We should learn to listen.
Tess Eidalla is a bubbly fellow with the voice of a siren. She is a founding member and sole surviving member of the Eidalla band that officially disbanded last year. The bd team has bumped into her in various gigs and after the 2016 edition of the Koch festival we decided it was time we shone the spotlight on this rare gem. Here is what she had to say:
Before anything else can we start with 5-10 quick facts about you that fans might not know?
- I am in love with the camera. I love photos.
- I also love horror movies although I scream a lot. (chuckles)
- Milkshakes and icecream any day, any time.
- I am very silent around people I am not comfortable with.
- I still get butterflies before I go on stage to perform.
- I am a go-getter.
- I love art and colours which actually influences my dressing.
Could you give us a few details about your background?
I am Tess Eidalla a solo artist. I hail from Sakwa Bondo and Kendu Bay. I am also an affiliate of Kariobangi South. I am a graphic designer; an alumni of Nairobits school of digital design to be exact (class of ’16).
Tell us about the name Eidalla and how it became a band?
The name Eidalla is from my vernacular that is Dholuo and it translates to inside home. I met Sarabi band and Zikki and they are the ones that inspired me to form the band. That was back in 2013. However, the band collapsed due to artistic differences and plans and thus I became Tess Eidalla the solo artist.
When did your musical journey begin?
As a child I used to perform in church and my dad would record our performances with my siblings and other children. He is a video-grapher. Up to date I still have those tapes(laughs). However, my first composition was done when I was in class 6. I called it Mvua. The song talked about fair-weather friends, those types of friends who bail when the going gets tough but stick with you when everything is smooth sailing.
Speaking of performances, which stages have you been able to grace?
I have performed at the drumjam festival, Koch Fest, Cake art, Sanaa Culture, Ndimi zetu and The Music of the People concert.
How do you describe/ categorize your music?
My music is simply afro-fusion. I tend to use Luo in my lyrics as a way of paying homage to my roots.
Who are your main influences?
Everyone(laughs). Well, I am a diverse listener but I’d say I love Atemi and Dela.
Could you tell us a little bit about Alworo?
(laughs) Well, the title is in my vernacular meaning I’m afraid. It’s about a crush but I can’t say their name.
Do you have any memorable experience you’d like to share?
Yes, I remember when I went to the Artist’s Hub, I had no idea what I was doing. I totally winged it but I ended up getting a show there and I even consider it one of my best performances.
From your experience as a member of a band what advice can you give to people who wish to start a band?
First of all, they should make sure their goals are in sync. That was the mistake we made and it cost us down the road.
They should also respect themselves and their craft to avoid any scandals.
As a growing artist what do you think needs to shift in our industry?
The fans and everyone in general should learn to listen to the work being presented. I feel most of the music gets lost in the translation. People are all for the hype and they miss the message.
To close us off what can we expect from Tess Eidalla?
I’ll be releasing a song and a music video soon so stay posted.
To connect with Tess Eidalla, please use the following links: