Long before the aspiring musician signed his first record contract, Mark Mbogo moved with his family to U.S. when he was 9 years old.
Born in Kenya, he was a big Michael Jackson fan early on.
He said his love for music started at his church in Kenya when he was just a kid. He is self-taught. Growing up his family couldn’t afford the computer software to produce music, so he instead would sign up for the “free trials” until they expired.
His stage name now is KayCyy Pluto. Both Mbogo and his alter-ego are ready to release some hit songs and that’s what makes him a Minnesotan to Meet.
“I want my music to just be free, I don’t want to be put into music into a genre, whatever feeling I get that’s the feeling I want,” Mbogo said.
Now, the St. Paul student, who is set to graduate high school this spring, recently played out South By Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas.
“It was my first time being at something like that, but it just happened quick,” Mbogo said.
Our WCCO-TV cameras were there when he inked his contract with ATM/Alive Productions.
“As a signed artist it feels like a lot of responsibility and I feel like I am ready for it,” Mbogo said.
Over spring break, Mbogo spent his time in New York City working on more songs with his label, ATM/Alive Productions, which was founded by Reefa, who originally played drums for Destiny’s Child.
“It was a lot of work, staying up late more and more. This is what I gotta get ready for,” the high school senior said.
It was the trip of lifetime and he called it an honor to work with Reefa.
The Brooklyn native, Sharif “Reefa” Slater, has produced for artists like Biggie Smalls, Fabulous, and worked with producers like P. Diddy.
His music was also featured on the soundtrack to the move “The Other Woman.” Now you can add KayCyy’s song “Here” to that list. It just hit SoundCloud.
He’s hoping this summer, the sound you start listening to is his.
“If music is what keeps you going, then you should do it, not just music, do something that you are going to keep loving,” Mbogo said.
He will be performing at the Minnesota artist’s showcase at the Cabooze. That’s on Wednesday, May 25.