With every conflict there comes two sides of the story and for it to be truly resolved, the two sides should be given a chance to plead their case.
My dear country people have been on a rocky relationship with all things considered #playkenyanmusic topic where everyone seems to have their own opinion (all respected here). Well here is what Marykenya thinks about it real quick.
Now, it all started with Khaligraph Jones (Kenyan artist) who fired up the conversation with a post on Instagram where he accused radio presenters and DJ’s (the media) for not playing Kenyan music and preferring Nigerian music…Who knew that this simple post would rage an all out war in and out of social media??
But here’s the thing…
I believe Kenyan music is beautiful and diverse. It has changed over the years and somewhere along the way, it’s seemed to have lost it’s true sound. But can you blame the industry for that? Our musicians have tried to assimilate to what people want to hear. And where did it all start?? It started by what the media kept playing.
They focused more on playing international sounds and when people listened to this sounds, they subconsciously wanted Kenyan musicians to sound the same way and that’s why some of our music adapted the Nigerian sound, SA sound or the Bongo sound.
But either way, there are musicians who have created their own sound, stood by it and have been persistent enough to wait for Kenyans to hear them out…
Content is King!!
Here’s the other thing…as Kenyans, we’ve fixated on the fact that Kenyan music is not good enough for our “golden ears” but what have we done about it?? Just kicked it to the curb hoping that by some miracle, it will be better.
But that’s not how things work. You can’t close your eyes and wish the bad away. You have to work to remove it.! How do we expect the artists to get better when we don’t buy their music?
Think about it…if we bought their music they could be able to support themselves, pay for studio time and afford better management teams to produce the best but are we doing that? No…
Still on content…
I don’t expect my Kenyan musicians to sound like Diamond or Harmonize simply because they’re not ‘Bongo flavoured’…I need them to sound Kenyan. That’s where some of us go wrong…the sound has to be authentically Kenyan…
Let’s look at sound shall we;
Fena Gitu and Femi One are amazing rap artists who have amazing distinctive sounds.
King Kaka, Kaligraph, Nyashinski and Octopizo are great rappers. All with amazing distinctive sounds and I can never expect them to sound the same…
Sauti Sol, Le band and H_art The Band are amazing bands with amazing distinctive sounds.
See ewhat I’m trying to mean…we have our sound. Different yes, but authentically us…appreciate it.
People should also understand that they’re not being forced to only listen to Kenyan music. No, that’s besides the point just support your own sound, learn to appreciate your own people and watch the industry grow into a multi billion industry at least help create employment for artists.
And even as people try to fight for the Kenyan artists, they should also take that as a challenge and do better. They should work on producing quality music and prove the people who doubt them wrong.
The OGs as they like to call themselves should also take it upon themselves to mentor young upcoming artists to keep the legacy going…I feel the industry has been saturated by some certain individuals. But give others a chance too!!!
The media should also take it upon themselves to do what they were called upon to do and stop feeding us with too much international content. Give a chance to your local artists on your platform ( TV/radio presenters and DJ’s) and let Kenyans decide for themselves.
Huuuhh!! I feel as if I’ve said all that should be said. Feel free to add on to anything that I might have missed or just give a general opinion about the piece.