Fredrick Kiama a.k.a. Nje Producer Msanii (N.J.E.); ARTIST, PRODUCER, SONG WRITER, RECORD LABEL OWNER
Fredrick Kiama aka Nje ProducerMsanii (Msanii means artist in Swahili) was born and raised in an area known as Changamwe in the city of Mombasa, Kenya. His passion for performing and producing music began in Primary school when he began going to clubs to get DJ’s to make instrumental sounds for him and his fellow artists. In 1996 he started a conscious Hip Hop group known as G.O.B. which stands for “Gee’s On the Block”. They began competing throughout Kenya and soon were winning competitions.
By 1996 G.O.B. began doing performances at Mombasa’ Club Florida where they met the artists Nguchi P, and Fujo Makelele who were in the group called Nigga Wa Mashada. G.O.B. kept meeting them at the same events and soon Nguchi P asked Mombasa artists to start a group called Ukoo Flani. Many of the areas Hip Hop artists joined the group including Nigga Wa Mashada, Wachokozi, and ETC. Since G.O.B. already had an established identity and strong fan base they remained a separate group. In 1998 G.O.B. received a large cash prize for first place which they used to make their first album.
In 2000 G.O.B. recorded their first song with Nguchi P and Chizzen Brain known as “Lolote Poa” with Andrew Madebe the Producer which made an impact for the underground artists who had been giving up on music. The song spoke about the struggles that an artist faces in the journey of doing Hip-Hop music; not getting air play, being sidelined etc. The song gave artists hope that one day they would make it.
By 2001 G.O.B. went to the capital city of Nairobi to promote their music on Radio Stations and to do shows. During their stay they had a hard time penetrating the market because Nairobi artists were doing commercial music and G.O.B. was doing hard core hip hop. They persisted and eventually made an impact and were soon featured all over the TV stations and on some of the radio stations. At this time they met with the biggest Promoters and Radio Presenters and they told G.O.B. if they really wanted to penetrate their market they would have to change their music which they refused to do and decided to go back home.
By 2002 G.O.B. traveled again to Nairobi and did a few shows. Unfortunately the Music had become even more commercial and artists were made to sing other artist’s songs (copyright songs) to hype the crowd i.e. Chamillion, Red Sun, Baby Cool, and ETC. Hip Hop was kept down and artists such as Kalamashaka who were big and well known could not even get a show. Hip Hop was depressed and beefs began between commercial artists and Hip Hop artists and promoters. Since G.O.B. was a conscious Hip Hop group promoters and radio stations made it clear to them that they did not want them to speak on truthful issues, they only wanted artists to create happy songs not based on current conditions. G.O.B. decided to return to Mombasa refusing to cave in to the pressure and wanting to keep their music real, in their own style, and to maintain the message in their music for the people.
Back at home G.O.B. found that the music scene had changed and music studios had sprung all over the area and it was very easy for any artist to record music. Sadly this allowed for inexperienced artists without proper composition to flood the music scene. G.O.B. became frustrated and decided to go underground with their music. At this time Nje’s parents were putting pressure on him to go back to college and find regular employment since his music career seemed to be at a standstill. Nje decided to return to college where he studied Electronics as he had always had a fascination with them which he felt might lead him back to music. Nje found that he was still obsessed with singing music and he continued to perform and create underground music. During this time in college computers were around and he became familiar with computers. He began using many different music software programs and soon found that he had a natural gift in music production.
Hassan Majid a friend of Nje’s that lived near the college was learning how to be a Producer and Nje soon found himself spending the majority of his time learning production in Hasssan’s home studio. They learned there was software called Fruity Loops and they became experts at using it. Soon they managed to make instruments and tracks. Hassan’s sister gave him a P2 computer and it was very slow and could not make recordings. The cost of these computers was very high. In order to record vocals they had to go back to Producer Andrew Medebe.
In 2004 Nje had finished college and decided to start his own studio. He officially opened Ufuoni (Seashore) Records in the coastal city of Mombasa, Kenya. At this time G.O.B. (Nguchi P, Mzedy, and Nje) was joined by the artist Cannibal and they recorded one album together. G.O.B. also began to record albums in the Ufuoni studios. To date G.O.B. has recorded four albums which they are waiting to release. After a few years due to circumstances Mzedy left the group and now G.O.B. is comprised of Nguchi P and Nje. Nje has recorded and produced four solo albums of Nguchi P’s.
Nje has performed as an Artist and been the Producer for the following top Kenyan Artists as well as International artists; Ukoo Flani, Ufuoni Family, G.O.B., Cannibal, Nyota Ndogo, Abbas Kubaff, Carol, Claudia,Amuka Sasa,Black Machizi, Makeke Family, Mwaka Utanje, Cld, Mia, Willy (Tz Artists), Maia, Prudence, and Marcella “Cella” Quirin to name a few.
Nje is always involved in charity events and over the years he has performed concerts for The Red Cross Society of Kenya, The Alliance Francaise, Youth Against Drugs, Okoa Maisha and other charitable organizations on issues involving ending Hunger, promoting Peace, the fight against drug abuse, and sex education.
Nje is currently involved with US Artists on several collaborations and those will be available online Summer 2012.