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Acquiring a taste for Sugar

28 November 2011, 13:34 Maureene Danielle

Nairobi - Sugar is a young budding musician coming into her own, and News24 Kenya's Maureene Danielle took time to find out what makes the 'Say Yeah' singer's sound.

Born Judy Ogake Ondieki in Kiambu in 1987, Sugar's interest in music was piqued from an early age as her father played songs to her as a little girl, and she found herself singing along and as her vocals developed so did her yearn to make something of it.

After high school she began pursuing her dream to sing professionally and because of her studies through college, Sugar mostly worked as a BGV for Harry Kimani as she was unable to pursue a solo carrier. After completing her studies she went studio shopping and she found her home at Phoenix Recordz as their first singer.

sugar, music

Sugar’s inspiration for her music is mainly drawn from her environment, what’s going on around her and at times from what she feels or other people’s experiences.

Her musical style is inclusive as she adapts different kinds of styles and beats into it to create its own type of fusion.

Currently Sugar is pushing her first E.P (extended play) entitled ‘Sweet’ , as the fore runner for my album, it contains her solo projects  and some collaborations with other artists such as, Lon John from South Africa, Dr.Flash from Kenya and Attitude(Kenyan artist) currently located in the U.S.A.

Her new video ‘Say Yeah’ (watch video below) is out and on rotation in media outlets, advocating for ‘Girl Power’, as she feels that women often feel neglected and sets out to encourage women to work together and become a force. Other notable track is 'No Holding Back'.

sugar, music

So far Sugar’s music collaborations include 'Yesterday' featuring Attitude (U.S.A), 'Amazing' featuring Lon john(S.A).

As a young female artist her biggest challenge has been in marketing her music and trying get gigs and airplay.  However  through Phoenix Recordz she applied a guerrilla campaign tactic and has been giving out free music cds and mix tapes to schools and the general public and also using online media. Of which the singer says “There is always a way to get things done if you put your mind to it.”

With her rising fame Sugar has learnt to treat her adoring male fans like her brothers, as the key is not to overindulge, and she makes sure she performs to the best of her ability and not stay too long at a venue after the show is over.

"I think there is always room for improvement, I think African artists, myself included can go far if we stay focused, incorporate new ideas and remain open minded."

In her spare time Sugar enjoys watching movies and trying out all sorts of cuisines from different countries then trying out those recepies at home till she gets it right, thus her alias ‘chef Sucrè’. Her secret vice is why she chose the name sugar, as she tends to indulge in lots of candy.

Sugar’s most prized possession is her life, as without it she would have nothing else, as “how can you enjoy anything if you are not alive first.”

When it comes to her style on stage she likes to keep it sassy but at times it depends on the show she is to perform at and the venue, as if its urban she goes with urban look, and so on. Same goes for off stage.

Apart from her singing career and cooking, Sugar also takes time to read and she is currently reading The Time Travelers’ wife by Audrey Niffenegger , a love story about a man with a genetic disorder that causes him to time travel unpredictably, and his wife, an artist who has to cope with his frequent absences and dangerous experiences.

sugar, music

When travelling her best destination has been Rusinga Island, although she is planning an overseas trip for next year but for now is hard at work on her next album.

The most important lesson she has learnt and would like to share with aspiring artists and producers is that, one has to know what they want first, then find out what it takes to get it , but the most important of  all is to remain focused at all times.

Play the You Tube video below of Sugar's 'Say Yeah'


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