1. What’s your name? My name is Stephen Njeru Wambugu a.k.a Saint Evo.
2. Where do you come from? I hail from Kajiado County in the Republic of Kenya.
3. How long have you been composing? I have been composing since I was 16 years old; experimenting with a variety of software. However, I began trekking the professional path in 2011 to date.
4. What is your creative process? How do you start creating a beat? How do you start writing lyrics to a beat? My creative process always commences with the birthing of a mental concept, which is inspired by past or current emotions, or context anchored experiences. I then immerse the concept into my cerebral bank of musical sounds and feel which sound/sounds will attach itself/themselves to the concept. From there, I endeavor to materialize the concept into an audible musical work. At this stage, I explore an assortment of avenues that may aid in the actualization of the end product, such as a piano, percussion, strings, chants, lyrics or a synthesizer.
5. What made you choose a career in this field? Since I can recall, I seem to have always had an innate passion for music. I have always been enthralled by the ability to materialize an emotion or a cognitive sensation into an acoustic phenomenon that can trigger a personal and spiritual experience in the life of a listener.
6. Did you do any courses for your career field? Yes, I did, I took a course in Music & Sound Engineering at the Music Technology Academy at Homeboyz Entertainment Ltd (Kenya), where I passed with a distinction.
7. What advice can you give to aspiring composers? I would offer them 4 key lessons to always have in mind in this business.
Lesson 1: Not to trust every Tom, Jill & Dick. Learn to cultivate the right team and crowd around you that stimulates your growth. This is because some people have ulterior motives as to why they would like to work with you or even hang around you. In the meanwhile, they are akin to vampires sapping your creative life force.
Lesson 2: Cultivate copious amounts of patience. In this enterprise, patience is the currency that keeps one sane.
Lesson 3: Legal due diligence. Always ensure you are legally covered with a contract in any dealings that involve your musical works, be it a release under a record label or distributor or in any other matter that involves your intellectual property.
Lesson 4: Managing criticism and disappointments. Criticism comes in three forms; constructive, destructive and nonsensical. Constructive criticism helps you become a better composer and edifies your holistic growth as a person. Destructive criticism is usually informed by envy, guile or malice. It is meant to regress you and poison your intrinsic creative wells. Nonsensical criticism is made by vacuous idle minds. It unnecessarily consumes your cognitive RAM. Learn how to differentiate between the three.
Disappointments, on the other hand, are part and parcel of this industry. Plans may not always pan out as strategizing. Expectations may not be met. That is part of life. Bank the lesson and move on.
8. Which other composer’s or artists have you worked with? I have had the pleasure of working with various unique composers and artists, such as Toshi (SA), Idd Aziz (Kenya), RubyGold (SA), Tina Ardor (Kenya), Chinjong x Chinjong (Cameroon), Zipho (SA), NIKIA SUNCHLD (USA), Lizwi (SA), Rocio Starry (Spain), Denham Smith (Jamaica), Kage Sparks (UK), Madigari (Namibia), Jon Mavek (USA), Warren Deep (Zimbabwe), Native Tribe (SA), Kwame (Kenya), Thab de Soul (SA), Hybrid Actuary (Kenya) and many others.
9. What has been the highlight of your career? My debut year on the Traxsource house music sphere saw me experience a thrilling production rollercoaster, culminating in a ranking of #41 on the Afro House Top 100 Artists of 2018 in the world.