INTERVIEW – FemiOne: « Why do people feel the need to call us ‘female rappers’? »

What made you want to become a rapper?

When I was in primary school, I used to listen to Wenyeji and Necessary Noize , cram their verses and rap during breaks in school. My interest in rap started there and I realized I had it in me and I needed to pursue it.

You say in your bio “I’m the Femione among the Feminine (Femcees)”. What do you mean by that?

That is my tag line, which simply means I am the best among them all.

You often rap in swahili and sheng. Why do you choose to do so? 

I am comfortable rapping in  sheng plus I want people to relate to my songs. I also don’t want to end up sounding fake with an acquired accent.

What is the track “Usiku Mchana” about? Can you tell us what is the story behind the song?

« Usiku Mchana » is about a lover/friend/family who feels insecure about a loved one on the limelight. It explains that there are still people who will stay humble even after the fast life, money and fame so no need to be insecure. It is actually something that happened to me.

Who are your female role models and why?

Nazizi is my role model. She paved the way for us ‘female’ rappers and showed us and the world we can rap plus I can relate to her songs.

How would you describe the female hip hop scene in Kenya?

It’s growing but we are not where we should be. The industry is male-dominated but femcees are really trying but we can do better.

Do you consider yourself a feminist?

Yes, in my own little way. Let me ask you a question, why do people always feel the need to distinguish us and call us female rappers while the male rappers will just be given the title “rapper”? Are’nt we all rappers?

What are you listening to these days?

I listen to all genres of music, if it’s good music. I can’t say I like a specific genre.

What are your upcoming projects?

I have so much in store, more music videos this year, more music. Stay tuned.

What do you think of Madame Rap? What should be changed or improved?

Madame Rap should be more consistent and release more music. Support and uplift one another and the industry will grow.

Find FemiOne on FacebookYouTube and Twitter.

Éloïse Bouton

Lire l’interview en français ici.

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