Wilson Abubakar Radido, famously known by his stage name Willy Paul, is a Kenyan contemporary gospel musician, dancer, model, and entrepreneur. He was born on the 1st of September to the late Paul Opondo Radido and Salome Radido and raised in Nairobi’s Mathare area. Willy Paul is the last born in a family of three children. He is also referred to as, ’Pozzee’, a name that resulted from his song ‘Fanya’, where he introduces himself as ‘Willy Pozzee’. The media and his fans have since adapted to the name and Willy Paul has henceforth used it as an intro to his songs.
Willy Paul attended Brainhouse School in Mathare for his high school education. Sadly, he had to drop out prior to completing his studies as a result of poverty. In 2013, Pozzee was already in the music industry, so he used what he had earned to enroll for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education and completed his high school education. He had a very tough childhood; his family could not even afford to give his father a decent send-off after his death.
His interest in music began when he was still young. He was noticed by popular Kenyan music producer and video director, J-Blessing, when he was performing the gospel version of the hit song ‘Nakshi Mrembo’, by Tanzanian star Ali Kiba. This occurrence earned Willy Paul a free production deal with J-Blessing, resulting in the release of his debut song ‘Rabuka’. This song opened doors for him as it led to a collaboration with renowned gospel songstress, Gloria Muliro. Together they released a song dubbed ‘Sitolia’ which became an instant hit in Kenya. ‘Sitolia’ topped music charts for quite some time and earned both Willy Paul and Gloria Muliro a number of awards.
Pozzee has since released hit after hit. Some of his other songs include ‘Mpenzi’, ‘You Never Know’, ‘Lala Salama’, ‘Mamangu’, ‘Vigelegele’, ‘Kwa Vile’, Kitanzi’, ‘Sijafika’, ‘Tam Tam’, ‘Missi’, ‘Take it Slow’, ‘Digiri’, ‘Tiga Wana’, ‘Jigi Jigi’, ‘I Do’, ‘Malingo’, ‘Pili Pili’, ‘Njiwa’, ‘Kanungo’, ‘Kizunguzungu’, ‘Mmmh’, ‘Hallelujah’ among others. He has worked with several gospel and secular artists both locally and internationally including Size 8, Kambua, Sauti Sol, Kaligraph Jones, Harmonize (Tanzania), Rayvanny (Tanzania), Nandy (Tanzania), Alaine (Jamaica), Cecile (Jamaica) and Yemi Alade (Nigeria). His song ‘I Do’ which he featured Jamaican sensation, Alaine, was received well and earned him international recognition.
Awards and Nominations
He has received several awards including Groove Awards, Mwafaka Awards, Pulse Music Video Awards, Mdundo Awards, and AFRIMMA Awards
Pozzee is one Kenyan artist that many cannot stop talking about. First of all, they think that his songs are more on the secular side. This is because in the recent past, Willy Paul has concentrated a lot on the subject matters of love and marriage in his songs. Another thing is that most Kenyans feel that his lifestyle is just scandalous since he does things that are perceived ungodly, and so gospel artists are not supposed to do them. Finally, is the rivalry between him and colleague Bahati. Pozzee however responded that there is no bad blood between them; only that their fans are so fond of comparing them. About his style of music, he says that only God can judge him. His song ‘Hallelujah’ which he featured Tanzanian Nandy, is one of his most controversial songs. Kenyan Gospel singer, Ringtone, even threatened to sue Pozzee over the song, saying that the song is titled ‘Hallelujah’ yet its lyrics and video are not morally upright.
Controversies aside, what is indisputable about this artist is the fact that at the age of only 25, he had achieved what can be termed as enviable by many. He is also the CEO of Saldido Records.