Introducing| Tunu Jumwa

You don’t learn how to swim outside the swimming pool.

Tunu Jumwa

Music is a multi dimensional craft in that a lot of elements are at play. However, most people tend to focus on the lead singer and tend to overlook a certain group of people who are part of the magic. Without them the live shows can’t be as electrifying as they are always set out to be. Yes you guessed right, the instrumentalists. However, Tunu Jumwa is a cut above the rest. From getting a scholarship due to her prowess and getting a lucrative endorsement deal, this bass guitarist is definitely worth looking into and here is what she had to share about herself and her  love for the bass.
Please could you start us off by telling us a little bit about yourself?

I am Tunu Jumwa. I am a bass guitarist. I am an alumnus of Moi Girls High School. I also come from Rongai. I also enjoy jazz music and this is highly influenced by my dad’s love for the genre.

So when did you pick up your first instrument?

Well I have always been around musical instruments since I was a young one. This is due to the fact that my dad is a musician and he owns a studio. So my siblings and I would always be exposed to the various instruments from drums to guitars. However, back then I really didn’t take it seriously as I wanted to be a singer. I used to sing with my brother. After class 8, I learnt that I could actually sing with an instrument. I had a lot of free time then and so I started playing the classical guitar seriously.

How did you switch from classical to bass?

My Father bought my brother his first bass guitar around the same time I finished high school. However, he wasn’t really interested in playing it and I picked it up. After trying it out for a while, I fell in love with the sound and decided that’s the instrument for me. Apart from that, I started listening to Michael Pipoquinha who’s a really talented bass guitarist and I was really intrigued by his style and performances. I consider him to be the reason I started playing seriously.

So how did you perfect your craft?

A lot of practice and YouTube tutorials really have had a lot of influence in my growth. My dad and brother also gave me important pointers on how to improve. Apart from that I got a really great instrumentalist to tutor me. His name is Ricky Nanjero and he has really helped me fine tune my skills and still does to date.

We understand you got an endorsement deal out of nowhere from your craft, do you mind telling us how that ended up happening?

I wouldn’t say it came out of nowhere, but it did catch me by surprise. During my learning period, I managed to put out a video on Facebook of me playing the bass guitar. It wasn’t anything serious and honestly it was just for fun. Next thing I know it had blown up and had been shared overwhelmingly. A short while later  Janaid from Spain expressed their interest in us working together. They helped me build my first custom bass guitar and we have been working together since.

Who are some of your influences?

Michael Pipoquinha is one, Isaac Kimetto, David Gitonyo and of course my mentor Ricky Nanjero. Ricky highly encouraged me to do live music and I thank him for that.

What are some of the challenges you have faced?

I had stage fright(Laughs). It took me a while to get used to the crowds. It really took a lot of guts, practice and work to get me to where I am now?

What about your family how do you balance your music and family time?

Since most of my family is in Ongata Rongai, I always get to see them as that’s where I live too. So family time has never been an issue for me.

What are some of your most memorable performances or events?

Winning the 2011 high school national music festival is one.

Performing in the Safaricom Jazz Festival is definitely my best moment though.

What is your basic rig?
My rig consists of amplifiers for my guitar, loop pedals,effect pedals and a top book.

What advice would, you give to anyone aspiring to succeed as an instrumentalist?

You don’t learn how to swim outside the swimming pool.

What about our music industry in Kenya what’s your opinion on it?

We have talent that’s for sure. The only thing missing is proper platforms for the said talent. Artists also need to work harder on their craft to become better and to put themselves out there. On the other hand Kenyans need to learn the essence of paying for value. Quality is not cheap and this is a job it’s not just a past time activity.

Those are some wise sentiments. So ending on a lighter note, please tell us 5 to 10 fun-facts about you?

  1. I love cabbage. (laughs)
  2. I value family over everything else.
  3. I am an avid reader.
  4. I am quite shy depending on who I am with.
  5. Despite my profession, I am an indoor person.
  6. I rarely watch my own performances.

To connect with Tunu Jumwa you can check her out via the following handles:

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

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