At 19, Champagne Kimberley was privileged to work with Sauti Sol on the hit song Nerea only because of a single musical instrument, The Violin.
My name is Kimberley Champagne, I’m 21 and a Passionate Violinist. I’m also a student of International Relations at USIU. Currently, I reside in Nairobi but I’m from Meru Kenya staying with my mum. I had a tough time when my Dad passed away 2 years ago. But grief, as I have discovered, has no remedy or right way to be done.
For the last 9 years, the Violin has been my perfect Company. It all started at Mount Kenya Academy in Nyeri. Initially, I had no idea what it was but I went for it. The school had an established music system so music students got incredible opportunities to perform especially the National anthem at assembly to many special events that nurtured music careers.
Later on, I joined Juja Senior School & also attended the Harrogate International Youth Festival in the United Kingdom, Kenya National Music Festival & dozens of school events.I completed high school as the top music student in Kenya in my IGCSE exams. This was the moment when it occurred to me I could actually pursue music. That moment redefined how I saw music and how I saw myself as a person.
Joining the National Youth Orchestra was lots of fun for me. One thing I love is getting to meet different people, of different backgrounds & music being a binding factor.
My greatest achievement was and still is, working with Sauti Sol on Nerea & I’ve always loved the band (Video below). Performing together with them for me was a dream come true on the trend and in the Live and Die Africa album launch.
The Violin has opened up my world. Being able to play for amazing places like Campi Ya Kanzi, brands like Miss World Kenya.
These experiences led me to blog. Champagne Violinist is a platform to share my experiences as a violinist who is getting the best of both the classical music world & contemporary music world that my country has to offer.
When I’m not playing the violin, I’m probably reading a book. This year, my target is to read about 60 books. You could call me a bookworm. I’m also a big football fan and before you ask, Manchester United is the team.
In the near future, I hope to be done with my master’s degree & be working in the diplomatic field. I really love International Relations. I also want to be a Violin teacher.
The biggest challenge I faced was in high school when switching from 8-4-4- to IGCSE where I had to convince the school to allow me to pursue music.
Scott the Violinist is my mentor. He has been a big influence & helpful throughout. My mum is also my mentor, her wisdom is immense.
I would like to tell young people out there, to go for it. There will never be enough violinists. Whether you want to pursue jazz of classical music, the market is waiting for you. Go for it and practice your skills.
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Sauti Sol’s Nerea