Early govt’ interventions save lucrative performance arts sector
Tuesday, July 28th, 2020
Fresh from a prolonged hiatus, singer TIERA GEE is back on the grind spitting fire. She talks to Elly Gitau about her exploits while on the break and future plansYou have been missing in action. Where have you been?
I relocated twice; to Kisumu and later to Mombasa after my loving dad passed on in September 28, 2017.
While on hiatus, did you put the music business aside completely?
Not at all, though I was going through a lot. While adjusting to my new environment, I was lucky to join a band with Jose Langa and Barmango in Kisumu.
While there, I realised that I could actually sing in my mother tongue and enjoy live music on stage.
What lessons have you learned while on the break?
You should never be afraid of starting all over again and every time you think you are being rejected from something good, remember you are just being redirected to something better.
Is it true you went broke after disappearing from music?
I was still rolling in my Mercedes-Benz and completing my new home in Kisumu if that comes close to ‘brokenness’.
The only thing that broke-up was my previous marriage. My ex-husband left on September 1, 2017, something I well now appreciate he did.
I am now a stronger woman and a lioness to my two cubs, who are promising to be the women of steel of tomorrow.
How did you then find your footing without losing sanity?
It wasn’t easy looking at my baby Diane Tyra and realising it was the two of us alone and how I’d explain to her the situation.
She quickly adapted though to the new environment which made me at ease.
The live band, managed by Eric Ounga then, also did get me distracted from the new reality and my music capabilities elevated.
How did you meet your current husband Andreas Roll?
Ha-ha-ha. Times are really changing. I met him on Facebook. During my low points I posted a lot about politics and attached my old music, which got his attention.
He happens to be a politician with a musical ear, so he took interest. That same year he challenged me to do him a German love song fused with African rhythm, thereby releasing Mobobe in April 2018.
Andreas has been supportive in my comeback since 2018, but we had to take a break in 2019, as we were blessed with a beautiful girl Helena Kyra Roll.
Has family helped you remain composed?
My late dad was the only man left in my life when my ex-husband left. He was ready to have my daughter and I back on tracks, as we were his only girls, myself being his only daughter.
My mother too stood firm as the villagers ridiculed me. She encouraged me to go out and make the best out myself and that stumbling is not falling.
I gathered strength and was ready for the world in different light as my brother Steve Oyucho stood strongly by me and pushed me forward.
Andreas Roll’s coming in was perfect timing for a woman ready to take the world again at her feet. He breathed in life into me.
With two comeback jams out already, what are your plans going forward?
I am back under my own label Tiera Roll Music, with a whole new creative team comprising of DJ Elonn, producer Petrooz and video director Antonio.
We have worked on several other projects that have release timelines of song, plus video every two months this year.
Also, my creative team is currently in talks with various top artistes from Kenya and Tanzania to complement the brand.
I thank Above the Rim Productions and Gates Mgenge’s Now and Forever for helping me with my comeback.
What is your ‘Hearts of Gold’ initiative all about?
It’s an initiative that puts together like-minded people to show their generosity to everyone in need.
In the last six weeks, I partnered with Support A Rafiki Initiative to feed more than 25 families at Vikwatani in Kisauni, Mombasa.
My aim is to bring relief following the damage brought by the Covid-19 pandemic that has left many hunger-struck.
Why did you give up on your ambitions to become a TV reporter?
Initially, I would have said someone killed my TV career, but then the way life has positioned itself, let’s just say music is me and I am music!