New-age musicians should not do collabos with established artists, here’s why

In my opinion, the new crop of Kenyan musicians should avoid working with artists who have been in the game for a longer period than they have. Instead, they should release more projects with their fellow new-age artists and push the new sound.

Also read: Stop looking for content from new-age musicians!

I’m sure many established artists are dying to do collabos with the likes of Boondocks Gang, Ethic, Zzero Sufuri, Ochunglo Family, Sailors Gang, Gwaash etc., because they are hot on the streets at the moment.

Zzero Sufuri

I, however, feel that they should not work with them, at least not just yet because it’s too soon and they should first grow their names and fan bases before they consider doing collabos with people who have been in the industry for many years.

Secondly, the new Kenyan sound will be diluted if they start doing collabos with established artists left, right and center. Truth is that the two groups have different approaches to music and as soon as they start working together, the older folks are likely to influence the youngins.

As a result, new-age artists will lose their rawness, for lack of a better word and be drawn to sensible music. On the other hand, established artists might also be influenced by the youngins and maybe, just maybe they will also start releasing Wamlambez-like songs and we don’ t want that or do we?

Boondocks Gang Chura
Boondocks Gang

Granted, the new-age artists stand to gain a lot by working with their older peers but at what cost? Who bears the brunt? The way I see it, this is their time and they should maintain the unique identity of the new Kenyan sound by working with each other.

Stop looking for content from new-age musicians!

Every so often, you’ll hear someone rubbishing the new crop of local musicians and explaining that they lack content.

Also read: New-age musicians have killed Nigerian music and that’s a huge win

I always find this line of thought interesting because I’ve never seen or heard any of the new-age musicians asking people to listen to the songs that they churn out because they have content.

You and I know that these songs are purely for entertainment, they are meant to put you in a good mood.

As such, it would be wrong to claim that Kenyan music lacks content because most of the popular songs in the country are from new-age artists.

Ethic Figa

The truth is that there is no shortage of good music in Kenya. If you are the kind of person who looks for a message in a song, then you’ll be spoilt for choice.

If, for instance, the new Kenyan sound does not appeal to you then you can listen to the likes of Sarabi who make conscious music.

Better still, you can identify another genre that you easily resonate with and let those of us who enjoy the new Kenyan sound be.

We have come far as a country, musically speaking, and we have the new-age artists to thank for the strides that we’ve made.

Gone are the days when local clubs, radio and TV stations would play one Nigerian song after the other and in my opinion that’s a huge win.

Boondocks Gang
Boondocks Gang

The focus has really shifted to local musicians, especially the new-age artists so much so that you could say that they helped in killing Nigerian music.

So, instead of castigating them every chance you get, support them!

Established artists need to learn from new-age artists

I know this sounds funny. It’s even backed by the saying ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’. I, however, feel that people who have been in the game for long can also borrow a leaf from the new crop of Kenyan artists because why not?

Also read: You can’t resist the new-age music revolution

We live in a digital age and somehow, these new age artists have discovered a way of making music that sparks organic conversations i.e. people talk about a song and undertake challenges even when nobody has asked them to.

Sailors Gang
Sailors Gang

A good example is when Ethic, Ochunglo Family, Sailors Gang, Rico Gang and the likes release a song. The online chatter that it causes is always organic, even if you didn’t know that they have a song out, you will know because everyone on your timeline will be talking about it.

I honestly feel that this is something that our established artists can learn from since it will save them the hassle of engaging in useless PR stunts just so that they can get people to talk about them and their new releases.

I’m not saying that they should also do vulgar songs to get people’s attention. In my opinion they need to examine what these youngins are doing right and see how they can learn from it and use it to better themselves.

Ochunglo Family
Ochunglo Family

The truth is that we live in a fast-paced world, if you can’t conform then people won’t care how good you are as a musician or how good you used to be, a new artist will take your place and most people will forget that you ever existed.

New-age musicians are giving established artists nightmares!

If at all there are people who are not so pleased with the emergence of new-age musicians then it’s the local acts who have been in the game for a longer period, say 5, 10 years or more. I won’t mention any names because you know them too well, don’t you?


In my opinion, they have been backed into a corner by the new crop of artists and they don’t have a clue how they can get out of it. Put simply, they don’t know what to do to reclaim their fan bases. As such, some of them are left with no choice but to hate.

New-age musicians are very spontaneous unlike established artists. A random idea is turned into a song and they hit the studio to record it. Before you know it, the video (quality notwithstanding) is out and is getting mad love across the country.

Established artists like to think through all their steps because they feel they have been in the game for long, they know what works. In the end, they released a well-executed song/video but no one bothers to listen to it or watch it. They end up getting only a handful views.

New-age musicians are always on their toes. As soon as they release a song, they are back in studio working on the next hit unlike established artists who will wait for a song to marinate for some months. Before you know it, they have dropped another banger!

Boondocks Gang Chura
Boondocks Gang

Truth be told, these youngins are giving established artists sleepless nights. In other words, they are their biggest nightmare. Imagine trying to keep up with someone who has been in the game for less than a year compared to the many decades that you’ve been doing music. I would also feel horrible!

However, I don’t think all is lost. All established artists need to do is see what they can learn from the new crop of Kenyan musicians if at all they want to survive in this industry because let’s be honest, times have changed so why should they stick to old practices?

Watch Ochunglo Family’s latest jam Kaa Na Mama Yako below.

You can’t resist the new-age music revolution!

There’s a time when I didn’t think much of the new crop of Kenyan musicians. It was around the time Ethic debuted on the local entertainment scene with Lamba Lolo. I thought the song was trashy at best.

Ethic Figa

Just like most people, I was quick to dismiss them with them with the excuse that their music was raunchy and lacked any message whatsoever nevermind the fact that I found it a little bit entertaining.

With time, more groups or individuals whose music approach was similar to that of Ethic started emerging and I started warming up to the idea of listening to thier music afterall, most people were praising them.

There is a popular adage that if you can’t beat them, join them and in my opinion that’s exactly what happened to me and it’s not that I was coerced, I came to understand their style and as a result, my love for their music grew.

Ochunglo Family
Ochunglo Family

I moved from being a firece critic of new-age musicians one of their strongest proponents, if not the strongest. Chances are if you meet me along the streets, I’ll ask you if you’ve listened to the latest song by Ethic, Ochunglo Family, Sailors Gang, Boondocks Gang, Rico Gang etc. It’s just what it is.

I came to realize that you can’t really resist the ‘new-age music revolution’, as such, you need to embrace it because wishing them away won’t make the players any less popular. Truth is, they will still get massive airplay on local radio and TV stations even if you hate them so why not have a change of heart like I did?

Rico Gang
Rico Gang

New-age musicians are emerging each day, it almost seems like a revolution, one that will define the Kenyan sound for decades to come. I can only hope that their music will get less raunchy or provocative as time goes. Otherwise, they are the best thing that has ever happened to Kenya.

Listen to Ochunglo Family’s latest jam dubbed Kaa Na Mama Yako below.