Kimani Moore on Tracy Chapman, Wizkid, and Crafting a Future for African Artists
Kimani Moore is the founder of Kimani Moore Entertainment (KME), a 100 percent African owned and operated talent management firm and music company with virtual locations in the U.K., U.S. and Nigeria.
Moore (aka, Olukorede Ogunyomade) founded KME in 2018, with a talent roster that currently includes Odunsi (The Engine), Larry Gaaga, Mowalola, Tay Iwar and Deto Black—five Nigerian creatives and artists who will help shape global pop culture in the coming decade.
KME's partnerships with Platoon for recorded music distribution in Ghana and Nigeria and Peermusic for publishing will also provide a crucial platform for discovering the next generation of African musicians.
We spoke with Kimani for our Liner Notes series to learn more about her musical tastes and journey through the years, as well as recent work she's proud of and admired.
Kimani, tell us...
Where you grew up, and where you live now.
I was born in Lagos, Nigeria, and moved when I was 7. I live in London.
Your earliest musical memory.
Dancing to Tracy Chapman's "Fast Car" in Lagos with my aunty Tola. I thought Tracy Chapman was a man lol, but I fell in love with the song. I must have been about 4 years old.
Your first concert.
My first concert officially was Junior Jam, which was a 16-and-under concert. It was held in London and I remember outside was daytime, but in the hall it may as well have been a club! Chingy performed.
Your favorite bands/musicians.
I love Jazmine Sullivan. I think she is so soulful, and I honestly can't wait to see her live. I also love Radiohead. I used to listen to them on my way to work on the train, and my favorite song is "Creep." Pop Smoke was a recent fave of mine; he makes me feel like a boss. It's really sad he passed away.
How you get your music these days.
Everywhere, but randomly Reddit seems to really put me on to some new music.
Your favorite place to see a concert.
I don't have one, to be honest, but it would be a more intimate setting. I really don't like big crowds, they give me a lot of anxiety—unless I'm backstage, of course.
Your favorite music video.
Tupac, "Do for Love." To be honest, I don't know why but it moves me … I love the creativity of it.
Your favorite music-focused TV show and/or podcast.
I'm a closet Glee lover—hope my fiancé doesn't read this ... I won't hear the last of it lol. I was honestly obsessed with Glee, and also, High School Musical was my jam!
A recent project you're proud of.
Odunsi (The Engine)'s album Rare. I saw the project from nothing to becoming what I believe is a classic and always will be.
Someone else's project that you admired recently.
Wizkid's new album Made in Lagos. The replay value is incredible, and it's great for working out and feeling good.
How musicians should approach working with brands.
They shouldn't. Brands will come to you when they see value.
How brands should approach working with musicians.
Be open and honest. Also, assume you don't know the consumer more than the musician who makes the music that the consumers love.
What music can do that nothing else can.
Music has the ability to change the dynamic of your current state of mind in an instant without much effort. You can go from happy to sad to angry to feeling sexy all in the space of one project.
What you'd be doing if you weren't in the music world.
I'd be a chef. I love to cook and I love to serve and make people happy.
Liner Notes is our weekly interview series, publishing every Monday, where we chat with folks in the music industry about their creative inspirations, their favorite bands and musicians, and generally what music means to them. For more about Liner Notes, and our Clio Music program, please get in touch.