What my mother told me on recording 1,400 songs with no airplay- Khaligraph

Khaligraph Jones [Photo: Instagram]

Influential Kenyan rapper Khaligraph Jones real name Brian Robert Ouko has for the first time opened up on his rise to stardom and the tribulations he faced as an upcoming artist.

Speaking to Dr. Kingori, Jones narrated that he recorded over 1,400 songs before his first song made to the radio.

“There is an album I released about a year ago, Testimony 1990. There is a lot of information about Khaligraph that is not out there and because of how I present myself to the public, there is a perception that people have of Khaligraph,” started Jones.

The self-styled OG explained that for reasons unknown to him, people he approached to sell his dreams to turned him down condescendingly.

He denied that he name-drops Kayole in order to earn street credibility.

“I came from totally nothing. I went to school in Kayole. I never attended college or university. Not because I didn’t want to but because of unavoidable circumstances.

“When I started out I used to tell people “niaje mimi ni msanii, ndizo hizi mziki zangu”. A lot of people were looking down on me for a lot of reasons. But I never stopped what I was doing, I was constantly pushing,” added the OG.

Khaligraph Jones [Photo: Instagram]

Jones went on to reveal that his mother, a prayer warrior, stood by him as he wiggled his way to the top and was a source of motivation when his studio time was not translating to perks in the industry.

“I come from a very prayerful family, my mother is a pastor. Sisi tunaomba sana so ata ukiona Mazishi, we pray a lot back home (to laughter from the crowd).

“There was a time it used to pain me that I was doing my music and not getting any attention unlike how it is now. Back then, my big break got me when I recorded over 1,400 singles before my first song was played on radio. I was, always in the studio. Sometimes I got frustrated and went to my mother and asked her, “kwa nini ngoma zangu hazicheswi?”

She responded: “Let me tell you, something son, this and that person will not put you on the map. It is only God. When your time comes no one or anything will block your shine.”

Khaligraph Jones [Photo: Instagram]


In 2011, Khaligraph Jones was arrested on suspicion that he stole an iPod.

“I was wrongly accused of stealing an MP3 player. First, they took me to the police station. When the complainants came, they asked that we settle the matter out of court and demanded Sh10,000.”

His mother refused.

“My other is a prayerful woman, she said, “hapana, mungu atasimama na sisi”. Before I knew it I found myself in Makadara, it was now a court case,” noted the rapper.

There, he was released on a Sh15,000 bail but failed to raise the amount.

“I was given an option to post bail or serve two months in jail. I couldn’t raise Sh15,000. But since OG is OG, I chose the latter and got locked up.