Some time ago, when we had lost all hope of a mainstream Meru music act, the Ameru Crew broke through. I remember beaming with pride back then (I think it was 2012) when I saw a Safaricom Live poster with one of the participating artistes bearing the name “Ameru Crew”. I didn’t know who they were, but they had a name that I loved – Ameru Crew.
They have beautifully held on and we had a chat, just to see what makes them tick.
Tell me about the Ameru Crew
We founded the Ameru Crew in 2012 and we are a crew of four members : Euticus Murori aka FaiteZiki, an IT guru and now a programs editor at Weru TV; Kenneth Kirimi Mwobobia a.k.a Melanin Falaki, a professional medic, and pharmacist; Boniface Muthomi aka Mr. Somi an electrical and sound engineer at Meru FM…..brains behind Somi Records and Wycliffe Muthomi a.k.a Colonel Wicky who is a trained banker but quit to pursue entrepreneurship, theater and script writing.
How did you guys meet and decide, let’s do this’.
We met at Somi records in Meru as individual artists…Faiteziki , Joy, and Wicky had a group then called JC Rockerz which had done the first full Kimeru rap song ever. Joy had relocated to China for studies after the release of the album the group had broken and were trying to reinvent. That is when they met Falaki and Mr.Somi at the studio.. we started writing ciphers together and when we collabo’ed with Jehushaphat Kimaita for the song Amiru, the song was an instant hit and we decided to ride with the song’s fame and create an outfit for that.
You are right, Amiru was insanely popular. It was a breakthrough. Do you still record at that studio? Who does your videos?
Yes, our main studio is still Somi Records. We’ve also worked with JackyB of Tamu Sana Music, Majik Mike and several well-known producers in the country.
For videos, we’ve worked with Dr.Eddie, Blingtone, Mrdawn Lions and EutiPix.
After all these years, what would you say has been your best moment?
There have been great moments for us. Nominations for the Groove Awards and winning the massive Ndovu Music Contest hosted by Blankets and Wine at UNEP. Nothing beats when we had our big break – our first gig with Safaricom Live.
Were you the first nationwide Meru Musicians, then?
Haha. No, there were Meru musicians before us, but they didn’t want to be associated with ‘Meru’ due to the notion that was perpetrated that Merians can’t sing. We just decided to be bold and take on the world. So we had to Break the Jinx
How is it like being pioneers? Did you have mentors? Who supports your cause?
Being a pioneer is a nice feeling, however, the pressure is too much due to expectations that are too high. To be sincere it’s quite rough. You rarely get mentors but on the other side, you have a bigger pack of haters and people who wish you to fail so that the rhetoric can continue.
However, we’ve had good friends whom we share notes and consult with often..KamaNu has been a great friend of the Ameru Crew. We also have prayer partners who include our parents, church friends, Dj Marios and some close pastor friends.
We have a team too… though small but awesome that consists of Dj Smick, Vdj Allekings, Kennie the Dancer & George who handles our social media.
But, have you mentored any musicians?
Yes. We owe the community that for continuity. We have mentored a few directly and Lyrical Lisa and Gakeni are examples of the most recent who are doing quite well.
Speaking of Mentees, what would you tell that upcoming artist from a village in Meru?
Focus on the art, the money will eventually come. Not immediately, but if you diligently love and do what you ought to, then you will get there.
Do it for the Love.
So, do YOU do it for Love?
Yes, our aim is to encourage people through our songs to be optimistic about life despite the hard economic challenges, love one another, love the environment, culture and peace. The rest is secondary.