In 2010, she auditioned for the fourth edition of the popular reality TV music talent show, Tusker Project Fame, in Nairobi, but sadly, did not make it to the Tusker Fame Academy. That did not deter Prudence Adong from pursuing her childhood dream of music.
Today, she is the lead singer of the Prestige Band, a three-piece cover band that plays at such venues as the Kigali Serena, and Grand Legacy Hotels. Moses Opobo caught up with the singer for a chat between performances…
Where were you raised and how did you start singing?
I was born in Mombasa, Kenya, where I come from. Growing up, I don’t remember having any musical influences in the house, but all the same I used to sing to myself quite a lot while at home.
When did you take it to the next level?
One day, I went to a recording studio called Ufuoni Records, in Mombasa. There I found a Kenyan rapper recording a hip-hop track. The producer asked me if I could go to the booth and sing the chorus for him, andI remember I just went and free-styled. At that I was still in college.
Tell us your experience in the Tusker Project Fame academy
When I failed to make it to the house in 2010, I did not give up, but tried my luck the following year, and was lucky to qualify.
I spent only two weeks in the house before I was evicted but what I can say is that the experience in the house with other singers and music teachers shaped me into who I am today.
After TPF, I recorded two singles; Shuka, and Wanaume. Before recording the second single, I worked briefly with Steve, our keyboardist in Mombasa, and indeed I credit him for introducing me to the live band scene.
How did you end up in Kigali?
We came as a band over a year ago, after signing live performance contracts with a few hotels in Kigali.
We are a cover band, so we mostly do renditions of popular songs across a number of genres like; country music, old classics, pop, blues, love ballads, funk and jazz, and “grill music”, which is soft music for a dinner setting.
Basically we do a combination of Western and African music, varying them according to the nature of the crowd.
Currently our performances are mainly restricted to hotel lobbies, but with time we intend immerse ourselves a little into the authentic local music scene. We plan to record a few songs in Kinyarwanda and perhaps also do a few collabos with local musicians.