Coast-based musician-cum-hypemaster Mike John, popularly known as 'Rick Ross', has landed a mega deal with Safaricom. The energetic hypeman will be the MC at Safaricom's TwawezaLive Mombasa edition this weekend.
The lad managed to beat several MCs during the recent auditions.
Speaking to Word Is, he said, "I saw the posters and adverts and told myself, 'I can't miss this'. I was very ready for the auditions and after performing, I was called the second day and told I emerged the winner in the MCs category. I'm happy for this golden chance and won't disappoint my fans," he said.
Mike says people confuse him with world superstar 'Rick Ross' because of their close resemblance, and he has now gotten used to it. Although he didn't make it to meet with the Hustlin' hitmaker when he visited Nairobi, he says "I look up to 'Rick Ross' and admire him. And the image has given me mileage. Once I get on stage before performing, the crowds cheer, calling me Rozay, and that motivates me.'
John told Word Is that he is still doing music and is releasing new songs soon. He reminisces his past life, the hardships he has been through and says he's grateful to God. "My mother died when I was eight years old, but I never had a chance to see my biological father. My mother had remarried and my stepdad didn't like me. There's a time he even chased me out of the house at night with a knife, wanting to kill me," he said.
Mike later went to stay with his grandmother, and all was not rosy. "I remember one day I cheated death after drinking paraffin thinking it was water. I had just come back from school very thirsty when this happened. I was later taken to hospital for treatment."
Many claim that MCs earn peanuts, but Mike refuted the claims, saying; "It depends with the client, though corporates pay well."
Just like any other occupation, John says he has faced a lot of problems. "Financial crisis, pushing my brand, trying to market myself as a hype man, being sidelined at events, especially by organisers. I remember one day in 2015, while on stage performing at a local event, one of the organisers came and snatched a mic from me and I was demoralised. I will never forget that."
He congratulates Sauti Sol, Nyashinski, Khaligraph, Susumila and Nyota Ndogo and Alemba for the good music.
'Rick Ross' is also calling on Governor Hassan Joho and his government to give upcoming artistes a chance to showcase their talent. He says he hopes in the upcoming Mombasa cultural festival, which is held every August, he will see more new faces.