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Daily Nation : February 21st 2014
BE FAMOUS. daily NATION February 21, 2014 5 21QUESTIONS >> WITH MAUREEN ORWA TIM RIMBUI ON MUSIC AND WAABEH.COM Producer extraordinaire, engineer, mixer, songwriter and Innovator are some of the words you can use to describe Tim Rimbui who has worked with the likes Kayamba Afrika and many more. Read on to find out what he has in store for 2014. Zuqka: You work with a variety of artistes who play different genres of music. What inspires you? I am inspired by legal process outsourcing (LPOs) and cheques! Ha ha! But on a serious note, though, having worked with everyone from Kayamba Afrika to MTV, my inspiration comes from working with great talent. If they believe in and push themselves, I feed off their motivation and creativity. Can you tell when a song is going to be a huge hit, given that you make so much music? Many things determine what makes a hit. Currently, the top factors are the message and the video. Market research, whether done at the corporate level like most record labels do, or just playing the song to several tastemakers (DJs, radio hosts) can also help in the elusive search for hit songs. However, when all is said and done, the ultimate barometer is the fans. Who has been the toughest or most interesting musician you have worked with? The most interesting studio session has to be a Congolese band I recorded many years ago, whose lead singer could only get into the zone if he dropped his trousers! Suffice it to say the studio sessions didn’t go beyond the first one. How do you go about writing a song? My process involves knowing the intended audience and target of the song, that is, Market research. Secondly, who I am writing for, is it an artiste of a record company. Another important thing I always ask myself is what sentiment I want to convey to a fan as they listen to the song. Once that is done, I sit at my piano, compose a basic idea for a melody and then put lyrics to it. What inspires you to create new products; is it techonology or just the music? At one point I was sure I would be a computer programmer, since I have always loved technology, and specifically computers. As far as music is concerned, I believe that technology is simply a tool to achieve, explore and create better music than before. What drives you? Hmm… the goal to be the market leader in my field. What is Waabeh exactly and how does it work? We (Jeff, King’ori and I) started Waabeh to solve the problem of music distribution and delivery. Waabeh is Africa’s audio market place and we are solving the problem of discovery, delivery and distribution of audio content from Africa to the rest of the world. Our target is the 15 per cent of the 115 million middle-class Africans who want to see and hear their own stories. We have done mmore than 330,000 streams (plays) and nearly 10,000 downloads. In addition to credit cards, our users can pay for content with mobile money, a solution unique to the continent. Users can access Waabeh on our Web through a regular browser or via our android and Windows 8 apps. How has technology changed the way you make musicin the last decade? Technology has made it easier to create, share and sell music, breaking down barriers that once existed. The downside is that it is harder now to make it as a breakthrough artiste because the novelty of creating music is no longer there since anyone with a cheap laptop and free music software can do it. Another downside to this is that no one sees the need to pay for something they can get for free. Many people have hobbies don’t go out and start their own businesses. What made you start a business? Even as a child, I was always selling things like soda bottles, tyres, and newspapers. My ability to sell anything was something that I realised very early. After working for about five years and establishing the right relationships, it was clear that entrepreneurship was the way to go, and I have never looked back. When you listen to your iPod, what type of music gets you in a good mood? I don’t own an iPod, but listening to Sarabi, Macklemore or Karun on my phone definitely puts me in a great mood. What was the first record you ever bought? How old were you then? Gospel Gangstars, I was 16. Is there anyone you haven’t worked with but would really love to ? In Kenya, it would be Sauti Sol, in Africa, it would be Lira and Asha. At what point did you go, ‘I’ve made it’? I have not made it, not yet…I am only extremely blessed to be paid regularly to do what I love. Do you watch a lot of movies? No. Would you ever want to act? The thought has crossed my mind, once or twice, but it was just a fleeting one. What were some of the personal highlights of this past year for you? Any unexpected surprises? Last year was really good f business. My company, Enno Music, worked on new TV f like Coke Studio as well as had more responsibilities on Tusk Project Fame. The only surprise was that the year was too short; it literally felt like it was over in f months. What were some of the rec you loved last year and beginning of this year that you didn’t actually work on? The new music by Sarabi, Noel Nderitu, Wangechi, Electrique D and Wanja Wohoro prove tha next generation of Kenya’ acts are the on the right tr What new sound is interes you right now? There is Afro-House and Dubs How would you describe y dressing style? I would call it smart casual, with items from different places including Truworths, La–Toi (Ha ha, just Toi Market) and School Outfitters. Do you think African content is in demand? Does the West want to listen to our songs? If not, what are we doing wrong? There is definitely a huge unmet demand at home and regionally for African content, even more than in the West, and this should be the focus. The failure is massive wrong investment, being big on hype but low on revenue to the creators that is radio, YouTube, and other free music services. For any business to succeed, it must have effective distribution and a way to monetise quickly without stressing the customer. Without a working website or phone, business manager, marketing advice and plan and good performances, we will always play second fiddle to those from established markets who can spot opportunities in the entertainment industry. Whatare your plans for 2014? After being in the same place for nearly eight years, we at Ennovator Music started the year with a move to a bigger facility to more than just audio and music production. We recently started working on content for TV and Film; this is eventually going to become our focus. Waabeh’s plan for 2014 is to continue expanding here and regionally, hopefully spread to West Africa before the year ends. Also, to keep our promise of getting musicians paid and their fans across the world satisfied! How old are you? I am 33.
February 20th 2014
February 22nd 2014