While at the Trey Songz x Coke Studio Africa press conference in Nairobi – my biggest hope is that I don’t fall down, trip, say something stupid, and that the artistes are open to share a genuine tell-all on their recording process and the project’s Discover theme and bigger picture. Well, I tripped once if not twice but didn’t fall, and thankfully the artistes were happy and shared stories on their experience on the show and hope beyond the recordings.
During Coke Studio Africa’s normal filming schedule, there are usually three or four artistes (might include groups) and a celebrity producer to handle per week. The international week is usually so packed and PR’s worst nightmare! On the Trey Songz’s Superstar week, he was joined by Nyashinski (Kenya), Vanessa Mdee (Tanzania), Yemi Alade (Nigeria), Lij Michael (Ethiopia), Stonebwoy (Ghana), Neyma (Mozambique), Serge Beynaud (Ivory Coast), Rema Namakula (Uganda) and from South Africa: Emtee and the producer Maphorisa.
International Superstar week is never an easy one – it wasn’t easy. Note that I am still quelling fire from that week.
On the first day Trey Songz came to work at Coke Studio Africa Behind the Music studios, I felt so overwhelmed as soon as I walked into the studio. It wasn’t just Trey but the heavy presence of high-profile African superstars, most of whom we only read about or watch on TV. How did DJ Maphorisa jump out of Soweto Baby YouTube video (that for the first two months of this year – I played repeatedly the whole day) and sit next to me over lunch? And oh! How did the phenomenal Ghanaian artiste Stonebwoy stand up to say Hello to me? When it happened, I remembered every single Stonebwoy memory that led me here. From watching his videos, following his tours and travels, applauding his BET win in 2015 to signing him under my new bookings venture.
I need at least two days to acclimatize myself to that kind of environment with superstars left, right and centre. On that day I had to leave the studio and go work from home—my way of trying to keep focus to make sure I manage and host a dope press conference on the following day.
Fast forward to present day at the presser…
I can’t help but wait to know what sort of person Trey Songz is. First, he is a pretty boy (the good kind) with a lovely smile, and hilarious! With Yemi and Vanessa next to him, he is never short of banter and naughty nuances. Speaking on his Coke Studio Africa stint and his first time in Kenya, he says, “I am very happy to be in Kenya and to be working with a stage full of very talented artistes. The beauty and part I love about Coke Studio Africa is to work with artistes like myself who represent where they are from to the fullest. We have already started working on a great record and I am excited about the music that we have coming.”
Look out for Beyond the Abs: Meeting and Working with Trey Songz Part III