• EQUAL Africa seeks to spotlight and amplify the voices of African female artists breaking down barriers and making waves in music.
• In addition, it seeks to amplify their music by exposing their catalogue to global listenership.
The global streaming platform, Spotify, has announced Maandy as its EQUAL Africa ambassador of the month.
Maandy joins other Kenyan musicians like Muthoni Drummer Queen, Nikita Kering’ and Xenia Manasseh who have also been Spotify EQUAL ambassadors in the past.
EQUAL Africa seeks to spotlight and amplify the voices of African female artists breaking barriers and making waves in music.
In addition, it seeks to amplify their music by exposing their catalogue to global listenership.
Through a statement made by Spotify, the platform described Maandy’s music as witty, edgy, and one that will definitely make someone dance.
“The self-styled ‘Kabaya’; a sheng word used to mean ‘baddie’, sings in Sheng and Kiswahili, with club bangers like her latest release Tena,” the statement read in part.
“Her music is bound to get you on your feet and is currently enjoying massive airplay on the radio as well as in clubs. Maandy is a versatile multi-genre musician. Her debut albums Frisky and Kabaya slip between rapid-fire Trap, Hip Hop grit, and bouncy Dancehall styles which showcases her love for her craft.”
Spotify’s Head of Music in Sub-Saharan Africa Phiona Okumu said they are proud of Maandy and her contributions to the genre.
She added that they intend to continue supporting her as she grows in her craft.
“At Spotify, we feel privileged to support and usher in the next wave of talented female artists to new audiences across the globe,” Okumu said.
Having begun her musical career in 2016, Maandy has released some fan favourites which include Sirudi Home, Shash na Lipgloss, and BTW.
The female artist said that as intimidating as it might get sometimes, one has to realise they have just as much right to occupy these spaces as the men.
“Navigating a male-dominated industry requires composure and a lot of resilience,” Maandy said.
“Being a part of the EQUAL programme means a lot to me. I feel seen and appreciated for my work as a woman in the music industry.”
Spotify had a Q&A session with Maandy and this is what she had to say.
1 What is the one surprising thing your fans might not know about you?
That I am actually a very shy person in real life. I know most people might not believe it because I’m very expressive in my music, but I am very awkward in social settings.
2. When did you realise that making music was in your destiny and what is your WHY for pursuing this craft?
From a very young age, I was always drawn to music. So after I completed my high school education, I knew that I wanted to pursue it as a career.
I honestly never saw myself seated behind a desk, working a 9 to 5.
I would say my why for pursuing this craft is, music makes me feel like I belong, and I feel like that’s one thing all of us desire, just to feel like you belong.
3 Which African songs or artists did you grow up listening to?
Growing up, I listened to a lot of Kenyan artists. Especially street music, mostly from Ogopa Records, and a lot of Genge from the likes of Mejja, Ratatat, and Lady S.
It was the women who did the Genge sound that inspired me to become the writer I am and to this day I listen to a lot of their work.
4 To someone who has never heard your music, how would you describe the sound, tone, and style?
I would describe my sound as edgy, fun, sexy, and unapologetic, a reflection of living in Nairobi as a young woman. My style is very upbeat, cool, and rhythmic.
5 Any advice for someone dreading following their dreams?
You are missing out on one of the most beautiful journeys you would ever experience.
Take a chance on yourself, and you will be surprised by how much you can achieve and how much you are capable of.