Kenyan sensation and afropop star Bien released debut album ‘Alusa Why Are You Topless?’ earlier this year and is gearing up for a big year in 2024, get familiar with this VIPER interview…
What five words define your sound?
African, Unapologetic, Truth, Love, Groove
Tell me something unique about your creative process
For my creative process, as long as I am awake, my entire life experience is my creative process, I borrow from every part of my life.
Which song of yours would you like people to hear first?
The answer to this changes every day, the more that I listen to the album. To be honest, each song is a different part of who I am, so I encourage people to listen to the project in its entirety, to get to know me.
What inspired you to make that song?
It’s my first album, so it was just important for me to share my unfiltered world view.
What’s the most vulnerable you’ve allowed yourself to be when writing/making music?
The two songs that are incredibly vulnerable in the album are ‘Chikwere’ and ‘Stay’. ‘Chikwere’ was the song I wrote to propose to my wife….. It’s really hard to put into words best how to ask someone to spend their life with you. ‘Stay’ is also really vulnerable, the song is asking people to hang in there when they feel helpless, and whilst it’s a message to the listener, I wrote it for myself.
What’s the best/worst experience you’ve had on stage?
I take my live sets really seriously, and any time there is a technical failure, it’s a bad experience for me.
What is your favourite song to perform?
I love ‘lost and found’, because it’s so danceable, and it’s fun to dance alongside my dance team and get the crowd to interact.
Which artist/song/album made you want to make music?
Growing up I listened to a lot of Musiq Soulchild and India Airie. I am also a huge fan of Burna Boy. All of those artists continue to inspire me to make music.
What’s the meaning behind your name?
Bien is short for BienAime, which means well loved.
If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing instead?
If I wasn’t a musician, I would have been a pro basketball player. If not that, dead.
What’s success to you?
To me, success is any time my music touches people. When people feel love, hope, happiness, sexy… I feel like, that’s success.
What moment in your life/career forced you to change direction?
Now! I was in a Grammy award winning group, and I’ve decided to try music solo.
Where can people keep in touch with you?
People can keep in touch with me firstly via my music, so on any streaming platform ‘Alusa Why Are You Topless’, and then across my socials @bienaimesol