Peter Waweru, also known as Virusi Mbaya is a Kibera based hip-hop artist, a lyrical genius with a strong follower command in his neighborhood and beyond. Virusi is not your ordinary punchline hip-hop rapper, through his music, Virusi aims to educate and enlighten the youths, addressing socio-economic and political issues affecting the society, such as insecurity, crime, poverty and drug abuse.
WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?
I grew up in Laini Saba village in Kibera slum.
WHAT IS YOUR MUSICAL BACKGROUND?
I started doing music around 2004 in primary school where I used to perform every Monday and Friday during assembly and on special occasions like talent search days in school.
HAVE YOU PERFORMED OUTSIDE KENYA?
No not yet.
MUSICALLY, WHAT ARE YOUR BIGGEST INFLUENCES AND WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE MUSICIANS?
My greatest influence is life itself, the experiences I go through everyday and all that it brings. I am inspired by the legendary American hip-hop rapper better known as Hopsin, he’s my favorite artist.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE HIP HOP SCENE IN KENYA?
The hip-hop scene in Kenya is not growing because of selfishness and self-interests, there are those artists who have made it in the industry and they don’t mentor the up and coming artists. It’s tough growing up as an artist in a country where upcoming rappers don’t get as much airplay on the radio and TV as the ones who consider themselves, “established.”
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR OWN STYLE?
As a freestyler and I consider my style as versatile and unique.
DO YOU COLLABORATE WITH OTHER ARTISTS?
Of course, I do, I have collaborated with so many artists. I have made tracks with Octopizzo, Slumdeezy, Moroko, Chiwawa, Sharama, Khaligraph, Hart the band, Kayvo Kforce, Wakadinali, D'jungle, Wakuu, Mistake and many more.
IN WHAT WAYS HAS YOUR LATEST MUSIC CHANGED FROM WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED?
I am not young anymore, I have changed a lot ever since I started, the music has not been the same, the lyrics and style has also changed a lot, but just a little bit more conscious and real than before.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN INSPIRATIONS FOR THE LYRICS YOU WRITE?
My hometown, Kibera inspire my lyrics and the way I think musically, what I have experienced and what people go through. I write from what I see, and from what others experience.
WHAT MESSAGE ARE YOU TRYING TO PASS?
Anything is possible in this world, no matter what you go through don’t give up or even let go, keep pushing to the limits. Your background doesn’t define you, you define you. And crime doesn’t pay.
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR DREAM VENUE YOU'D LIKE TO PERFORM IN?
I would love to perform in Made in America concerts.
VIRUSI'S MUSIC CAN BE FOUND ON YOUTUBE