Jua Cali has just released Kuna Sheng, a song about slang from different estates. The genge rapper has been fairly consistent since his debut in the Kenyan music industry over a decade ago.
He came out at a time when the industry was still in transition and local artistes were style trying to define a 'Kenyan' sound. He stuck to his and listening to his older tracks, you can tell that he hasn't changed much.
Jua Cali's achievements over the span of his career are nothing to be scoffed at. He won the Boomba Male Award at the Kisima Awards in 2006. He won Best Celebrity and Best Male Artiste at the CHAT Awards the following year. The Standard newspaper named him as one of the most influential Kenyans in 2007. He won Best Male and Best Boomba again at the 2007 Kisima Awards.
Internationally, he has toured the U.S., been nominated for a MOBO Award in the Diaspora category and MTV Europe Music Awards. He won three CHAT Awards in 2008, Best Male Artiste, Best Live Performance and Best Collabo (with Sanaipei) for Kwaheri.
Today, we take a look back at where it all started from. Before the Motorola endorsement, before Orange Mobile came along and before Warner Bros needed him to record a song for a local video game. Here is Jua Cali's first track and his introduction to the Kenya music industry: Ruka.