Up close with musician Coozos Clan’s Menimen
After more than a decade in the music industry Menimen on Coozos Clan who sang the famous Binia Juba hit song has gone quiet for some time. BOKA JR caught up with the South Sudanese artist, whose influence in music were partly contributed by his stay at Kakuma Refugee camp in Kenya. He talks about his musical journey, the highs and lows in the industry and the pressure that comes with being a celebrity.
Q: Who is Menimen?
A: My name is Menimen, from Coozos Clan and the Clan Base Music Crew. I grew up in Kenya ,Kapenguria and Nairobi although sometimes I was in Kakuma too. I did not acquire university education alright but I guess I am an equally smart dude upstairs.
Q: When did you discover your talent in music?
A: When I was young, probably in early teens, I always admired music. I loved listening to music. All genres of music that is. And with time I started imitating what I heard from established musicians singing over the radio or whenever there was an event nearby. With time I realized there was something in me. People noticed that indeed I could sing. Actually I starting being a small celebrity.
Q: So how long have you been in this industry?
A: I have been here for long enough. Over a decade in the industry is not such a short time. I guess fans kept my track moves from the times of Binia Juba Album till date, but by then I had started way earlier.
Q: You are one of national starts or influential country Artists, which song made you popular?
A: That must be my first album that consist of Binia Juba, Alela yom Raha, kitenge, the album consists of songs that were all hits. One unique story about the Coozos Clan is that we are known for very many songs. When you go online sometimes you find netizens arguing which was the biggest hit.
Q: Were you inspired by anyone, if yes who could be that?
A: I was inspired by many legendary artists but of course I also got inspirations from the church background. I loved the choir songs in the Catholic Church where I profess Christian faith. I was actually an alter boy!
Q: So far how many biggest shows have you performed?
A: I can’t even remember but I all I know is that I have appeared in almost all bigger shows in the country. I have also done concerts that witnessed stadiums being full in the country too.
Q: In which way does music make you feel?
A: It makes me feel high and good. It also brought me love and respect from people. I now feel connected to the people through music.
Q: Compare life when you were not known and when you became famous, what’s the difference?
A: There are always challenges when you are famous compared to when you are a normal person. Sometimes as a celebrity, your life is so much monitored, you get criticism, you get too much attention etc. I love normal life but I am already into the game that taught me to be very careful and reminds me that always people are watching you.
Q: Artistes are known for doing collaborations. What is your story?
A: I did a lot of projects with local artists to help them grow and I also did with international artists.
Q: There are some two hit songs, Geleng and Suk Karabu that some of your fans do not understand. What do the songs mean?
A: Suk Karabu is just an awareness to the public and government in particular. It was a warning song to alert them by then to watch closely the economy downfall. Sometimes music carries bigger meaning but they don’t listen. They think you are just singing.
Geleng on the other hand talks about the habit of sharing equally in the country. It’s a country with too much division and so there is a need to promote the habit of sharing.
Q: Finally, you seem quiet in the music this year, do you have a new project and what’s it?
A: Well from mid last year till this year were not the best for me. I am a little bit just outside the music life but yeah am working on my album now to be soon released. I got a lot of projects coming.