With a fresh mix of Kiswahili and English vocals and a blend of Hip Hop[e] and Reggae beats, GWAII’s sound is as eclectic as his personality. His upbringing in various parts of East Africa has influenced his music as well as his personal outlook on life. The name GWAII, which is an acronym for “God With All I and I”, stems from his deep spiritual beliefs and faith in God.
He grew up listening to Gospel, Soul, Hip Hop, Bongo flava, Reggae and Jazz music and credits Bob Marley and Tupac Shakur among his main musical inspirations. At age 18, after graduating from high school in Dar Es Salaam, GWAII moved to Malawi with his parents. With little access to his old classmates and having to adjust to a new social environment, GWAII spent many days alone in Malawi. It was during this time in solitude where he became heavily involved in martial arts and music. As he reflected on his days in boarding school in Tanzania, Ethiopia and Kenya, he began writing down his thoughts and developing them into lyrics.
GWAII released his self-titled EP in March 2010. The album features four original songs and two bonus tracks. He describes his music as “energetic, positive, and conscious” and doesn’t shy aware from unpopular topics such as crime, government “poli-tricks,” life after death, spiritual redemption, respect for women, his love for music, and appreciation for his family. At the forefront of nearly all of his songs, GWAII pays homage and celebrates African culture and history such as the case on the anthem “Afrikan Man,” which references leaders of black consciousness and thought such as Nelson Mandela, Frederick Douglas, Kwame Nkrumah, Steve Biko, Haile Selassie and Marcus Garvey.