Music of Kenya

Last updated

The music of Kenya is very diverse, with multiple types of folk music based on the variety over 40 regional languages. [1]

Kenya Republic in East Africa

Kenya, officially the Republic of Kenya, is a country in Africa with 47 semiautonomous counties governed by elected governors. At 580,367 square kilometres (224,081 sq mi), Kenya is the world's 48th largest country by total area. With a population of more than 52.2 million people, Kenya is the 27th most populous country. Kenya's capital and largest city is Nairobi while its oldest city and first capital is the coastal city of Mombasa. Kisumu City is the third largest city and also an inland port on Lake Victoria. Other important urban centres include Nakuru and Eldoret.

Folk music Music of the people

Folk music includes traditional folk music and the genre that evolved from it during the 20th-century folk revival. Some types of folk music may be called world music. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted orally, music with unknown composers, or music performed by custom over a long period of time. It has been contrasted with commercial and classical styles. The term originated in the 19th century, but folk music extends beyond that.


Zanzibaran taarab music has also become popular, as has hip hop, reggae, soul, soukous, zouk, rock and roll, funk and Europop. Additionally, there is a growing western classical music scene and Kenya is home to a number of music colleges and schools.

Zanzibar Semi-autonomous part of Tanzania

Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania. It is composed of the Zanzibar Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, 25–50 kilometres (16–31 mi) off the coast of the mainland, and consists of many small islands and two large ones: Unguja and Pemba Island. The capital is Zanzibar City, located on the island of Unguja. Its historic centre is Stone Town, which is a World Heritage Site.

Taarab is a music genre popular in Tanzania and Kenya. It is influenced by the musical traditions of the African Great Lakes, North Africa, the Middle East, and the Indian subcontinent. Taarab rose to prominence in 1928 with the advent of the genre's first star, Siti binti Saad.

Hip hop music music genre consisting of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping

Hip hop music, also called hip-hop or rap music, is a genre of popular music developed in the United States by inner-city African Americans and Latino Americans in the Bronx borough of New York City in the 1970s. It consists of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech that is chanted. It developed as part of hip hop culture, a subculture defined by four key stylistic elements: MCing/rapping, DJing/scratching with turntables, break dancing, and graffiti writing. Other elements include sampling beats or bass lines from records, and rhythmic beatboxing. While often used to refer solely to rapping, "hip hop" more properly denotes the practice of the entire subculture. The term hip hop music is sometimes used synonymously with the term rap music, though rapping is not a required component of hip hop music; the genre may also incorporate other elements of hip hop culture, including DJing, turntablism, scratching, beatboxing, and instrumental tracks.

The guitar is the most dominant instrument in Kenyan popular music. Guitar rhythms are very complex and include both native beats and imported ones, especially the Congolese cavacha rhythm; music usually involves the interplay of multiple parts and, more recently, showy guitar solos.

Musical instrument History and classification

A musical instrument is an instrument created or adapted to make musical sounds. In principle, any object that produces sound can be considered a musical instrument—it is through purpose that the object becomes a musical instrument. The history of musical instruments dates to the beginnings of human culture. Early musical instruments may have been used for ritual, such as a trumpet to signal success on the hunt, or a drum in a religious ceremony. Cultures eventually developed composition and performance of melodies for entertainment. Musical instruments evolved in step with changing applications.

Democratic Republic of the Congo Country in Central Africa

The Democratic Republic of the Congo, also known as DR Congo, the DRC, DROC, Congo-Kinshasa, or simply the Congo, is a country located in Central Africa. It is sometimes anachronistically referred to by its former name of Zaire, which was its official name between 1971 and 1997. It is, by area, the largest country in sub-Saharan Africa, the second-largest in all of Africa, and the 11th-largest in the world. With a population of over 78 million, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the most populous officially Francophone country, the fourth-most-populous country in Africa, and the 16th-most-populous country in the world. Eastern DR Congo has been the scene of ongoing military conflict in Kivu, since 2015.

Cavacha is a type of rhythm found in the popular music of Zaire and Kenya. It is a fast-paced rhythm typically played on a drum kit, often with the snare drum or hi hat. Zairean bands such as Zaiko Langa Langa and Orchestra Shama Shama popularized this form of rhythm in the 1960s and 1970s.

Lyrics are most often in Swahili or native languages, like Kalenjin though radio will generally not play music in one of the ethnic languages.

Swahili language Bantu language, mostly spoken mainly within East Africa, national language in Tanzania and one of the official languages of Kenya

Swahili, also known as Kiswahili, is a Bantu language and the first language of the Swahili people. It is a lingua franca of the African Great Lakes region and other parts of eastern and south-eastern Africa, including Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, some parts of Malawi and Zambia, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Comorian, spoken in the Comoros Islands, is sometimes considered to be a dialect of Swahili, though other authorities consider it a distinct language.

Kenyan Musicians performing traditional Luo songs Musicians performing traditional Luo songs.jpg
Kenyan Musicians performing traditional Luo songs

Benga music has been popular since the late 1960s, especially around Lake Victoria. The word benga is occasionally used to refer to any kind of pop music: bass, guitar and percussion are the usual instruments.

Benga is a genre of Kenyan popular music. It evolved between the late 1940s and late 1960s, in Kenya's capital city of Nairobi. In the 1940s, the African Broadcasting Service in Nairobi aired a steady stream of soukous, South African kwela, Congolese finger-style guitar and various kinds of Cuban dance music that heavily influenced emergence of benga. There were also popular folk songs of Kenya's Luo peoples that formed the base on benga creation.

