Sofia's first verse
Pulse: Your Perfect Match date has over 30,000 views on YouTube and has attracted many caustic comments. Did it get to you?
Phieso: My self-esteem is at 100 per cent and that is why it would take my haters a millennium to pull it down. I just scrolled down the comments and laughed it off because I know I am beautiful in my own way with my big cute forehead.
P: But really, how would you describe that date?
Ph: Embarrassing. Totally.
P: There is a notion that many of these hook-up shows are scripted. Was your date scripted? Because it felt so…
Ph: I’ll speak for myself. The date was not scripted. I was just myself and I went with the flow. That’s the real me.
P: Ama you signed a non-disclosure agreement?
Ph: (Laughs) Not at all.
P: Speaking of Ebru, there is a tiff between them and Chipukeezy about control of his content especially towards interviewees. You have been at Ebru, what can you say?
Ph: Ebru has been supportive to me since the first day when I started my fashion career, to this day that I’m an artiste. What happened with Chipukeezy is uncalled for, from both parties, even though they shouldn’t (discriminate against) young Kenyans who have not yet made it in the industry.
P: Back to your music, why the choice of dancehall?
Ph: Dancehall is a great genre, which is, unfortunately, underrated here (Kenya) and fully dominated by men. I’m very competitive in life; I want to take the men on. Also, I grew up listening to a lot of dancehall and ragga music and fell in love with it. Dancehall is my stronghold and I can still talk in Patois.
P: Oh, you do?
Ph: Very well. How do you think I write my music?
P: You keep saying that you are the queen of dancehall. Why do you believe you are worthy of the title?
Ph: I’m Kenya’s queen of dancehall because I’ve got all it takes to be the ‘baddest’ empress. In any case, no other female artiste has come to proclaim my crown.
P: You realise your contemporaries would be Wyre or Redsan, the kings of dancehall…
Ph: Great Company. I have been doing dancehall for three years now. I would beat any other female artiste in the game.
P: You portray a sexy and naughty character in your videos, and your lyrics are explicit…
Ph: Life is too short not to show my flaws man. Dancehall is all about dancing and that vibe has to come out in my songs. My songs are club-bangers and the twerking is what goes on in clubs-whining down low.
P: Who do you look up to?
Ph: Spice, Cynthia Morgan, Stefflon Don and the late J Capri.
P: So if you got Sh15 million those are the people you’d pay to collaborate with?
Ph: Well that would be Spice, Khaligraph Jones and Cynthia Morgan.
P: How do you finance your music career?
Ph: Through my business. I sell home accessories. I have my own shop. By the way I was a runway model and fashion designer before I ventured into music.
P: What has been your biggest challenge so far?
Ph: Not having a management team, so I have to do everything by myself, which has succeeded so far simply because I’m ambitious and hardworking. It has gotten me interviews in radio and TV stations where I get to show my talent.
P: You have tattoos all over your body. Does each have a meaning?
Ph: Only the ones on my arms have meaning; Stars because I’m a star and should shine, the G-clef because I love music, a cartoon of Princess Sofia and an old school radio dial system (stop, pause, play, forward and rewind) because I should control my life. The rest are just tattoos, especially those on my boobs.
P: What’s the craziest thing that Phieso has done?
Ph: Sometime last year, my friend Brenda, may her soul rest in peace, and I had the best night of our lives in a night club. So when we were about to head home, I ‘accidentally’ peed on myself because the washrooms were too far and we were also too ‘lit’.