VOA’s Mike Hove sat down with Alikiba to discuss his U.S. tour, possible collaborations, his most recent album and more.
The interview was edited for brevity and clarity.
VOA: Tell us more about your U.S. tour.
Alikiba: I’ve been planning this tour for a long time now since I was in Africa.
I was previously scheduled to first go to Europe, but we rescheduled that to ensure that I come perform in the United States.
This tour is important to me, and I am glad to be here. I believe my fans are excited to watch me perform, and I am looking forward to meeting them.
VOA: What kind of reception are you expecting from a U.S. crowd?
Alikiba: I am looking forward to seeing everyone happy and enjoying the show. That is all I want.
VOA: Your U.S. tour is coming during a time whereby Afrobeats is in demand globally, and Africans are responsible for shaping global culture. Are you excited to witness that firsthand and see Americans embracing African culture while singing in Swahili?
Alikiba: That feeling will always be amazing, and I can’t wait to have an American artist collaborate with me for one of my next singles. I believe I make quality music, so we will be able to produce something magical.
VOA: While focusing on your tour, your shows in Tanzania are packed and energetic. Are you expecting similar energy as you tour the U.S. and Europe?
Alikiba: Of course! Delivering a great show is a must for me. I believe I am good performer, and I have been doing this for a long time. Everyone that attends my shows will get a good show.
VOA: Your most recent album titled "Only One King" featured major artists from different parts of the continent such as Sarkodie from Ghana, your fellow country man Patoranking, Mayorkun from Nigeria and South African duo Blaq Diamond. What was the motivation behind that?
Alikiba: I wanted to make a Pan-African album. The idea was to produce good music while collaborating with my African peers.
VOA: You are considered one of the biggest artists in East Africa and have a lot of youth that look up to you. What message do you have for them?
Alikiba: We are supposed to use social media positively. If we continue using social media recklessly this will destroy our future generations.
As for the youth, all I have to say is never give up on your dreams. Make sure you work on it.