Jackson Rakama, who is best known by his stage name Jegede, has been one of the fastest rising music acts in Africa. Propelled to fame by the track ‘Gudi Gudi’, Jegede has gone on to release more bangers such as ‘Bolingo’, ‘Rampapa’, and ‘Pare Pare’.
Jegede, who doubles up as a producer, says he would have been a comedian if destiny did not lead him to music. He shares his journey from his early days as a dancer and what it takes to be at the top.
One of the biggest hits you did was “Gudi Gudi” which you did with rappers Naiboi and Kristoff what was the inspiration behind it?
“Gudi Gudi” was just a fun song that we decided to do and it came out as a big hit.
I am a Luhya from Busia, and the other guys and myself just wanted to do a song that praises the beautiful Luhya women; and not what has been interpreted by people.
You started out as a dancer?
Actually, I started singing first then moved to acting, and then dancing. Back in the day in Busia I used to be very active in social functions and gatherings, I used to sing in the hood. But the first thing I did was stand-up comedy.
However, as a young man you always try many different things before settling on one. At that time, dancing was a big thing and I remember the songs that were hitting were mainly lingala – I’m good at lingala. This is when I formed the dance group Everlast.
Then you decided to come to Nairobi…
I came to Nairobi in 2009, by the way. There were so many lights and beautiful women. I would sit at Ambassadeur, just looking at the beautiful women of the city, appreciating them.
Then in 2012 we took part in the dance competition Sakata and won. However, the group disintegrated later on as members went to pursue individual projects.
How did you switch to music?
After parting ways with the other members of the Everlast dance group, I was introduced to music production by my cousin – who had a studio in his house. And that is when I started perfecting my skills as a musician.
I remember one time I went to perform at a local university, as an up and coming musician, and it was a very enlightening moment. My first song was a rap song and it did not do so well. My friends advised me not to rap but try singing instead.
This was not easy and it took a while for me to be able to find my sound. It took me like two to three years to find my sound. Because I realized that if I wanted to make it to the top or gain any relevance in this industry I had to come up with my own sound, and that is how I started my music career.
Check out his latest release, a dedication to the one & only Vera Sidika..