When you think of Kenyan music, the first people who come to your mind are the likes of Sauti Sol, Kidum, Nyashinki, MDQ, Sage, H_art The Band, Blinky Bill, Mayonde, Khaligraph, Fena, Phy, Dela, Le Band, Wangeci, Otile Brown, Naiboi etc.
These are all super-talented musicians who have treated us to great hits and continue to do so. In one way or the other, they have helped shape the Kenyan sound. They are a good representation of what our music is.
However this is changing fast. Kenyan music is no longer beautiful. It’s vulgar and provocative simply because new age musicians are drawing inspiration from Ethic, Ochunglo Family, G-Rock, just to name a few.
Let me explain, don’t throw stones just yet. You see, Ethic used some nasty words in Lamba Lolo and got away with it. Their song was one of the three biggest hits in 2018 alongside King Kaka’s Dundaing, Naiboi’s 2 in 1 and Sauti Sol’s Short and Sweet.
Ochunglo Family and G-Rock, the group behind the Matako hit, followed suit and used some tasteless words in their songs and no one seemed to give a hoot. What’s even more is that all these singers shot risqué videos. Surprisingly, these songs are even played on TV.
Believe it or not, these vulgar artists an inspiration to many new age musicians. They have made their peers bolder. The logic is that “If Ethic did this and got away with it. We can also do the same.”
These days, young boys and girls are picking up their cameras and recording whatever vulgar words that come to their head and releasing a song. Because this has now become the norm, nobody bothers to interrogate the words that were used so long as the song is catchy.
I’ve always wondered what goes through their minds as they are recording these songs, what do they intend to achieve? The answer is nothing. These young boys and girls just want to be famous and make some coins.
While at it, they are ruining the Kenyan sound. I honestly feel that this needs to trend needs to come to an end. Instead of moving forward, we are going back to the early 2000s when vulgar music defined the Kenyan sound and this is wrong.
Listen to Ethic’s new single Pandana below. What are your thoughts on this?