Katapilla is one dope rapper that nobody dare sleep on. Just like some of the great rappers to ever do it, he hails from Kibera. He aims to dominating the rap scene as we know it and leave his footprint and/or blueprint while at it.

The one and only Katapilla has worked with many of Kenya's greatest rappers in the music industry for example Kayvo Kforce who is from the same neighborhood as him, Smallz Lethal, Oksyde and the OG, Khaligraph Jones.

Katapilla has been featured on two of Khaligraph Jones cyphers which are ‘Khali Cartel 2’ and 'Khali Cartel 4'. Khali Cartel 2 had the likes of Steph Kapella, Twenny Eights, TImmy Blanco, and Xtatic while Khali Cartel 4 had; Katapilla, Shekina Karen, Murasta, Achicho, Elisha Elai and Ben-C.

The Odinare Challenge winner and former member of Afrocentric rap group which comprised of Hassano, Brian Chumba and John Mo're took some time out to chat with Musiq Jared of Micshariki Africa where he took us through on how his musical journey has been like, how it all started, linking up and working with Khaligraph Jones and also future plans for career.

Welcome to Micshariki Africa. First things first who is Katapilla? When did you start music, who inspired you? Give us a brief history about yourself.

Katapilla is a Naivasha born, Kibera bred artist currently living in Utawala. I’m the the baddest emcee of my generation and I believe I'll be on that all-time list when all is said and done.

I started active music recording around 2015 after three years of background practice working on the basics of rap and the craft.

Inspiration came from legends in the game I used to study; Khaligraph's style, Abbas' style and Collo The Rap King. Also 80 percent of my content I put out there is inspired by the daily happenings in life inspire.

Where did the name Katapilla come from? What's the inspiration behind it?

The name Katapilla; I had a yellow shirt with that caterpillar tractor logo on it. So whenever we used to play soccer my team mates used to call me caterpillar. After venturing into music full time I figured I needed a name for the game. I recalled being on the pitch and team mates calling me that and I straight up decided that was going to be my stage name from then.

How has your musical journey been like and what got you into rap music?

My music journey has been a real one with its fair share of ups and downs which had both major lessons and wins. I'm still learning as I work on my branding and craft. The journey has been fruitful amidst all the drama and I hope for the best in future as we trust the process.

I've made new friends, enemies and also met with people I considered icons. Hopefully with time I'll come up to be one.

How did you come to realize that music was the way forward for you?

I realized music was what I wanted to pursue once I hit the studio the first time and the record sounded like it had a future. I automatically knew that this was what I wanted since it was what made my soul complete.

Also the fans commenting and supporting new content kept me going.

In what way do you aim to make a difference?

The main purpose for this Hip-Hop thing is to make a difference, I wouldn't have been doing it if it wasn't for that. First of all I'm trying to get this money and change how I'm living, how my parents and siblings are living. I'm trying to inspire anyone out there who feels like there's no way out. I'm trying to influence positivity in the community through songs that propagate unity and love plus pure entertainment. Generally I just want people to see this Hip-Hop hustle differently despite the backlash it is getting.

You haven't dropped a collective project, either (EP/LP), you are so much into singles, when should your fans expect an album? Any plans?

Yes. Personally I feel like collective projects require time and deep penmanship with a mixture of "having fun with it" vibe. So I've been creating my album for three years now and even though it's a long time I really don't want to drop substandard work. As soon as my album drops you'll know what I'm saying.

You have been working with Khaligraph Jones on couple of projects. How did you guys meet? Give us the backstory so that our readers can get to know how that journey started

Khaligraph Jones has played a major role in my career from even before I met him till date; from being inspired by him to having our one on one talks to working with him in the studio. I learn a lot from the guy.

When I dropped my first project he commented on my YouTube channel and told me to keep up the good work.

Approximately one and half years later he contacted me for that Khali Kartel 2 Cypher which was the highlight of my underground career from then we've been working on various projects. He's been guiding and criticizing me positively where possible.

Your song 'Swali', made headlines news last year, what was the inspiration behind the track?

