Valerie Kimani: Soundtrack Of My Life

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Valerie Kimani was the winner of the inaugural Tusker Project Fame vocal talent search competition in 2006. The Kenyan Afro-fusion songbird was in town for the Maurice Kirya Live in Kampala concert on Friday September 2, 2011.

MY WEDDING SONG
I was thinking about that the other day. I hope I remember it. Gosh, which one was it? I can’t remember. Wait! It is a danceable (snaps her fingers while humming along to the track). Gosh! It will come to me then I’ll tell you.

MY FAVOURITE SONG TO SING AS A CHILD
“Redeemer”; Nicole C. Mullen
I used to sing it everywhere I went. Everyone thought I had written it. No wonder it was a hit song. It had t do with the place I was in. I had just discovered that I could sing. It was my first experience of performing a song.

SONG THAT MAKES ME CRY
“Too Much Heaven”; The Bee Gees.
I don’t know if it is the harmonies or the arrangement but that song is crazy. I like what it talks about which is you can’t get too much of a good thing.

MY PARENTS’ FAVOURITE SONG
MUM; “Fast Car” & “Baby Can I Hold You Tonight”; Tracy Chapman
My mother is a very deep person and Tracy Chapman lyrics have substance and are very and issue-oriented. I have this Best of Tracy Chapman CD, which she has literally stolen. She (mum) is a deep and thoughtful person, which explains why she loves country music.

DAD; “Sirudi Tena”; Valerie Kimani
My dad loves rhumba and Benga songs. He loves to dance and always sings along when this music is playing. No wonder he loves this song (off her debut album, Baisikeli).

DOWN-IN-THE-DUMPS SONG
“Smile”; Kirk Franklin
I go Christian and always turn to God like everyone else in such situations because in those moments I want hope, positivity… The chorus says something about “almost giving up” because there have been points in my life when I almost gave up on music and so many things. The song tells us tat there is a power inside each of us. I also like Bee Gees’ “You Should Be Dancing”. I am such a melancholic person and sometimes I need the opposite of what I am like that disco song.

MY FAVOURITE ROMANTIC MUSIC
“Come Away With Me”; Norah Jones
That song is so beautiful for me. It just captures the romance… “come away with me in the night”… I like that she (Norah Jones) is a songwriter. I like that she doesn’t follow any type of rules. I also like Anita Baker. She is very unique, she doesn’t try too hard and her music is timeless.

MY FAVOURITE KENYAN POP SONG
“Kare”; P-Unit
I am not really a pop person but the beat on this song is so catchy, just off the hook, the kind that brings out the side of me that screams at a concert. I also like Juliani. He very a very committed musician and takes his life seriously. And he makes his music work because many times as musicians we are very sentimental yet at the end of the day we have to eat. I also like the fact that he’s been able to make gospel music palatable.

MY FAVOURITE WORLD/ ETHNO MUSIC
That will have to be anything from Richard Bona and a South African artiste called Simphiwe Dana. I like depth and I am able to connect with these two artistes because you can tell that their music is authentic.

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