Top 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Jua Cali

2 min


Paul Julius Nunda, also known as Jua Cali, is a familiar name to most Kenyans. I’m sure kids born after the year 2000 have heard of him on one or more occasions. The award-winning artist has been one of the pioneers of promoting Kenyan music to the world. Let’s look at the top 5 things you didn’t know about Jua Cali.

5. Early beginnings

His earlier foray into music started with him singing in a band called ‘Sita Futi’. The band, however, disbanded almost as soon as it was started. Soon afterward, he pursued his career as a solo artist with his first recorded track being Ruka in 2001 and was followed by Nipe Asali in 2002.

Do you remember Asali? The song with the video of him riding on a bicycle? Good times I tell you.

4. Studio Albums

There is a Kenyan notion that artists only release singles. That was what I used to think when I was little. You will be surprised to find out that Jua Cali has released 3 studio albums over the course of his career. His debut album, JuacaliSekta was released in October 2006, Ngeli ya Genge was released two years later and TuGenge Yajayo was released in 2013.

3. The origin of his name

His stage name Jua Cali is derived from California, an estate in Nairobi (as is the name of Calif Records). It also resembles Jua Kali, a Swahili term meaning fierce sun, which has been taken to refer to Kenya’s informal sector of the economy.

For the record, there is also an estate in Eldoret called California. Just so you know. It might be the same in other counties in Kenya.

Also Read: Top 5 Facts About Esther Passaris

2. Genge Music

Jua Cali, alongside Nonini, is one of the artists who popularized Genge to the Kenyan population in the early 2000s. Genge Music is a sub-genre of hip hop that began in Nairobi and was often sung in Sheng, Swahili or local dialects. What’s amazing is that Jua Cali still stuck to his roots with the release of his 2013 album.

There was a certain point where people referred Genge Music to Calif Records. As a matter of fact, the label was famous for promoting the sub-genre. Speaking of which…

1. Co-Founder of Calif Records

Jua Cali and music producer Clemo founded Calif Records, a record label based in Nairobi’s California Estate. It was founded in 2000, a time when Ogopa Deejays was also a powerhouse label in the Kenyan music industry.

Jua Cali is still signed to this label with other notable acts such as Nonini, Pilipili, Mejja, Lady S and Jimw@t signed to the label at one point in their careers.

What else do you know about Jua Cali? Well, other than the obvious fact that he is married and has two kids. We know. Let us know about anything else in the comments below.


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