Chris Martin, a Jamaican reggae and dancehall singer-songwriter
How does it feel for you making your second visit to Nairobi?
It feels absolutely incredible. I mean Nairobi feels like my second home. Kenyans are so friendly and welcoming. I thank God that I am here.
In 2005 aged 18, you won the Digicel Rising Stars talent show, which launched your music career. Did you imagine you’d become the renowned artiste you are today?
Well, I am a very futuristic person and I have always worked hard to be where I am now. I was blessed with a gift and my joy and wish was to share it on a wide scale.
So, from when I got the opportunity to showcase my talent to the world, I kept on telling myself the sky was the limit, and here I am.
From that moment on, how has been your musical journey?
It has been very solid. I have grown as a person, entertainer and singer. I have visited and performed in so many countries around the world and when I look back on where I was then and where I am now, it is definitely a true blessing. No regrets.
Who would you attribute your music success to?
I am really thankful to all the people who have supported me in one way or another. I owe it to them. I have to stay true to my supporters because without them I couldn’t have been.
Tell us a bit about your latest album And Then.
And Then is a 15-track album that I released in May this year. It actually debuted a number one single in the Reggae Billboard chats and I thank God for that. Also, the album title was not by coincidence.
Initially, it was supposed to be named after my son because my manager thought his name was ‘And Then’, but his name is actually Aiden. Ha-ha-ha.
Why didn’t you collaborate with any artiste in the album?
There is no specific reason whatsoever. I just wanted it to be strictly Chris Martin.
How have you been able to keep clean your lyrics for such a long time?
Music choose me, I did not choose it. By that I mean, my music has to be relevant and timeless. My mum also listens to my music, so I have to create something that is pleasant to her.
Speaking of your mum, you released the song Mama as a special dedication to her. Tell us a bit about that.
My mama is my cornerstone and she has always been so supportive. I remember back in the day I used to go to church with her and sing together.
To date, she still goes to church and I believe her prayers have made me who I am today.
There was not better way of appreciating her than recording a song just to show her and other mothers our love for them.
You are also a parent of two boys and a girl. How has parenthood influenced your kind of music?
My kids are my life and I have a legacy to leave behind. I want them to still be listening to my songs 20 years from now.
So, I have to check on what I am singing about. I enjoy parenting and coming home to them is my best feeling ever.
Should we expect any collaboration between you and African musicians any time soon?
I am glad that the African sound is being appreciated and accepted in broad dimensions. I have a few collaborations in the making and I am currently sampling a few Kenyan songs. Hopefully my team and I will work on something in the near future.
What has been your biggest achievement this year?
I have actually achieved a lot, but being a parent has been the most fulfilling one.
Away from your busy schedules, how do you unwind?
I am very simple. When I am not doing music, I am playing football and I love being around my family, friends and just making jokes. I love to drive through the country and do the simplest of things.