VKP is an urban gospel group from Kenya, made up of three blood brothers Fatha Lody (Group Singer) who is the eldest, Walman (Lead Singer) then Trigga (Rapper and Christian Author), the youngest sibling in the group. VKP are initials standing for Vijana Kwa Pulpit, which is a name in the Swahili slang-Sheng, loosely translated as Youths on the Pulpit.
Since inception, VKP have been nominated in th Africa Gospel Music Awards held in London, Groove Awards, Mwafaka and Talanta Awards. It was an absolute honor to interview them and this is how it went down.
It is our very first time to finally get this chance to chat with you, how is VKP?
We appreciate too, the chance to be interviewed by you guys. We have been seeing the good work you do in the gospel music scene in Uganda, kudos guys and keep up.
VKP we are fine, each one of us is doing great on a personal level and musically too. We keep thanking the Lord each day as we get moving closer to our dream of reaching more and more people through our music.
Of course we have been keeping tabs on you especially after the release of Imela which gained good airplay on Christian Radio here in Uganda, what have you been up to since that time?
We appreciate that. Imela is a project we can say was anointed, out of all the songs we have recorded and released, its production, release and airplay was easily facilitated as all the people who were part of the project came through in time and wholeheartedly. And God blessed it all the way; the whole album too is a very good compilation.
Our debut album TOLOISA, which we launched on 31st May 2015, has received massive support, in print media, album cd buying and also brand growth. Whats keeping us busy is centered on the debut album; the distribution, planning on a few music videos of songs on the album and a few concerts here and there.
Let us take you back a bit. When and how did VKP start? Also tell us why you started out for those who are new to East African Gospel Music.
We came together as a group in December 2011 after recording stints as solo artists. Our musical journey dates way back to 2003 but it is at the beginning of 2012, that VKP released their debut single and video titled Fantasy under the mentor-ship of our producer Patrick Saint P Mbaru.
Also, could you tell us why you started out for those who are new to East African Gospel Music?
Our mission: We want to cement our position as the best gospel group ever to come out of Kenya; true and deeply rooted in the gospel, professional and out to bring about real social change in our society through our music.
We have been fronting a music style known as SocaPuka, a style we came up with our producer Saint p back in 2011 when the group was starting. It is a fusion of Kapuka (Kenyan sound) and Soca music.
That out-of-the-way, TOLOISA! Can each of you tell us your favorite songs on the album and why?
Trigga: My favorite song on the album is Fantasy. It directly brings out the Good News about Jesus Christ our Savior. We narrate how we received Jesus Christ, and found God the Father. Anyone who is worldly and living in sin will get convicted and know that they need Jesus in their lives or be separated from God eternally because Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father and Gods free gift to mankind. Without holiness, nobody will see God (Hebrews 12:14-15). Christ gives us the grace to live holy lives that please the father. FANTASY brings out this and thats what authentic gospel music is meant for: to draw people to Gods throne of mercy and grace.
Walman: My favorite song is Imela. It speaks out my daily prayer to God
Fatha Lody: My favorite song is Matata. Personally I’ve gone through a lot of stuff despite my young age (I’m not that young though, hehe) and this song even the time we wrote it I had a lot of stress and personal struggles. It has spoken hope to many who have listened to it, it still does and it will continue to speak to and encourage so many people going through a tough time in their lives. It’s even my phones ring back tone.
How would you describe the state of Gospel Music in your country Kenya?
Fatha lody: Gospel music has really grown, in terms of the number of new gospel ministers, quality of production too but in terms of message its undergoing a transition. Our gospel music is going back to the basics of gospel music which is to preach the gospel of Christ and bring back people to God.
Trigga: We need to seek God’s face so as to know what He intended authentic Christian Music ministry to be. The current state is saddening because it has turned into an industry driven by cliques and unscrupulous businessmen who are out to mint millions out of the gift meant for ministry. Most music ministers have been taken captive into Secularism/carnality (idolizing & copying secular musicians, glorification of the self (the gospel musician wanting to be known and celebrated), worship of the art (creativity without giving God’s Word preeminence), love of money hence preaching the social gospel (prosperity gospel) to appeal to masses, sexual sin (fornication/adultery), vain competition and rivalry, (Favoritism in airplay/paying to get awards). It is no longer about preaching Christ Jesus to the lost and dying world that needs salvation. All in all, God is asking us to repent, turn from our wicked ways and get back to the main mission: The Great Commission. A revival is ripening!
Walman: It has come to that time for real & not real to be clearly distinguished. And we have a large Kenyan fan base that still appreciates, cherishes & supports the gospel industry.
Are you planning to do something with an artiste from Uganda or Tanzania soon?
Yes most definitely. We love Luganda. There are several artistes we dig into their music back here e.g., Levixone, Holy Keane, Exodus, Ruyonga and several others. We do not have a specific artiste but we plan to work on something when the opportunity arises. Tanzania we havent set our eyes yet but also if the opportunity arises to work with a gospel minister from there, we will gladly do that. As the Holy Spirit will lead us you know!
We missed your album launch, tell us how it was!
TOLOISA Album launch was a success. It can be summed up as a reunion of the people who have been part of our musical journey from way back. The event began at 1pm and ran till 7pm, the performances were great as our fans, friends and family got a chance to enjoy each song on the album.
All those who attended got a free album cd and meal. The performances were back to back with invited artistes keeping the crowd on their feet; Groove Award Winner Bahati surprised us by coming to close the event.
How do you people keep it together, what would you like to share with other groups about working together?
First of all we thank God that we are blood brothers and the age bracket not so big, so we have been friends for the longest time possible. It’s the power of prayer, a common vision and authentic love for one another which keeps us accountable to each other.
Advise to other groups is Put God first, Pray together and for one another, Practice more, Persist in pushing your stuff, be united and finally work on aligning the group’s vision with each members personal and career vision to ensure continuity in your music ministry as you advance in age and responsibilities creep in.
Do you think the fact that you are brothers (I stand to be corrected, if you are not blood brothers) has made your working together easier?
Yes we are blood brothers. Same dad, same mum we follow each other by birth, Fatha Lody, Walman then Trigga. Although we come from a big family, we have other younger siblings.
About being easier to work together. yes. As we said earlier we have been friends the longest time, we have learnt to accept each others strengths and weaknesses, and we have learnt sacrifice, to persistent and encourage each other.
Do you have any final words to your East African and indeed African fans?
We thank God for this far we have come. We still look up to God to shape us into what He wants us to present to the world. We are still holding on to the Truth in the Word of God. One thing we really value is your genuine support. The views and subscriptions on our YouTube channel. The likes on our facebook page VKP Music and twitter @vkpmusic. Thank you so much # Teamsocapuka.