Oliver Mwagovya

Oliver Kitti Mwagovya a.k.a. Remnant is a born again Christian, who grew up in Nairobi, Kileleshwa. He went to schools in Nairobi that were ghetto and hard thus picked up his hard knock lifestyle from a young age to survive and thrive in the streets of Nairobbery.

We took our time to have a chat with him to learn more about this Hip Hop emcee trying to bring change to his society and the world at large using his God given gifts.

Tell us a bit about yourself

I’m a born again Christian rap artist who not only raps but also sings. I grew up listening to all kinds of music in the 80’s and 90’s and when Rap Hip hop came through I settled and all seemed history though I do almost all kinds of genres but prefer rap, reggae, ragga, and rhythm & blues to worship.

I’m a believer that gospel music should seek to worship, praise, adore and glorify God in Spirit and in Truth in all genres giving the message of hope and change transforming man from hopelessness to a hopeful being to victories unto eternity by God’s grace, mercy and love.

 What and when were you inspired to be an artist?

I grew up listening to music, it is amazing and I listened to like all genres and my family loved music. I listened to a lot of Roots & Culture and Ragga as we called it (I had their instrumentals too) I also loved Hip Hop (rap) but hadn’t dug into it. One time back in the 90’s I heard, “Snoop Dogg - Doggy Dogg World” I said to myself Whaaatha Deal I couldn’t believe how Snoop could flow like that and go on and on like that well for REAL, Reggae and other genres were history and my journey in Rap Music began. I then began digging into the archives over the years and learnt a lot from the beginning of rap or rather Hip Hop to the current state we’re in. (Sikatai bado me huskia Doba but Hip hop ilikam thru mbaya sana).

What challenges have you faced so far as an artist?

Back in the days; like in the 1999-2000’s studios were unheard of and few in were in existence the likes of Johari Clef, Next Level and Samawati and getting a deal or the opportunity to record wasn’t easy and was quite expensive. Currently things are better on getting to record a bit pricey but way better; and also a challenge getting the right producer to get the right sound you’re looking for is a challenge but ULTIMATELY the main challenge is the media playing our music; they still don’t play much Kenyan Music they go quiet or it’s a back and back with money to do so.

Tanzania embraced their artists, look where they are now when our music is played we learn and grow but they close those platforms but we’re maximizing on the social media where we build a crazy mad fan base and if the media don’t watch out they’ll themselves go obsolete and no one will be listening to radio or watch TV at all we’re going to that direction now. A head ups to them!!!

Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?

I see myself as a successful Christian rapper that is able to use my music to reach the world; cleaning the airwaves with Gospel music of truth, that changes and transforms one into what God purposed us to be unto His glory and seeking to worship God in Spirit and in Truth. Secondly my desire is to mentor and bring up artists not only musically but also in faith having a firm foundation in their walk in God. And lastly I would like to help artists by creating structures and avenues so as to make music work for them here in Kenya from the point they hit the booth for recording to marketing, sales & distribution to earning their hard worked money out of it and say yes music pays in Kenya just like the States.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were starting out?

One of the things is using what I have and not to wait for things to be perfect to do something. We later set up a studio in the mid-2000s actually what we had was a Home Technics system, a Computer and a friend came in with a Mic and Mixer and another friend connected things up (we didn’t have professional sound but a few tracks were okay and we could have pushed them). Though standards were crazy to get airplay and expensive to record in a real studio and my friend pulled out with his Mic and mixer and it was over but we could have used what was there. With consistency, working nonstop and believing in yourself one is able to break through because every day is a learning process.

What is your most memorable moment as an artist?

 Most memorable moment as an artist was when I could flow with spit my lyrics and make the crowd make noise and scream and love the song and at the same time leave them encouraged and lifted by my lyrics.

 This happened twice; a friend requested I do a verse and we were curtain raising for Rufftone at a gig in Lang’ata and the other was a Roadshow with DJ Moz outside Nairobi Baptist. One had to be careful with the crowd because they can easily make you deviate and lose your lyrics but it was an amazing time, awesome. 

What message do you have for people who wish to follow up in your footsteps?

I’d tell them first to identify what they have, and believe and know what God has put in them; many will come and discourage you and say to you all sorts of thing i.e. negative critics but when you know what you have begun working on, let no one take it away from you. Work on it and take criticism positively and ensure you analyze the negative. Normally what I do is take the good and leave out the bad in truth even in speech with people. (When I say analyze; I mean logically with sense and wisdom this is what they said and this is what I can do to change it for the better, yes for the positive).

What message do you have for your fans?

New music is coming through, lookout for the upcoming album coming soon; its called Spiritual Combustion by Tha Remnant. A couple of collabo’s; great music to encourage and lift you up and also make you dance. Its music that is worthwhile unlike the usual, we cleaning the airwaves. Also look out for Remnant’s Kamp merchandise, a lot of goodies currently available.

Who would you love to collaborate with as an artist and why?

In the Gospel industry there are a number (I do Gospel music and Conscious rap) Juliani, Nasara; they don’t hold back I also always try not to hold back on my lyricism and creativity as it challenges me to grind more and take in more. I hunger to learn and grow everyday so someone who I’ll be challenged to improve my skills motivates me to create and most importantly God being in the center of everything and guiding us.

Internationally Chillie Baby from the Legendary Gospel Gangsters and The Ambassada from the Cross Movement these are artists I grew up listening to so just doing music with them will be an honor as we seek to lift high up the Great I AM in praise and worship and doing His will in spreading the word through music.

For those people who wish to reach out to you. What are your social media handles?

My social media handles are:

Facebook: Remnants Kamp
Instagram: tharemnant254
Twitter: @ThaRemnant254