Meet Michael Harun Mugenya aka Mic SyndyKate is a Dubai-based Kenyan reggae-dancehall artiste
Michael Harun Mugenya aka Mic SyndyKate is a Dubai-based Kenyan reggae-dancehall artiste. He chats with Jasmine Atieno about his musical ventures.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am 28 years old and a last born in a family of four. I am known for some of my jams including Sensual Gal, Ghetto Gospel, Ride It and Act, all under the aegis of my able producer Makavelly Tha Realest of Telaviv Records.
Did you study music as a career?
Not at all. Music is an in-born talent that I am still perfecting. Professionally, I have studied Law at the Kenyatta University, and I also have a Postgraduate Diploma in Business and Administrative Management from One Training Institute London.
I am also a qualified Diamontologist from the Gemological Institute of America.
How and when was your musical journey launched?
My musical journey started long back, singing in Sunday school and my father having us all inducted to sing in the church choir.
My first hit is hard to tell, I am still working and I consider myself underrated, which I am working to change, as I am by far one of the best sons the land has to offer in the field of music craft.
That said, I am working hard to deliver the distinction needed to accentuate my unparalleled style in the market.
I work mainly with producer Makavelly Tha Realest, and despite working with other producers locally and abroad including Babz on the Track and Shamir, the amount of experimentation that we get to do with Makavelly and understanding between us is a priceless recipe to a rich Kenyan sound. Money Man A Pree and Rainy Daze are my most recent jams.
Describe your sound.
My sound is inspired by the realities of life and the society. You would find me singing about the beauty endowed to women by God, while the next time you may find me singing about the rot in the society then flip it to gangster codes among other themes. I just use music to express my learning in life.
When and why did you relocate from Kenya?
I moved to Dubai in 2018 having taken interest in the precious stones business and a break from my music career in the previous year.
The reasons were purely resource-based (business-related) as it reached a time when I thought I needed to expand my revenues in order to take good care of my family.
You have a production house in Kenya. How do you ensure its operations runs smoothly?
Makavelly Tha Realest is the CEO of Telaviv Records. I am only a shareholder, so he takes care of the business in its entirety including making releases when I am away.
I am just an artiste and I regularly come home to visit family and make music.
How has music business been in Dubai?
In Dubai, I have had the pleasure of working with Italian deejay Salvo Riggi and produced a freestyle jam titled Telaviv Ting, which made people really question whether I am Kenyan owing to its tight international flow.
Currently, I am working on another freestyle project with Gad from Gad Music—an established Emirati producer.
The market here is ambiguous in nature considering the multicultural conservative setting, but we are gradually making headways.
In terms of value, the UAE music market is hundreds if not thousands of times more valuable than the Kenyan market.
However, my pre-occupation is to get home recognition and use this as a foundation, as I explore other global markets. This is the primary reason I regularly travel home to make music.
Besides music, do you have other things that you pursue?
I am a self-established research and development expert at the Dubai International Financial Centre, the leading financial centre in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region.
Being a licensed gemstones trader by the Dubai Multi-Commodity Centre, I offer broad-based management consultancy including, but not limited to, gemstones trading.