Business of Music

The Girl Behind the Music

Kimani Moore is simply a music lover, her  passion for the art of developing sound, packaging it and reaching an audience is what she has transformed into a business. The Kimani Moore Entertainment company is simply the 20-something year old’s manifestation of doing what she loves.
“I love the way people react when they hear good music; be it happy, emotional, or hyped. I’m really happy to be seen as someone who has participated in the growth of the new culture. ” She says.

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Born in Ikeja, Lagos and raised in GRA, on Adeoba street, Kimani Moore has been adversely influenced by her parents’ and grandparents love for Music. Perhaps, her eclectic love of all kinds of music; from Jazz, to soul, to reggae, a dab of Gospel and weirdly, the Wizard of Oz soundtracks;  influenced the type of musicians she manages now.
Kimani manages Odunsi, Santi and GMK, Afro fusion artists and producer from Nigeria, West Africa. “They really just get it.” She says elatedly, ” From the hooks to the level of production and the delivery. It really is them doing what they love and I just support them and see to the business side of things. I love managing such creative minds. I’m their biggest fan.”

For Kimani the New Age is just the fusion of sounds with influences from a lot of different genres. With her artists being some of the best to spearhead the new age of music she believes the New Age dares to be different and that is soon going to pay off.

With the ever changing sound of afrobeats it would be catastrophic for Kimani to box her artists in that one genre. This way they can connect to different fans from all over the world. Kimani hints at Santi’s style of rapping which is loved especially in the USA. It’s also loved in Africa as his single Gangter Fear, featuring Odunsi has had its video shown several times on Trace music and has also scored an article on the online entertainment magazine, Okay Africa as well as a nomination for best Afro Music on Jaiye for Gangster Fear.

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Ozzy B/ Santi in editorials for his recent project, Suzie’s Funeral

 

“Odunsi was just bold enough to put it out there, Ozzy changed the vibe with his raps. And the logistics behind the way GMK engineers and mixes just gives everything a clean finish. That’s why it all comes out so refreshing.” She says excitedly.

“Business wise, I think it’ll take a while for people, especially industry people, to see that this is what’s happening. The sound is influencing the fans who are the most important part of the business, they influence everything.”

On influence, it’s clear that Kimani influences the culture in the most subtle way; working behind the scenes, providing platforms for her artists, giving them creative freedom and the avenue to reflect positivity to  both consumers and taste makers.

The Kimani Moore Agency focuses on artist development , right from understanding the artists passion and just them as an individual.The Key to developing a great artist for the agency is a non-isolation of the artist and the art. The success of Kimani’s  artists can be associated to the fact that the group makes sure everything runs in order. Right from the music to the art work, to the shoots, to the video, to the timing of release, there is a plan for each move.

Kimani came across Odunsi on her twitter feed and after many mails and being extra critical of his sounds, she finally found what she wanted in him with the song “Happy Hour“. He wasn’t afraid to work hard and he wasn’t afraid to push harder. Ozzy B joined the team shortly after and the most recent addition to the team is producer GMK, who is known for his excellent production on Ozzy b’s gangsta fear and his project Long Live the King. UK Cari Artist, and  Host/DJ Tomii Garber  who  hosts a radio show Pulse88 in London are also under Kimani Moore Entertainment.

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Producer, GMK

When asked how she selects possible artists for her agency, Kimani associated it to vibes.

“If I cant click with an artist and I see they don’t have a genuine love for music regardless of how talented they are, I don’t want to work with them.” She says, “There’s a real difference between someone who has passion and is dedicated and talented, and someone who’s just talented.” For every first management conversation Kimani has, she mentions it. Once an artist isn’t willing to put in work its a no gone zone from there.

“You must be willing to outwork me. And I work hard!” The young manager says with a smirk.

And the records do go to prove. In less of a year of managing Odunsi, his records have shot up better than most. With thousands of plays on his Soundcloud,  a MOBO mention as one of the top new artists to look out for, A make on Spotify and Billboard’s Top five Viral songs after just two weeks of releasing a single with AYLØ, number 1 twice on a UK radio station and several features and production credits under his belt, it shows that Kimani is indeed putting in work.

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Odunsi (The Engine)

Kimani’s greatest super power (along side playing the flute, piano and putting on astounding dance performances for her stuffed animals as a child) is her ability to network. The UK bred Nigerian has links built like a trifecta. With connects in Nigeria, UK, and Atlanta, and she not only learns a lot but also helps make it easier to promote her artists across borders.

The first rule of success according to Kimani Moore is: Don’t get lost in the sauce. Never forget why you’re doing this. Artists get stuck in this “celebrity” complex just because they have a couple retweets and their song is floating around on twitter. “Don’t act brand new, because God is very very good at humbling us as his children.” She advises, showing her  religious Christian Nigerian upbringing .

She uses Chance the rapper as an example, citing his personality as a big player in his success. “Chance the Rapper is just the embodiment of being someone who really let’s their personality shine through. He makes a difference and cares about people.Chance has remained humble and will continue to have a fan base because  in this fake Instagram , snap filter world, real is back in fashion.” She says, ” It’s cool to be real, to express a sensitive side of yourself, to care about people ”

The second is to use the internet effectively. With the change in the music industry especially with social media, it’s easy for artists to connect to their fan base without the third party of a label. Although they are still very important.The internet is a great tool for developing artists and independent ones as well, but can be a hindering if not used properly.

“artists who just release music on social media and tag evvvvveryone and their mother ! like duuuude! That is called spam.” She laughs, “There are ways to go about using the internet to your benefit,showcasing your talent, without killing off your fan base before you even get one.”

As a woman in an industry that is known to disregarding or disrespecting women, it’s not in the slightest bit a deterrent for Kimani. For her, being a woman, much more a woman of color,  empowers her now than ever.

“I’m loving it women are really chasing their dreams with no regret or remorse. My mother for example , she is in her 50s, and she’s been an ophthalmologist for over 20 years, but she is setting up her own events and interior design company, going for it all guns blazing. That’s what its about for women of color right now! we are just DOING THE DAMN THING ! AND DOING IT IN STYLE !”

 

“I wish more people would help each other out.”  Kimani states broodingly. That’s why Kimani Moore Entertainment wants to give people the opportunity to grow. The sole reason why the agency’s main focus has always been independent artists is because it’s on the look out for passion that needs opportunities. Not just to work with the agency, but also to work for.

“My company is still growing but anyone within my agency will understand that the goal is to do more, to go further,and to influence change in a positive way; Be it in music, hosting shows (Hint Hint: Could a Monster Boys tour be coming soon?) accounts, business, or law. Still building my team and also taking on interns so get people to hit me up with CV’s :)”

The goal is to make people happy. In the end, it doesn’t boil down to the money, or the fame, or the status. For Kimani, she’s doing this for the love of the music, and she believes New Age musicians will help spread the love. Quoting Nicki Minaj she describes new age music as the catalyst for a “celebration every time we link up”.

 

 

Benewaah is the lead curator and editor at Harmattan Rain. Her love for music is closely rivaled by her love for plantain.

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