The 90s sprung up with a more vibrant entertainment industry in Kenya. Artists like Kalamashaka and Gidigidi Majimaji the duo ruled the music scene with their venturing Swahili hip-hop music. And the one man behind that… Tedd Josiah was the producer who brought to life such new music and groups.
For most musicians at the time, getting access to recording studios wasn’t much of a strain as computers, software, and other relevant production techniques had been introduced. Solo artists like Juacali, Nameless, Wahu, Mercy Myra, and Eric Wainaina took to the studio, winning over listeners making them the household names we know today.
The unoccupied space in Kenyan music was that of bands. Kenya has over the past ten years seen a rise in the number of music bands: Sauti Sol, Just a Band, Elani, Murfy’s fLaw, Jabali Africa, Camp Mulla, Hart the Band, Sarabi, the Kansoul, Yellow Light Machine, P-Unit just to mention a few.
Sauti Sol has been in the play since 2005, Just a Band 2003 and possibly these two serve the longest time since the start of the 21st century music. However, it must be said that these bands serve a particular genre of music. Currently, music that attracts a large audience is hip-hop, RnB, and a combination of the two. Whether sung in Swahili or English, the rhythm is what attracts the crowd. And these Kenyan music bands are doing just that. Catchy tunes from Sauti Sol like “Nishike”, Elani’s “Koo Koo”, H-art The Band’s “Uliza Kiatu”, Camp Mulla’s “Party Don’t Stop” have ruled the airwaves because they follow the magic formula for a great song which is catchy lyrics and great harmonies.
The newest bands that the country has seen, have grown exponentially within the last three years. Bands such as Kansoul, Le Band and Third Hand Music are a new generation of musicians presenting their best to the Kenyan public. The Kansoul, originally a collaboration between Majja and Madtraxxx is in its 3rd year of existence. Le band and Third Hand Music are still new in the music scene but their effort in collaborating with already established artists like Khaligraph Jones will soon see them at the peak of the industry. These bands are rewriting the formula for a hit song with clever lyrics and musical skill.
This article was written by Capital Campus Correspondent Willie Blair.