10 Minutes with King Kiba


Acclaimed Tanzanian singer and songwriter Alikiba, known by his legion of fans as King Kiba, is one of East Africa’s top artists. Alikiba became the second African artist to sign a global music deal with an international label, Sony Music Entertainment. He says: "I [have always been] excited with the prospect and future of African music. I feel that the time for amazing African music and sounds to take over the world is now.” Alikiba also recently got appointed as a label executive at Rockstar 4000, another high profile music label that represents some of Africa’s brightest stars.

Respected by fans for his immense successes both locally and internationally, Alikiba has over the last few years received significant accolades, most recently being awarded at the MTV Europe Music Awards for Best African Artist of the Year. Others include The Sound City MVP Awards in Nigeria and Peoples Choice Award for Male Artist of the Year – all in 2016. He is also the first East African artist to be featured on leading global Hip-Hop magazine authority THE SOURCE and Huffington Post.

Many wonder what Alikiba’s secret is. He says that he can only credit his love for music as his inspiration to start a career in it. He reveals: “From an age as early as 5, I was always attracted to music. I started singing and dancing at the age of 7 and started writing songs at the age of 14.”

After completing High School in 2004, Alikiba wrote his first song Maria and continued releasing a string of singles thereafter. Some of them include Najuwa, Ndugu Wangu, Kuteseka, Namshukuru Mungu, Sabrina and Yatima. His albums include: “Cinderella” (2008) and “Ali K for Real” (2009). Kiba has announced plans to release a new album by the end of 2017.

In addition to his butter-soft voice and songwriting skills, Alikiba is also a dancer and actor. He talks thus about his talents: “They individually give me the sense of joy and purpose. One compliments the other and collectively, I am able to enjoy and love each of them equally.”

Alikiba was also on Coke Studio Africa season 3 paired with Kenyan songstress Victoria Kimani. The masterful music producer and trumpeter Owuor Arunga crafted stellar music mash-ups including Loving You/Dushelele between them. The King is back on the show this year paired with dancehall maestro from Nigeria, Patoranking. On the show, the pairing is produced by Masterkraft, and collaborate with rising Togolese star Ozane. To watch these performances, go to www.YouTube.com/CokeStudioAfrica