Mombasa-based singer, psychologist Larota releases her new Extended Play – ‘Rhythm Of Love’
Mombasa-based singer and psychologist Larota has just released her new Extended Play (EP) dubbed Rhythm Of Love. She talks to Manuel Ntoyai about the latest project as well as shedding light on the various issues affecting the creative sector.
Tell us more about your Rhythm Of Love EP
I have been able to merge different genres of music in the EP whilst I pass different messages.
The six songs are engineered by Grandmasta Tek of Kubwa Studios. The song Adenyo (I am hungry) touches on the plight of artistes and how we are not properly taken care of despite all the hard work we put in. In most cases artistry is not considered an actual job.
The single Rhythm Of Love encourages youths to help each other through these trying times as together we can overcome challenges; there’s power in togetherness. Other songs include Freedom, Nateleza, Aseyiego and Siendelei.
They touch on various topics among them boy-child appreciation, women empowerment and romantic love. This EP generally touches on what affects us as a society.
How was the experience working on this project?
The process of crafting songs was amazing because at Kubwa Studios they guided me on what I should build on and what could work for me.
I was able to get assistance from professional engineers and the producer who was able to help bring my ideas to life.
The environment also allowed me to bare my emotions and weave them into the music.
Grandmasta Tek versatility and expertise is just what I needed for the EP.
Which is your favourite track and why?
I love each and every track in the EP, but I really love Aseyiego and Nateleza.
Aseyiego was inspired by different women who have conquered many forms of struggles and adversities, and Nateleza was inspired by my boys; the song is a glorification of the African man.
As much as the genres are different, the messages in the songs are clear. Well, tomorrow I could say Freedom is my favourite song. Ha-ha.
Creatives have been hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis both financially and mentally. As a psychologist, what would you advice fellow artistes?
It has been very hard to be a creative during this crisis because we are experiencing pressures on income.
Artists, musicians, actors, and performers have had to find new ways to supplement their income.
This has led to an increase in frustration, stress anxiety and depression, which affects composition and production.
What I would advise my fellow creatives is that anxiety is a normal response and healthy function that alerts us to threats and helps us take necessary measures to protect ourselves.
Our mental health is as important as our physical health and needs to be taken care of.
As an artist, focusing on yourself and finding ways to use the available time in a great way to take care of your mental health.
We should use digital solutions to survive and connect with audiences and consumers in order to let out our feelings and reduce stress.
Tell us a bit about the community-targeted projects you are involved in.
As an activist, I am involved in initiatives that focus on gender-based violence (GBV), art, abuse and mental health.
Having experienced abuse first-hand, I had to do something not just as a musician, but also as a psychologist.
I saw the need to use all forms of art to teach people on matters to do with all forms of abuse.
It’s easy to give edutainment more than to just talk about the issues. GBV is a concern all over the world and women are mostly affected.
That is why there has been an increase in the number of organisations focusing on ending violence against women.
Yet, despite being so prevalent, most of the violence is still not reported because of stigma and lack of access to resources and support systems.
We need proper justice system, availability of economic opportunities, gender equality, and minority and women empowerment.