Vallerie Muthoni's second coming

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Vallerie Muthoni [Courtesy]

In 2019, Vallerie Muthoni birthed Spicy Szn. The record profiled Vallerie as one of Kenya’s brightest stars and perpetuated her already forward trajectory to Kenyan pop cultural ubiquity. 

The song was such a hit, it recruited former Camp Mulla lyricist TAIO and Boston-based singer Le Ru.

Before then, the award-winning artiste had been one of four HBR Jumpoff Freshmen, released a debut EP in Pisces SZn and was shaking the industry with bubbling under hits.

Brown Suga most notably was a cut that introduced her as a mainstay in the music fray. This enabled her to share a stage with artistes such as Burna Boy, Lady Leshurr, Nasty C, Kwesta, Shekhinah, Sauti Sol, and Blinky Bill. 

Vallerie has also worked with brands such as Belaire, BUMBU, Absolut Vodka, L’Oreal.

In our last interview, she mentioned working tirelessly behind the scenes, balancing school, travelling and business to fund her music career. As an indie artiste, the hurdles are effervescent, and only the strong survive. 

“If it was up to me, I would release a song every other day,” she says. “But, these things need money,” she adds. 

Vallerie has also worked with brands such as Belaire, BUMBU, Absolut Vodka, L’Oreal [Courtesy]

With clarity of why her releases were few and far between, chops like Checklist and Dolla Signs came, but her fans were starving for more. Her Instagram posts became more “everyday girl trying to wrap up her degree” and less music, while her peers moved on and advanced.

Fast forward, to late last year, her single Sexy was uploaded to music streaming platforms. “Sexy is not just a song. It's an empowering anthem celebrating individuality, self-love and the unapologetic embrace of one’s badassery,” the press release reads.

Channelling her inner 'baddie', Vallerie has a viral anthem that is heavily on rotation both online and on TV  and radio.

Assembling influencer Temina Semo for a chunk-sized cameo, and Nairobi’s sizzling DJ, Kaneda, the record's visual has been on repeat since it’s now on YouTube.

Standing at 733K views at the time of this article, the song is well on its way to topple the one million mark. This figure has already toppled the 146K-viewed Spicy Szn that was released in 2019.

Producer Kxffy says the record was just a playful thing, and they had no hopes for the record to surge to the lofty heights it is currently soaring at.

"No, I did not,” Kxffy says of the song on whether he knew it would be a hit.

“When I first made the song with Njeri, it was out of us having fun and experimenting. We hadn’t planned to make a Hip Hop song in the first place. Njeri is a singer, so a rap song isn’t what we typically work on whenever we have sessions,” says Kxffy.

As we await her new EP, she is closing deals with brands like Jagermeister, and performing on festival stages such as Beneath The Baobabs [Courtesy]

Kxffy, who is known for his engaging production, trunk-shattering drums, and poignant melodies has become a household name in the Alternative music industry in Nairobi producing records for Kili-Rap artistes such as Sabi Wu, Ouma Wa Mafegi, Kig$, Albeezy. 

Njeri, who lays the hook on the song also seconds Kxffy, and shares that the song was just a playful studio session, nothing too serious.

“‘Sexy manifested as a result of me being in the pits and I had to remind myself who I was. I recorded the hook to ‘Sexy’ mid-last year with Kxffy among the many songs we did and he sent Vallerie the song and she added the verses, which is what you guys hear now. It turned out to be very beautiful and an anthem. Just playing around in the studio and all the little pieces just came together and I’m happy about it,” says Njeri.

They both confirm that as much as they knew the record was amazing after they heard the final version, they thought nothing much of it.

Vallerie’s marketing wits and overall vision to tap Kenyan clothing brand Duse for the styling of the music video, to Luca Rindii for co-production, Craig Kitili or CJ Pixels for cinematography, and her baddie friends Temina and Kaneda for cameos is why Vallerie is the Kanye of Kenyan music and pop culture. 

Her ear and eye for pop art are kaleidoscopic and peachy, further making this an all-inclusive anthem that people from all backgrounds can dig their teeth into. 

As we await her new EP, she is closing deals with brands like Jagermeister, and performing on festival stages such as Beneath The Baobabs, a degree hotter, and living in the grace of the second coming of Brown Suga.

“I just manifest how I want to feel,” she says.

 

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