Swabri Mohammed (born 1 May 1981), better known by his stage name Redsan, is a Kenyan reggae and ragga musician. He is one of the most well renowned ragga and dancehall artists in East Africa. His popularity has extended to the rest of Africa, and parts of Europe, United States, and the Middle East.
Early life and career
Mohammed was born on 1 May 1981. He was raised in the informal housing sector in Majengo in Nairobi, Kenya. His home of origin is coast and he belongs to the Mijikenda tribe of Duruma. His first album, Seasons of the San, was released in 2002 under the Ogopa Deejays label. Redsan’s career propelled to higher heights with more international shows after the release of his first album. His second album Red (2004), and his third album Pioneer (2006) were also big hits.
His music career began when he won the Star Search challenge hosted at Carnivore discothèque in Nairobi in 1998. He released his first album ‘Seasons of the San (2002)’ as part of the Ogopa Djs unit. This album included hit songs “Julie” and “Wanipa Raha” which propelled him to fame in Kenya, East Africa and abroad. He then embarked on his solo career and released his second album under Southwest Records. It also included hit song “Bageya”, a collaboration with Ugandan artist Jose Chameleone.
His second album Red, was released in 2004. It contained hit tracks “Chicken”, “Malaika” and “Apakatwe”.
His third album, Pioneer, was released in 2006 with hit singles such as “Kenyan” and “Touch”. His own music is currently being produced by Monalisa. As an artist he continues to write all the songs sometimes with co-writers. He has toured in several countries around the world. Redsan has earned the nickname ‘Absentee Dance hall King” in Kenyan media as he is always on tour outside the country.
In 2013, he collaborated with Jamaican artist Demarco on the remix to his hit single ‘ Badder Dan Most’. The single gained him a lot of airplay and broadened his musical reach. This was followed by a lucrative music deal with Pan Africa music company Rockstar4000.
His hit singles include “Mikono Juu”, “Chicken”,”unbreakable” “Malaika”, “Step on it”, “Apakatwe” and “Julie”.
“Julie” or (aka “Julie, My Lover”) is one of his most popular songs. It is a remix of an old African classic love song, “Unirudie rumi wee”/”nihurumie wangu we” (Please have mercy on me). It is both in English and Swahili. It delineates a male-female relationship where the suitor is trying to court a girl named Julie.
The song is noted for both its lyrics, message and rhythms. The song expressing a desire to a single partner in a time of sexual promiscuity due to ‘disease’ and due to a desire to remain faithful to the woman he wants to marry.
He is a member of an organization that helps to eradicate poverty and create HIV/AIDS awareness in Africa.
Parents and family
Redsan parents are Mr and Mrs Mohammed, both his father and mother are from Kenya.
Redsan was born into a Muslim family, and he is a Muslim by religion.
The singer has siblings, but not much information is currently known about them.
Wife and children
Redsan is currently married to his lovely wife, Viverz Mohammed. The couple got married in 2012.
Redsan and his wife Viverz has four children, but their information is not yet made public.
In a 2020 interview, he said: “My firstborn is 9-years-old, the second born is six, the third is four and the last one is two-years-old. The last born is the one that keeps me on my toes. He does not listen to anything I tell him. Most of the time he just wants the TV on so that he can listen to music,” added Redsan.
Swabri Mohammed alias Redsan has explained the reason why he prefers to keep his wife and children off social media. In an interview with Churchill, the self-proclaimed King of Dancehall revealed he has four children but tries his best to keep them away from the limelight.
“I’ve really tried to keep my wife out of the limelight because first of all, she does not like it. Also, it has so many disadvantages especially here in East Africa. Out there you get families being celebrated but when you come back home, people always say negative things. You’ll get some complaints about your dressing, stuff like that. Mostly the disses come before the praise,” he said.
Redsan further said that his wife advised him to separate his music career from his personal family life to give them the peace they need to thrive as a family and accord the same to his career.
“What she told me was to keep my job and my career separate from our family to prevent people from having opinions on our personal lives and that’s what I’ve been doing,” he continued.
“There’s also the challenge of freedom of movement. If people know her everywhere she goes they’ll be cameras and people wanting to take pictures, so that vibe is what I’m protecting her from.”
When it comes to his kids, Redsan disclosed that he tries to discourage them from taking after him and instead pushes them to concentrate on their studies until they are of age.
“My kids sometimes show interest in music and I tell them to relax and concentrate on their studies first because I wouldn’t want them to be exposed to the industry so young, especially with how hard the music industry is. My firstborn is 9-years-old, the second born is six, the third is four and the last one is two-years-old. The last born is the one that keeps me on my toes. He does not listen to anything I tell him. Most of the time he just wants the TV on so that he can listen to music,” added Redsan.
Redsan was assumed to be single for a while due to his highly-secretive tendencies until recently when he said, “I am married but you’ll never see my family, not even on social media. I’m very private when it comes to them because there are times they would want to be themselves and they can’t do that with me in public. I love spending time with them at home since I tour a lot, and they keep me grounded. I don’t want them to be victims of cyber-attacks from haters who can’t get to me.”
Redsan has an estimated net worth of around $500, 000 – $1 million.
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