Music in Kenya by Naftal Orenge
Growing up in Kenya all my life; I have been exposed to many genres of music, let’s say all popular genres in the world and Africa. I have known Michael Bolton, Franko, Sam Mapangala, Bob Marley and very many old classical music ranging from zilizopendwa, soul, blues, rnb, rock, country, Reggea, Rhumba and many of then music, from my own closet family and friends. The radio played different music genres for listeners.
The Kenyan music apart from zilizopendwa, I got in touch with it from class one (1). I knew Esir, Nameless, Pilipili, Sanaipei, Jaguar and East Africa affluent; Jose Chameleone, Juliana Kanyamozi, Mr. Nice, Bebe Cool and other many more artists of the 21st Centrury). In my life, I have never seen any big artist in Kenya, the likes of Wizkid and Diamond. Growing up Esir was the one I saw with such spirit and may be, today, Sauti Sol who come in. Nyashinski revived his power. I felt it big with the song swing swing when under Kleptomaniax.
The Kenyan market is good for outsiders with talent whom Kenyans appreciate their music. I have seen in newspapers, over the years, artists come and go, Sean Paul to Chris Brown and to all Rhumba, Reggae fans who get to see their idols here at home live. The East Africa Community is like one when it comes to music. Ugandan Jose started from Kenya, Diamond got his big money deals from Kenya that exposed him out, yet they are bigger than all Kenyan musicians, currently in the market.
The Kenyan people know the taste of cool music but the Kenyan people never got their own on top because of many issues, let’s say most parents don’t support musicians when growing up, what I have learnt is we lack the most passionate in this industry in which we need to do so as to be top. Many artists in Kenya are not that passionate of doing music, they just passionate of being musicians. The Kenyan Music scene is filled with fakes from artists to presenters, marketers, Djs and other contributors of negative energy who actually are the forefront of the scene. It’s about who you know unlike Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Ghana, USA and other countries with sustainable development in the Art Sector. Though not all are that, the good ones never cease to be there.
We can change this if we allow creativity before personification. The same people needed to pull people, are the same people thinking they will not get fee for their children because other new ones are coming to take their space, I wonder what space Some just promote shit because they think Kenya is just them; Kenya is so big with many millions of diverse people who can bring out what’s needed, that’s what they forget those stake holding the entertainment scene.
I believe change begins from one person, if we can focus on music, how to get quality before quantity then everyone will be happy. There is this norm that, they won’t change just because you notice their ways in the scene but I say they will change because something cant be worshiped and the gains are transverse, no one will without enriching others unlike what I have seen in my years of establishing myself and that’s why no one balls in Kenya like Diamond or even Jose who you got at top and pay 10 million shillings to them and 200k to yourselves as highest to majority big ones in this Kenya of ours, we need to see and reflect. We all know what is good cause we are all bright, we shouldn’t bring the politicking, thinking to the industry of Youths with vision of changing the future.