October 6, 2010 – Safaricom has unveiled a unique music property (Kenya Live) which is aimed at enhancing the growth of local music talent.
The Kenya Live campaign will see countrywide concerts held in conjunction with established musicians to identify raw talent at the grassroots and improve the way the industry is run in Kenya. All genres of music will be given a chance.
The campaign aims at encouraging musicians to develop stage confidence through live performances as opposed to relying too much on play-back.
At least two local musicians identified in each of these concerts will be taken into a week-long music academy in the region where they will be trained and mentored by established artistes and other professionals in the sector. The seven-month campaign will run till April next year with the first gig planned for Bungoma on October 16 followed by Mombasa, Nairobi and then Kisumu.
Speaking at a colourful launch at the Zen Gardens on Tuesday evening, Safaricom Head of Strategy and New Business Nzioka Waita said that apart from creating a direct connection between Safaricom and its core youth market, the property is aimed at nurturing and promoting local talent in an effort to economically and socially empower them.
The artistes Safaricom will be working with on Kenya Live represent the rich diversity of Kenyan music and includes big wigs like Nameless, Redsan, Wahu, Jua Cali, Wyre, Daddy Owen, Ken wa Maria,Osogo Winyo, Ali B, Phonotex Band, MOG, Eko Dyda, Alan Aaron and Mike Rua, who have already signed up for Kenya Live.
“Kenya Live is Safaricom’s long-term partnership with the Kenyan music industry. Being a Kenyan company, we want to not only provide a fresh platform for showcasing the best in Kenyan music but we also want to take it to the next level,” said Nzioka.
“We wish to play our part in creating a Kenyan music industry that is professionally run in all aspects. We want to turn music into a career out of which our people can earn a decent living that is commensurate to their fame” he added.
Kenya is currently enjoying a fast growing music industry though there are concerns that artists do not enjoy good returns compared to their peers in Uganda, Tanzania and other parts of Africa.
This fact has been attributed to a weak stage presence with analysts accusing the artists of relying more on play-backs, which earn them the tag of “manufactured in the studio”. Kenyan musicians have also been accused of lacking in business acumen and professionalism. These are some of the trends Safaricom will be seeking to reverse.
Safaricom is partnering with Homeboyz Entertainment on the campaign.