Nikita Kering: The Rising Star from East Africa.
- Providence: Kenya.
- A multi-talented prodigy.
- Artistry built on an Honest Process.
- Commanding her own against industry heavyweights.
- Nikita’s Next Move.
Award-winning Kenyan singer-songwriter, musician, actress, and media personality, Nikita Kering, has become one of the most talented artists in East Africa. At 17 the youngest ever nominee, winner and performer at the All-Africa Music Awards 2019, it is no surprise, this 19-year-old is one of the fastest rising artists on the African continent.
Mentored by the gospel singer, Emmy Kosgei, Nikita’s music career started when she was only five when she won the hearts of the Kenya nation by performing a version of Emmy’s song, “Ololo”, on national television.
Nikita later signed with Nigerian superstar, Mr Eazi’s ‘EmPawa Africa’ initiative, an international training and mentoring program aimed at developing and improving the exposure and skills of African talent. For Nikita, it wasn’t too difficult to sing her way to the finals, but ultimately had to forfeit as she was underage.
She wrote her first song, “Happy with You”, in 2018, but it wasn’t until she addressed the issue of abuse in relationships with her hit single, “Tragedy”, under the direction of Mr Eazi, that the young singer truly began her rise to stardom.
Nikita’s latest body of work, an EP titled “A Side of Me”, was released in May this year, and includes “Ex”, her biggest song to date, which accumulated 800,000+ streams within two weeks of dropping.
Artistry built on an Honest Process.
Nikita grew up listening to pop, RnB and contemporary music and draws inspiration and influence from the likes of Beyonce, Jennifer Hudson, Jasmine Sullivan, Kofee and Tems. However, when it comes to style, the young artist tries not to limit herself to a specific genre and stays honest and intentional when it comes to her lyrical content.
Commanding her own against industry heavyweights.
Nikita’s clear arrival at this year’s All African Music Awards (AFRIMA) was an epic moment as she won two of her three nominated categories. These included ‘Best Female Artiste in East Africa’ where she was up against industry powerhouses such as Karun (Kenya), Nandy (Tanzania), Rema Namakula, DJ Harold & Chike (Uganda), Rosa Ree (Tanzania), Spiece Diana (Tanzania), Xenia (Kenya) and Zuchu (Tanzania).
Nominated alongside African icons and superstars including Aya Nakamura (Mali), Wizkid (Nigeria), Elaine (South Africa), Oxlade (Nigeria), Gyakie (Ghana), Tems (Nigeria) Djodje (Cape Verde), Adekunle Gold (Nigeria) and T’neeya (Cameroon), Nikita took home the award for ‘Best RnB and Soul Artist’. She was also nominated in the ‘Song Writer of The Year’ category.
Earlier this year, Apple Music announced Nikita as their first ‘Africa Rising’ artist from East Africa, another testimony to the young artist’s phenomenal talent and ability to stand out in the industry. ‘Africa Rising’ is an artist development program and companion playlist aimed to identify, showcase and expose rising talent in Africa to introduce the next generation of African superstars to the world.
Nikita’s Next Move
At her tender age, Nikita is an advocate for body positivity and consciousness and believes that women shouldn’t be sexualized or told how they should look or perform within the music industry.
Attending a panel discussion on female empowerment in the creative space, held at the Australian High Commission in Nairobi earlier this month, Nikita revealed that she always puts safety first before accepting private studio appointments in efforts to avoid uncomfortable and vulnerable situations she might find herself in.
Certainly, Nikita envisions an industry where women are supported in their artistic goals and aspirations without having to face challenges and barriers when pursuing dreams as artists & creatives.
When asked about her upcoming musical projects and endeavors, Nikita comments on the importance of taking a break and allowing herself to breathe. At the end of the day the young artist wants her career to remain something that she is passionate about, not something that drains her creativity.
What’s for sure is that Nikita’s career trajectory will continue to rise.
C.S.A.’s monthly cultural portal, The WIRE connects the dots of culture. With concise stories, many with video content, take a premium dive into the world of African entertainment & cultural fluidity. It’s one thing to be hip to what’s happening but it is another to know why.
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