Students fusing hip-hop with fashion to make statement

The rap trio of Losh, Yobbz and MC Kenzie has set their sight on their passion to pursue hip-hop music and fashion and nothing or no one is going to stop them. The Daystar students are going against the grain in more ways than one and are now sounding a warning shot to established rappers and designers.

“Living in the same off-campus hostel, we used to hang out and listen to music, mainly hip hop, as we chatted. Then one time, Losh played an instrumental on his laptop and then he started free styling. Shortly, we were all taking turns to freestyle. From then on, every time we got together, we would find ourselves free-styling and it became like a hobby. Even neighbors came to listen to us and would laugh at our funny punch lines. Sometime in October 2010, we sat down and agreed that we should hit the studio and do a track. That’s when we recorded our first hip-hop track – Life kwa Mtaa, ” says William Malombe aka Losh Mzuka, one of the members of Autopilots.

Together with Brian Kariuki aka Yobbz and Robert Mackenzie aka MC Kenzie, Autopilots are causing ripples not only in Daystar University, but in other universities and clubs around Nairobi.

“We have a saying in Autopilots; that everyone is a leader. Everyone writes their own lyrics and everyone markets the music we make,’’ says MC Kenzie, who for the sake of good organization was appointed the representative.

“When we first started, we had no group name and as we continued, we realized that we had to do everything by ourselves since we did not have a manager,” MC Kenzie continues passionately.

“You know if you want a plane to keep flying, you have to put it on autopilot mode, hence the name and also our game is on top of the sky.”

The Autopilot Daystarians locally look up to P-Unit and the Bone Thugs US rap group. They pride themselves as being musically diverse but have hip hop as their main style.

“Part of our music is Hip –Hop, Reggae, and Kapuka because we like being experimental, but hip-hop is our main style.”

Seeing the strict Daystar Christian values, how has the group gone all out in ‘secular’ music?

“It may seem controversial but we don’t think that can deter us from doing secular music. Music is an art and an artiste has to express his/her ideas. The fact that we are in a Christian University should not limit us from expressing what we have in our minds. Our fellow students like our music,” explains McKenzie.

Yobbz interjects to further clarify the perceived conflict of values.

“We once got an inbox message from one of the students who seemed not to be in line with our secular music but that never stopped us. We have not had a concern from the institution and we don’t expect to have any.”

Apart from music, Losh says the trio has other side hustles that help them raise cash for recording.

“We are, mostly into Fashion. We have AP Creatives (an art and fashion off-shoot of the rap group) which deals with beadworks, customized necklaces and bracelets commonly known as “Shamballa.”

“We would like AP Creatives to grow and include many other things, like now MC Kenzie sells ladies shoes and we are also thinking of starting a cloth line in the near future.”

The group does aggressive online marketing for their music mainly via their Facebook page Autopilots. They are also on Twitter @autopilots.

“Most of our songs are downloadable in, soundcloud and YouTube,” says Yobbz.
And their Outro?

Losh Mzuka: For me music is my passion and I am keen to pursue it for the longest time possible

Yobbz: I am here to stay, Rappers I am here to give you a run for your money!

MC Kenzie: I know that I will do music till I D.I.E. Music is part of me and part of me is music. PERIOD.

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