In our latest issue we shared a truncated version of the interview we had with June Gachui of All of June on P30-31. We’re excited to share the full interview, hope it gives an insight into the amount of work and dedication it takes to put together a world class show.
How many people and what kind of skill sets put together this world class production?
My album launch event dubbed “JuneAt20”- August 2016 at the Kenya National Theatre was the first in a series of concerts that was meant to showcase the music that I have been working on for a long while and was finally able to share with the world. For that production, the entire crew and cast totalled 90 people. Their skills ranged from event management, hospitality, PR and digital marketing, dance, fashion styling, stage design, lighting to of course talented musicians, just to mention a few. It also required the skill of fund raising through partnerships, sponsorships and of course ticket sales.
A professional production like this is a labour of love, commitment, hard work over a long period of time…so much so that we didn’t want to let it all go to waste after just ONE show. So, we challenged ourselves to do it again in February 2017 and to do it bigger and better, which meant watching footage from the first show, learning what mistakes we made, taking the lessons and improving on all aspects and of course adding more creative flair to the experience so that even those who have attended one of our shows before, will still find new and exciting things when they return.
In February we staged two concerts under the title ‘All of June’ in which we incorporated all the core elements (improved of course) and added comedy, more interaction with the audience, and other creative such as a beat box duo, an award winning spoken word artist and the creator of Kenya’s premier improv comedy show. This time we saved on costs and were able to bring our production team down to 60 people…see?? We are getting more efficient and dare I say we are getting better!!! I can’t tell you how excited and blessed I feel!
How did you (June) successfully translate what you imagined the gig to be to the team?
The dream in my mind was a big one…every time I thought of the music and how I wished to share and portray it, the same dream appeared – an epic show full of music, dancing, lights and lots of fun- and the task was clear. In order to execute this show in the way that I had dreamed of and envisioned, I needed to put together a team of my own super heroes and I found them through referrals and the good old reliable audition process!
I worked with a core team for the Album launch and they became the team leaders for the various departments necessary for a production of this magnitude.
Project Manager was basically my shadow, overseeing the entire project and keeping me sane, Music Director handled music arrangement and rehearsals the two bands, background vocalists and featured artists, Production Manager handled the lighting, sound, screens, visual performance and stage design teams, PR Manager handled press appearances, and all social /digital media promotion, Choreographers handled all the movement and dancing on stage, Stage Managers handled scripting everything that happened in front of and behind the stage.
I met regularly with this team, shared my vision as honestly and together jointly developed a road map over a period of almost 4 months leading up to the launch. I learned to trust them, to listen to suggestions and more importantly I learned what my strengths were and what they weren’t!! Most of all, I learned that here in Kenya we have ALL the talent and skills we need in Kenya, what we need to do is create opportunities instead of waiting …make a good product, find great partners and execute professionally and they will come and pay for the product…then repeat over and over! I still have this team and we have even bigger dreams together which I have no doubt we will achieve.
What else do you have lined up for 2017
2017 is going to be an exciting year!! We kicked off with ALL OF JUNE at the top of February and it has set an exciting pace for us.
Next, we are working on ways to get more financial partners because putting on these shows does cost money and unfortunately, Kenya is not yet at the place where we can recoup all our costs as event producers merely from ticket sales…not if you are putting a professional production together! So once we crack this code, our plan is to produce more epic shows, more nyummy music and music videos…yes wonderful music videos!
First video from the album Twenty Years is ‘Crossed the Line’ which is set for release in early March 2017, for now you can listen to it here.
A BIG BIG surprise show in April…that’s all I can say, WATCH THIS SPACE
Simplified Soul J.A.M with the talented musicians of The Flower Project will be coming up in June – July
In the latter half of the year, we intend to stage the return of Motown In Nairobi.
All of these events will be promoted on my website www.junegachui.com, my social media pages IG, FB and Twitter and where possible other media platforms.
Image Credits: Amos Ndumos of Ndumos Photography • Paul Munene of Quaint Photography • Peterson Wanyoike of Sony Ent