Music

Young R&B singer with an old soul makes her move

tanya

Afro-pop/R&B singer, songwriter Tanya Ruguru has released a new set of singles on the Taurus Musik label. PHOTO | POOL

Summary

  • Tanya Ruguru is a student of International Relations at Daystar University who is currently attracting acclaim with her sleek R&B sound.
  • In early 2020, she had released a song called “Nakupenda Lakini” and an uncle introduced her to the head of Taurus Musik.
  • Ruguru describes her style as a fusion of Afropop, and R&B inspired by the style of global stars.

A 21-year-old singer songwriter is introducing fresh dimension to the urban music scene with a set of new songs, barely a year after being signed by one of Kenya’s top music labels.

Tanya Ruguru is a student of International Relations at Daystar University who is currently attracting acclaim with her sleek R&B sound that reflects the maturity of her influences and ability to sing about hip a range of human experiences.

“The music represents who I am and if that means that I sing mature topics, then so be it,” says the artist who is officially known by the stage name Ruguru.

“I can’t be compared to any other 21-year-old because I don’t know what is going in their lives.”

She has just released her first music video and first single since signing with the label Taurus Musik. The single “Crazy” a smooth slice of R&B has appeared at the top of the Best New Songs playlist on Apple Music alongside industry veterans like Eric Wainiana.

“This is a song to make you remember that one person that made you feel like you are crazy, when in fact, you know that you were perfectly fine,” she explains.

She says the message resonates with both men and women who know that their partner is cheating on them but are dismissed as “crazy” whenever they confront that person with the truth.

“It describes all of the thoughts that go through your head during such moments,” she says.

Ruguru has the pandemic to thank for rescuing her career. Last year, she had put her music interests on hold as she struggled with the demands of her studies, just after joining university.

“But, during the lockdown I had so much time on my hands; I had a microphone, a piano, friends who are producers and so we decided let’s just kill time and get back into music. I am so glad that I did,” she says.

In early 2020, she had released a song called “Nakupenda Lakini” and an uncle introduced her to the head of Taurus Musik who was impressed with her talent and signed her up to the label.

“The production process is so expensive and difficult to manage on you are on your own so when the label is taking care of the logistics and the business side of music then I can focus on making the music,” she says.

“No love” was the first single on the label released in January followed by “Blessings” in April which was written with the assumption that life would have returned to normal after the disruption of the pandemic.

“The song was to tell you that there will come a time when you will realise the blessings in your life.”

Ruguru’s love for music started in childhood when she would sing at concerts and plays. She credits her music teachers at both Braeburn and Braeside Schools for nurturing her interest in music and developing her talent. The bubbly singer started performing professionally at the age of 17.

Before she was signed to Taurus Musik, she recorded a single called “Deserve” with rappers Caesar and Bobby which still holds a special place in her heart. “This is a message from me to someone who may be going through a situation where they feel like they don’t deserve it.”

Ruguru describes her style as a fusion of Afropop, and R&B inspired by the style of global stars like Beyonce and Ariana Grande.

“Crazy has drawn huge response which started as soon as the teasers hit social media,” she says.

Ruguru says she is now at an important stage in her career where she working with amazing musicians, like her co-songwriters rapper Mbithi “Kamba Boy” and Meryl Page, and in the process producing music of much higher quality.

The release of the first three singles is part of a project that will be released by the end of the year.

“There will be love songs, crazy type of songs, songs to make you laugh, cry, or dance,” she says.

What is more she is now able to plan her day around studies, studio time, interviews and other promotional activities

Ruguru has positioned herself to exploit the opportunities that are opening up for young artists, cutting a niche for herself among the new generation of urban artists poised for success.