Simon Chege aka Skippa Mistari is a man on a mission. The fourth year Environmental Studies student is holding nothing back on his quest to be global hip hop superstar. In KU, he’s already a legend. He also triples as a poet and a song writer. Skippa started doing music back in 2008 after clearing his secondary studies at St. Mary’s Yala.
“I used to listen to music by legendary hip hop group Ukoo Fulani Mau Mau a lot, that’s when I got inspired to do music. I started writing lines bar by bar. I began writing lyrics for other artistes and my big break came when I was featured on NTV’s Hip Hop halisi show to talk about my music writing skills. This got me several clients. I continued writing lyrics until September 2011, before I decided to record my first jam, Mpaka Lini. The rest, as they say, is history.” He says.
Skippa has gone on to release a number of popular tracks including ‘Kama Kawa’, ‘Run KU’ and ‘Mkenya Halisi’. His current track ‘Yes I Do’ is the hottest of them all. It’s doing well and getting the much needed airplay. He claims, the track is a confession
“The song is doing well, elevating me from the confines of KU to a national scope. People always asked me why I was so passionate about music. I invested a lot in my music yet I got very little returns. I didn’t reap as much as I wish I did from my music. However, my passion kept me going. I always tell people that what keeps me going is my love for the game and the vision of a future with me at the top. So do I love hip hop? Yes I do.”
He draws his inspiration from life teachings. He believes that life teaches a lot but most people prefer to ignore life’s lessons. His fans also inspire him a lot. His desire to keep them lyrically satisfied and spreading the word makes him work harder. He’s glad that his music keeps getting better and better every time he releases a new track. This enables him make a projection. Thus in the near future, he sees himself as the biggest lyrical act.
Apart from music, he has a number a side hustles. He prefers to be a man on the grind. “Rest is for the elderly” he says. He owns a clothing line, ‘SKIPPA WEAR’ which makes custom made t-shirts, tops and wrist bands. He continues to write lyrics for other top artistes at a fee.
He also distributes his music via social media and this has worked well for him. He believes that Hip Hop music in Kenya is still far from its peak and more needs to be done. He’s glad that nowadays artistes get more shows.
“Shows are always fun. I enjoy a lot. Sometimes I’ve had embarrassing moments though. There’s a time I was on stage and my fly opened without my knowledge. To make matters worse, the front rows were full of ladies alone. So there I am, spitting smiles, acknowledging the smiles from ladies faces. In my mind I’m thinking they are really enjoying my music. Later on is when I realize that my fly was open this whole time, Damn!.”
Surprisingly or rather as expected, Skippa isn’t the relationship kind of guy. He prefers business partners rather than life partners. He justifies this by the fact that he has a lot to achieve in a short span of time and as such, he hardly even has time for himself, let alone a girlfriend? Currently, he’s all about the paper chase. What’s more surprising is that he doesn’t even have a favorite rapper.
“I’m my own favorite rapper. When your favorite rapper disappoints you, there’s nothing much you can do. You just curse and sulk. But when I disappoint myself, I sit down and fix it. I just have favorite people who happen to be my fans, my family, my friends and my producer Charioh of Fruits records. “
On a closing note, he urges all fellow rappers to work harder and take the Kenyan hip hop scene to a global level. Talent is only basic. Hard work and maneuver is what really steers promising people to the top.
Skippa’s music can be found on popular music site Reverbnation .(www.reverbnation.com/skippamistari).