Local music rarely transcends borders and to be honest, it’s partly our fault as Kenyans. We don’t appreciate our artists enough. Maybe things would be different if we did, who knows?
Artists from Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa and other African countries have been making headways in the international music scene because of the support that they enjoy from their country mates.
This support motivates them to set bigger goals and pursue them. Perhaps this explains why their music industries are way ahead of Kenya and from the look of things it will take us time to catch up.
You could argue that local musicians are not doing enough and that they are not making music which can be played outside Kenya. That notion is wrong and the complete opposite of what is really happening.
If you are keen enough, you’ll notice that the likes of Sauti Sol, Khaligraph, King Kaka, MDQ, Victoria Kimani, Octopizzo, Stella Mwangi, Blinky Bill, have been working hard to show the world that Kenya has so much to offer.
However, their efforts neither here nor there because we don’t support or encourage them. It’s almost as if they are making music for the sake of it. This should not be the case.
At any given point in time, the biggest song in Kenya is always from Tanzania, Nigeria or some other African country. It’s rarely our own music. We are consuming foreign music at the expense of local music and this is wrong.
If you look at the biggest Kenyan concerts the last few years, you’ll realize that the main performer was either an international act or from Nigeria, Tanzania and the likes. Why is this so?
By giving local artists a chance to be the headline acts of such big concerts, we’ll show them that we have a lot of faith in them. This way, they will be have the confidence to chase even bigger goals.
Another way we could support them is by buying their music and merchandise, showing up for their concerts, sharing their new music releases and encouraging them every chance we get. What would it cost you to send a tweet to your favourite artist telling them to keep pushing? Absolutely nothing!
Watch Khaligraph’s latest single Superman below.