How 'Siskii' Hit maker Mejja Rose to Become King of Genge Music
25 February 2022
[Image Source: The Standard]
By Brian Sikulu
Celebrated Kenyan musician Major Nameye Khadija better known by his stage name Mejja has risen to become one of the most sought-after Gengetone artists. The story of the former Calif Records signee dates back to over a decade ago. His rise to stardom has been steady and consistent. In this article, we trace the footsteps of the 'Siskii' hit maker back to his heydays when together with his brother formed a group called the Ghetto Clan.
Mejja’s music evolution journey
Despite being a sensation in the new generation of music, Mejja ventured into music a long time ago when the identity genre of Kenyan music was Genge. He was at the time signed under Calif Records alongside other star artists like; Jua Cali, Nonini, Pilipili, Size 8, Mahatma, and many others. While under the record label that was owned by Clement Rapudo alias Clemmo, Mejja released hit songs that propelled him into the limelight. Among the songs that made Mejja a star were; 'Jana Kuliendaje', 'Landlord', 'Niko Poa', 'Twenzetu' ft Madtraxx, and many others.
In 2008, Mejja had his breakthrough courtesy of 'Jana Kuliendaje' which also earned him a nomination at the Chaguo la Teeniz awards. In 2014, Mejja having established himself as a respectable name in the music industry formed a group called The Kansoul. The group consisted of three artists namely; Mejja, Kid Kora, and Madtraxx. The Kansoul took over the industry with their top songs. Some of the songs that earned the group attention and a seat at the high table in the music industry included; 'Nyongwa', 'No Woman No Party', 'Drum'and 'Dabotap', among others.
The group attracted collaborations from established artists in the industry including; Vivian on 'Accelerator ' (Serereka), Creme De La Creme on 'Kufa Juu', Supa Marcus on 'Jinyce', Timmy T Dat on 'Tunakubali' among others. Unfortunately, the group fell out forcing Mejja to be a solo artist.
He had to go back to the drawing back and start branding himself again as an independent artist. In the process, Mejja was featured in many collaborations. One of the collaborations that became extremely successful was 'Utawezana' in which he was featured by Femi One. The song went viral at the time that COVID-19 had struck the country. The outbreak of the Coronavirus limited the artist from earning much from the songs as public gatherings had been restricted. 'Utawezana' made Mejja a center of attention as many artists sought collaborations from him.
The majority of the collaborations turned into hit songs earning him the title; 'King of Collabos'. Among the successful collaborations that he was featured after 'Utawezana' were; 'Cheza Kama Wewe' by Trio Mio, 'Nairobi' by Bensoul and Sauti Sol, 'Usherati' by Exray and Ndovu Kuu, 'Shamra Shamra' by Mbuzi Gang, 'Dear Ex Remix' by Bahati, 'Chini Chini' by Matata and 'Sijanona' by Exray among others.
Within the last one year, Mejja has released four singles. All of the songs went viral and were welcomed with a warm reception by fans. The four songs are; 'Ulimi yangu', 'Siskii', 'Siku Hii Ni Kubad', and 'Usiniharibie Moods'. All of the above-listed songs have each received more than a million views on YouTube. Mejja's performance graph continues to go upward as his fans become more and more anxious for his next projects.
How Mejja has remained relevant
Despite the numerous changes in the music industry, Mejja has managed to remain relevant thanks to his unique music style. His ability to tell comic stories through his lyrics has ensured he remains on top of the game over the years.
Secondly, Mejja has managed to play around with his music to fit the changes in the music industry. Listening to him, you can easily tell that despite being way older than most gengetone artists, they are speaking from the same script and the music is in him. It comes naturally, which is why most fans love him.