Kasiva Mutua is an internationally touring drummer and percussionist based in Nairobi, Kenya. Her exuberant performances reflect a panoply of influences mainly inspired by cultures she has interacted with. One of few African women playing percussion continentally and internationally, Kasiva plays music to celebrate her community’s spirit, tell her people’s stories, and elevate the place of the African woman in music. She is the co-founder of MOTRAMUSIC, an all female percussion collective in Nairobi, Kenya, that teaches young women and girls the art of percussion and drumming. Citing the girl child and gender equality as issues she is passionate about, Kasiva continues to motivate women to diversify their positions in music and inspire the young generation to continue preserving their culture.
Kasiva has also been involved in various inter-cultural musical collaborations including The Nile Project, OneBeat, Giant Steps Music, and Coke Studio Africa. In 2022, Kasiva released her debut EP, “Ngewa”, a percussive experience that tells her story, the stories of her people, and her experiences of traveling the world in her journey as a percussionist.
In Spring 2021, she launched “Vibe na Queen,” which received a OneBeat Accelerator. Vibe na Queen is a virtual giving program and series of musical collaborations and conversations aimed at uniting Kenyan Women in music, inspired by the tradition of the “Nthungi” (a traditional basket-giving practice from the Kamba community). For its premiere in 2021, “Vibe na Queen” aired 5 episodes over 5 weeks on Instagram Live, every Monday at 5 pm in Nairobi, featuring incredible women from the Kenyan music scene, including: Orutu player Labdi, guitarist Ivy Alexander, the singer Shitaqua, and percussion group Motra Music.
The series received incredibly positive feedback and viewership from audiences, who had an opportunity to experience the artists in a casual, pressure-free environment, away from the big stage. Audience members commented with tremendous gratitude for this “platform for learning, growing and discovering together,” which featured “the best and realest vibe” they had ever seen. The series cultivated long-standing friendships and collaborations between artists as well, along with increased followings on social media for the artists, and messages of gratitude from mothers and an elder generation in Kenya, who appreciated the “nthungi” focus on giving. Audiences tuned in from over 8 countries around the world, including the USA, South Africa, Egypt, Colombia, Ghana, France, Australia and more. Kasiva launched season 2 of Vibe na Queen in spring 2022.
Check out the series here.