the shelf or become as viral, so it’s time to break some more musical rules.” Kaymo and Stiga both declare.