Musyoka takes over music for 'Famous'

Tuesday November 09 2021

A poster for the drama series Famous. PHOTO | COURTESY


Top Kenyan music producer Eric Musyoka is overseeing the music for Famous, Showmax’s new drama series.

Created and directed by renowned music video director and filmmaker Enos Olik and produced by his production company, EOP Films, Famous follows three young artists — Nyota (played by Brianna Wanjiku), Magic (Khula Budi) and Nikita (Michelle Tiren) — as they navigate the music industry in Nairobi.

In the music industry, where fame equals success, some will do whatever it takes to make it to the top.

In this glamorous yet brutal world, Nyota struggles to rise to stardom as she battles to overcome her sordid past. Magic, a renowned rapper and producer who has gained notoriety for his fast life and wealth, tries to take his empire to the top with his number one artist, Nikita, whose successful career is threatened by scandals and a desire for greatness.

Keith Chuaga (Disconnect), Manasseh Nyagah (Uradi), Ciku Shire (The Wives), Morris Mwangi (You Again), Sarah Hassan (Crime and Justice), Brahim Ouma, and Sandra Wambui also feature in supporting roles.

The 10-part musical drama, acted in English, which premiered on October 18, is the second music industry drama set in Kenya.


Recalling when Olik approached him with the idea of making original music for Famous Musyoka, says: “I saw the scale and potential of what we could achieve. I have also been involved in musicals and it’s been a while since I did an interesting project musically that wasn’t a label project, or that involved an active artist in the industry. It was both interesting and challenging.”

Sound engineer

One of Kenya’s finest producers, Musyoka, through his record label Decimal Records, has churned hits for artists such as Ukoo Flani Mau Mau, P-Unit, Kleptomaniax, Bamzigi, Wyre, Sauti Sol, Just A Band and others.

As a sound engineer, he has also worked on critically-acclaimed films like Rafiki, Nairobi Half Life, Veve, The First Grader and Disconnect.

He says that working with actors on Famous to perfect the show’s music has been “blood, sweat and tears, but an amazing experience”.

“Having to do so much in such a short time can be nerve-wracking, especially with looming shoot deadlines. But all the actors came through, and I was really impressed by the speed with which they worked.”

With Musyoka overseeing the music process, some of the key plot songs have been written by Kenyan artist Khuhani, who has worked extensively with Musyoka in her music career.

“Musyoka understands exactly what he wants and it makes it easier to translate that into music and writing," says Khuhani.

Music videos

Well-known for his music videos for the likes of Sauti Sol, Kaligraph Jones, Vanessa Mdee and H_art the Band, Olik previously worked as a cinematographer on the multi-award-winning film Supa Modo and top Kalasha 2020 winner and Africa Movie Awards 2020 nominee 40 Sticks.

He also worked as a colourist for Kenya’s first Showmax Original, Crime and Justice, and the Kalasha-winning short film Morning After, among others.

Sharing his excitement about the project, Olik says, “I started out as a music video director before venturing into other forms of filmmaking and content creation. Music has been a big part of my life and my career. Famous is a story that I relate to. I wanted to show an aspirational journey through the music industry, and make it feel relatable.”