Today’s marks 7 years since the untimely passing of Kenya musical great E-Sir. He represented all the qualities of a mega star and his musical catalog is filled with hits that still bump in the club. Upcoming artists should have him as a template of how to make good timeless music. As a tribute, get out your favorite E-Sir music and bump it heavy today.
E-Sir was born Issah Mmari, in May 20th 1981 in California, Nairobi, Kenya. He went through primary school at St Ann’s Junior Academy and later attended high school at Brook-House Senior School. It was during high school that E-Sir started rhyming and writing poetry initially for fun.
In 1998 E-Sir decided to take his music seriously and achieve his lifelong dream, of owning a recording studio. For two years he shopped around for the right producer without much success. Among the challenges that E-Sir had to face included “fake” managers, “fake”” producers, “fake” promoters and wanna-be MCs. He even recorded some songs, but was not happy with the final product. Eventually in late 1999 he met Dj Luke of the music production house Ogopa DJ’s. After the first recording E-Sir developed a working relation with Ogopa and as he once said, “Ogopa has made a very big impact on the music industry. This is because they respect the artiste wishes and at the same time direct the artiste into giving Kenyans what they want to hear” The debut single “Jo” featuring long time friend Big Pin got the industry talking about the “new kid on the block”. The song received massive positive response and E-Sir broke into mainstream radio.
After the success of the much acclaimed album Ogopa 1, Kenya Club Classics, Ogopa Djz released Ogopa 2, Strictly for the Hanye in you in 2002 and “leo ni leo”- another Esir song featured prominently. This song also received massive radio play and E-Sir was now not just a one hit wonder as previously thought. Towards the end of the year E-Sir released his much awaited debut album titled “Nimefika” Two years on, Nimefika has become the most popular urban contemporary album in East Africa. Virtually all the released singles from the album has topped East African charts.
Sadly, E-Sir passed away on Sunday, March 16th 2003 on his way home after a performance in Nakuru the previous evening. The album “Nimefika” is by far the most successful album by a local artiste in recent years. The music the lyrics and the style of the album was such that It reached out to people of all ages and touched every one in a special way. In character his humility touched many fans, especially the teenagers and small children who always lined up for his autograph after a performance, an appearance or even when he was up and about in his neighborhood.
Finally it is important to note that E-Sir believed in himself, his music and his abilities as a performing artiste. And to illustrate this in his own words he once said “Industry peeps are all up in my business claiming that I am changing the game. If that is so I think Kenyans have long been awaiting the change. I love my hood, my friends, my family and my fans. I love my life, live it or leave it. … Its your choice”
He died a Kenyan hip hop legend.
E-Sir, Rest in Peace
(Content Courtesy of Museke)
Listen to Moss Moss Below:[audio:http://getmziki.s3.amazonaws.com/E_SIR_Mos_Mos.mp3]
Download the track below:
Update: We decided to push the other E-Sir classics as we commemorate and celebrate his life.
listen to Haunitishi here:[audio:http://files.getmziki.com/E-Sir_Hamunitishi.mp3]
download the track here:
listen to Leo ni Leo here:[audio:http://files.getmziki.com/E-Sir_Leo_Ni_Leo.mp3]
download the track here: