Publishing News

Meet your composer: Tetu [Kenya]

May 30, 2019

What’s your name? My name is Tetu Shani

Where are you come from? Nairobi, Kenya

How long have you been composing? I’ve been writing songs since 2014

What is your creative process? How do you start creating a beat & how do you start writing lyrics to a beat? I don’t have a single creative process. Almost every song I’ve written so far was birthed in a different way. The most important thing I try to do is put together familiar elements in unique ways.

However, usually, I fiddle around on my guitar until I get a chord progression that inspires me. Then I play it over and over while humming different melodies until I get something that gives me goosebumps. After that, I sing gibberish until words begin to materialise. Then I make those words make sense.

What made you choose music as a career? I almost feel like I didn’t choose this career. It chose me. I couldn’t help but think, eat and drink music

Have you studied music or anything related to it? I received a scholarship to study at Berklee College of Music in 2014 but I declined it to pursue a full-time career in music.

What advice can you give to aspiring composers? The advice I’d give is to count the cost. This is one of the hardest careers in the world. Make sure that you have the resilience to follow through. Are there any other composers or artists that you’ve worked with? I haven’t collaborated much because I’ve wanted to define my sound first but I’ve worked with a musician called Moritz from Germany, an artist called Mayonde from Kenya and Apio from Uganda.

What has been the highlight of your career? Every day that I feed my family from music is a highlight of my career.