As a rapper who is focused on his own personal growth, Mak Mansa’s progression from (just) an upcoming artist to spitting heavy bars on the mic –in a notoriously predatory and competitive industry- is, seemingly, a natural one.
Following the undeniable successes of his previous singles “So Fly” and “Hapa Kazi”, Mansa sought to feed fans with a new up-tempo dubbed “Lupita Nyong’o”. We had a sit down with the 27-year-old to find out more about the making of this chart-topping masterpiece;
Thanks for your time! You’ve been dropping massive hits on the Kenyan airwaves, how would you define your creative process Mansa?
If I had to sum it up in one word, that would be eccentric. I’m a weirdo and a very unconventional person, so my creative process is wild and all over the place! It’s hard to center it or to box it.
Let’s talk about your latest track “Lupita Nyong’o”. What was the inspiration behind it, and how did it all come together?
It’s funny how “Lupita Ny’ongo” came up. I was listening to a song called “Le Mptise” by Casper [Nyovest] and normally, when I listen to a good track, I start flowing on it, making up things in my head, so every time “Le Mptise” chorus would come up, I would find myself mumbling “Lupita Nyong’o”.The mumbling continued until I was convinced I had something there. After that, I hit up Riccobeatz, my producer, we made the beat and recorded the song same night. We were actually in the midst of making another track, but we abandoned that to finish up “Lupita Ny’ongo” first.
Kenyans have been expressing varying reactions to Lupita Nyong’o since its release, making it a trending topic on Twitter. What were your initial thoughts on that magnitude of reception?
At first I was like, “Is this actually happening?” I was a little bit tensed because KOT [Kenyans on Twitter] can take it that way, you know what I mean, and it can either be good or ugly for you! It felt vulnerable to be out there, to be judged by people, I don’t think I will ever get used to that, yet I know it’s a necessary part of the process of growth!
Any responses that particularly caught your attention on “Lupita Nyong’o”?
The main thing that caught my eye, and what I was hoping that people would decipher is that the song is not precisely about Lupita, but all of us. It’s about dreams and living up to them. I saw a few tweets that got that. And I was happy with those guys. To see that some people actually got it!
What should we expect next from Mak Mansa after the hit single passes its time?
I probably won’t even let it pass it time. I have a new track loading. Let’s just say, more and more fire!
Follow Mak Mansa on Twitter: @makmansa254