Stereo Fresh: 20 underrated Kenyan tracks that deserve more airplay

The #PlayKeMusic saga continues on. But instead of dwelling on the negative, why not expose yourself to some new music.

And although the media and musicians seem at loggerhead over who is to blame for Kenya’s stagnant music industry, one thing is clear. There is a lot of Kenyan talent out there. A list of tracks was released by famed crooner Phy as she gave her two cents on the ongoing #PlayKeMusic debate. She curated a good number of artists who were termed as “254 Gems” with immense talent, and little recognition. This article will count down 20 lesser known tracks that deserve more airplay on-air and online. Check out the list and support Kenyan talent:

1.Suzziah – Piga Mdomo

This track is raw, rebellious and outspoken. With great input from MG Productions and Navid Productions on Suzziah’s melodic voice, the reggae track “Piga Mdomo” is an easy listen. It is an empowering track for all African women in the 21st Century.

2.PHY- Power ft. Sage and Donn J.

A track to call out the extraordinary out of the ordinary, this mega collaboration only has 20,450 views at the time of writing this article. Sage and PHY’s voices get together like sugar and spice to produce a harmony overload.

3.Le Band ft Pryshon – Rebel

A track for all the pastors’ kids, the track is uncensored. Both Pryshon and Le Band’s lead vocalist Fidel Eli Shammah are children of pastors; making the track’s lyrics even more controversial.

4.Steph Kapela – Got The Sauce

Rapper Steph Kapela definitely ‘Got The Sauce.’ The track showcases the rapper’s lyricism laid over a trap beat. Switching it up between English and Sheng, Kapela keeps it fresh. Praised as one of Kenya’s next biggest artists, it seems that Kapela remains ’emerging’ due to lack of support. Check out his track below:

5.Jivu ft. Sydney125 – Form Ni Gani

A throwback RnB feel, the track offers up great vocals. Rongai’s finest Sydney125 and Jivu executed rhythm and blues that takes in a common placed Kenyanism ‘Form Ni Gani’.

6. 125- Cheza Chini

The Rongai trio 125 dropped the track ‘Cheza Chini.’ With backing from King Kaka Empire, the threesome have had a few tracks gain notoriety including the 2016 track “Bizna” as well as the collaboration with RnB legend Didge on the track “Vicheche.”

7.Ben Soul – N’tala Nawe

Soulful and heartfelt, the lyrics to this track not only take the listener on a journey but the skillful guitar strum in the background adds to the special experience that is this track.

8. Nu Baba ft KForce and Steph Kapela – Reign

Mixed and Mastered by Supa Stuff Records, the track ‘Reign’ is the perfect mix between old and new music. KForce brings the old school hip hop vibe while Kapela keeps it new as Nu Baba’s sound and flow completes the feel of the track.

9. Zonda- Don’t Fall In Love

The voice of Sam Smith merged with afro electro house beats is Zonda’s offering in the 2015 release”Don’t Fall In Love.”

10. Brian Nadra – Manself

A simple reggae tune, coupled with well-rounded vocals from Nadra, makes for a new sound. Singing about Africa’s struggles, Nadra pushed himself out his usual sound to produce a unique track.

11.Chris Masika x Tha Movement – Roiko

H_Art the Band meets Sauti Sol in this Chris Masika tune. The 2018 release is a love song that would have any couple dancing the night away.

12.Kamlesh Kagaba – Kamanda Full

For anyone who loves hip hop, this 2017 release is a great example of what Kenyan hip hop sound is really like. Kamlesh lives up to the hype, with a sick flow and great bars.

13. Wambui Mitaru- Wewe

Berklee grad Wambui Mitaru is known for her unique sound. The vibe of this track is all things Kenyan, jam-packed with unique melodies. It is definitely worth a replay.

14.Vallerie Muthoni – Brown Suga

‘Brown Suga’ is the first single off the upcoming EP ‘the Wavey Soul.’ The 2018 release merges Afro-pop and trap. With the lyrical flow of a street rapper, Vallerie sounds like she could slay at a cypher.

15.Raj – IGO

Raj is known for inspired collaborations with Fena Gitu and Wangeci among many other artists. This rapper is known for his flair and unique take to hip hop incorporating his native Kisii language into every track. The track “IGO” is a Kisii expression that means ‘Like That.’

16. Mbithi – Aye x K3hmboi

Wakamba forever! Mbithi and K3hmboi offer up the ultimate party track in “Aye.”

17.Coco – Yviona

Sang in Swahili this track is laid on an afro electro beat, perfect for a jig. “Coco” is unapologetically African and has a special cameo from nduthi gang.

18.Tunji – Mtu Wathii

Tunji is all about the culture, and his October 2018 release is no different. Dedicated to second-hand clothes retailers, Tunji gives it up to the art of fashion and glorifies the drip.

19.Webi- New Day

A notable neo-soul artist in his own right, Webi has made a name for himself. From live shows across the country, Webi continues to inspire many with great music. The release “New Day” is a pick-me-up for all having a bad day.

20. Dai – Lies

New wave soul, Dai shares truths and challenges traditional sound genres with her 2018 track “Lies.”

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