The song "Swali" came from the urge for doing something different, I wanted to try out a different sound with a particular concept that cuts across a wide geographical scope. I basically overheard some of my friends arguing which country had the best Hip-Hop export between Kenya and Tanzania and from there I knew what I wanted to rap about and exactly how I wanted to put it.

Who are your top 5 Favorite rappers In KE?

Top 5 Kenyan rappers for me are;

  1. Katapilla
  2. Scar Mkadinali
  3. Khaligraph Jones
  4. Timmy Blanco
  5. Tricks

List is based on current body of works.

What's your favorite Song?

My favorite song right now is Once A Man Twice A Child by Nas.

How is your creative process like?

My creative process really has no particular pattern. I usually just play beats and if I feel like there's something with the one I'm playing at that particular moment then I start writing. I might start with the chorus or I might start with a verse, it depends. I just make sure I come out of that studio with a banger.

You were the Odinare Challenge winner, what does this mean to you?

Winning the Odinare Challenge basically means that I was the best out of over ten thousand contestants put out there. It elevated my status as a rapper and now we are working on getting to the next level.

Any upcoming projects that your fans should be on the lookout for?

I have major projects coming through and I expect my solo album is scheduled for December. I have singles coming through with dope visuals together with major collaborations for my hardcore fans

It's going to be all Katavelli season, clean money mafia.

Apart from music, what else do you do?

Apart from music I handle my businesses here and there trying to get that outside money so I can put it back into the craft. I also play soccer when I'm not rapping and I also write movie scripts and poems too.

I’m just trying to stay sharp.

What's your take on the current state of Kenyan Hip Hop?

The current state of Kenya Hip Hop is struggling mainly due to external factors. I think artists are trying their best to put out real and inspiring content and entertainment out there. The fans need to embrace more of Kenyan music by streaming and sharing the dope music with the same passion that have for Nigerian music.

But so far we are keeping it 100%, it's going get better soon. Hopefully cooperates will invest their money on artists because I'm sure with the right strategies in place they will earn their money back and the artist will get to the bread.

Who are your biggest musical influences especially here in Kenya?

My biggest musical influences are Abbas Kubaff, The OG, I can't lie Octopizzo also inspired me when I was just starting out. Femi One and King Kaka inspired me with how they manage their grind while Nyashinski inspires me with his attitude.

Where is your musical career heading, what’s the vision?

I'm trying to work on my brand right now because for the past five years I've been locked in studio working on my craft. I feel like I'm a beast in studio right now and so I am polishing my brand and style so that my fan base can get to relate more with me, so let's say the vision is global.

What makes you different from other rappers in the industry?

What makes me different? I have different songs, different vibes and a different voice. I move differently

They don't see me often, they hear about me but still I'm working on keeping it different.

What's your take on bloggers such as Musiq Jared and Micshariki Africa?

Blogs are playing a major role of putting us out there. The load of works they put out there is more of what's in the streets. A big shout out to Musiq Jared and Micshariki Africa and Cheza Kenya for the magnificent work they are doing. They're more active with it than the mainstream media both radio and TV.

Word of advice to the upcoming artistes struggling real hard to a point of giving up?

I would advise the up and coming artist not to quit, don't listen to the negative critics, just trust the process and keep God in your plans all time all day. Also ensure that you are not sloppy but ensure that you are consistent no matter what. Spend money on useful things and mostly put your money back to your craft.

What's next for Katapilla?

I have a joint Ep coming with Musiq Jared, a solo album and mixtape dropping in February. I also have some singles and major collaborations lined up, you are not ready.

Word to your fans?

Keep streaming and keep sharing our work. Put us above the foreign sounds/music. Make Kenyan music hot like it used to be back in the Channel O days. Let's get it. Stay safe out there because we are working to keep you entertained.

Your official social media and music platforms?

Official social media platforms are;

Instagram: Katapilla8
Facebook: Katapilla Katavelli

No Twitter, no Tik Tok.

Anybody you want to shout out?

I want to shout out all my fans and all my friends in the streets. A big shout to Musiq Jared for making this happen.  A big shout to all the Kenyan artists

Parting shot?

Thu Thu Thu!!!!! Clean money mafia.