Lake Victoria one of African Great Lakes

Lake Victoria is one of the African Great Lakes.

The bass guitar is a plucked string instrument similar in appearance and construction to an electric or an acoustic guitar, except with a longer neck and scale length, and typically four to six strings or courses. Since the 1960s, the bass guitar has largely replaced the double bass in popular music.

Partially from 1994 and wholly from 2003 Kenyan popular music has been recognised through the Kisima Music Awards. A number of styles predominate in Kenya including Benga and Reggae have separate categories, and a multitude of Kenyan artists are awarded each year.

Kisima Music Awards

The Kisima Music Awards is an annual awards program that recognises musical talent in East Africa. Despite being Kenyan-based the scheme awards artists from a variety of countries, predominantly Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, and incorporates a range of music genres.

Early 20th century

The guitar was popular in Kenya even before the 20th century, well before it penetrated other African countries. Fundi Konde was the best-known early guitarist, alongside Paul Mwachupa and Lukas Tututu the middle of the 1920s, dance clubs had appeared in Mombasa, playing music for Christians to dance in a European style.

During World War II, Kenyan and Ugandan musicians were drafted as entertainers in the King's African Rifles and continued after the war as the Rhino Band, the first extremely popular band across Kenya. In 1948, the group split, with many of the members forming the Kiko Kids or other bands.

By the 1950s, radio and recording technology had advanced across Kenya. Fundi Konde, the prominent guitarist, was an early broadcaster and influential in the fledgling recording industry.

Congolese finger-style and the development of benga

Beginning in about 1952, recordings from legendary Congolese guitarists like Edouard Massengo and Jean-Bosco Mwenda were available in Kenya. Bosco's technique of picking with the thumb and forefinger (finger-style) became popular. Finger-style music is swift and usually based around small groups, in which the second guitar follows the first with syncopated bass rhythms. This style of music became extremely popular later in the decade.

The next decade saw new influences from kwela and rumba become more popular than finger-style. The Equator Sound Band was the most popular band of the period. In Nairobi in the late 1960s, bands like the Hodi Boys and Air Fiesta were popular, primarily playing cover versions of Congolese, British and American hits. Other musicians were innovating the benga style, with Shirati Jazz the most popular of the early bands.

Into the 1970s, benga was at its most innovative, producing numerous popular bands like Victoria Jazz and the Victoria Kings, the Continental Luo Sweet Band and Luna Kidi Band.

Swahili and Congolese pop

The two biggest genres of pop music played by Kenyan bands are called the Swahili sound or the Congolese sound. Both are based on soukous (rumba) from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Swahili music can be distinguished by a much slower rhythm, though the styles have had a tendency to merge in recent decades. The genres are not distinguished by language, though Swahili pop is usually in Swahili or the related Taiti language. Both are sometimes in Lingala or one of the native languages of Kenya.

Congolese musicians were the most popular performers in Kenya during the 1970s and 1980s, only losing their mainstream acceptance in the early 1990s. Orchestre Virunga was perhaps the most popular and long-running of the Congolese bands. During this period, Swahili musicians (many from Tanzania) were mostly based around the Wanyika bands. This group of often rival bands began in 1971 when a Tanzanian group named Arusha Jazz came to Kenya, eventually becoming the Simba Wanyika Band. The band first split in 1978, when many of the group members formed Les Wanyika. Other notable Congolese groups in Kenya included Super Mazembe and Les Mangelepa. Tanzania's Moro Band and Remmy Ongala also became quite popular in Kenya back in the 1980s. It was hard to differentiate them from the native Kenyan singers.

Hotel pop

Tourist-oriented pop covers are popular, and employ more live bands than more authentic Kenyan folk and pop genres. Them Mushrooms, who began playing the Nairobi hotel circuit in 1987, are among these bands. Lately, hotel bands like Them Mushrooms and Safari Sound Band have begun playing reggae.

Regional pop

The Luo people, one of Kenya's largest ethnic groups, live in the Western part of Kenya and their pop music is what epitomizes the original Benga style. Contemporary variations of Benga and Luo traditional music has produced the Ohangla style that is popular with young Luo. The Luo of Kenya have long played an eight-string lyre called nyatiti, and guitarists from the area sought to imitate the instrument's syncopated melodies. In benga, the electric bass guitar is played in a style reminiscent of the nyatiti. As late as the turn of the twentieth century, this bass in nyatiti supported the rhythm essential in transmitting knowledge about the society through music. Opondo Owenga of Gem Yala, the grandfather of Odhiambo Siangla, was known in employing music as a means of teaching history of the Luo.The father of the popular Luo Benga is non other than The Famous George Ramogi (Omogi wuod Weta) and CK Jazz.He helped the Benga enthusiasts by recording their Benga music in different labels in the capital city Nairobi.Dr. Mengo of Victoria Jazz was a protege of George Ramogi.

In 1967, the first major benga band, Shirati Jazz, was formed by Daniel Owino Misiani. The group launched a string of hits that were East Africa's biggest songs throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Shirati Jazz's biggest rival was Victoria Jazz, formed in 1972 by Ochieng Nelly Mengo and Collela Mazee. Despite many personnel changes, Victoria Jazz remained popular throughout the 1970s, when the Voice of Kenya radio station pushed an onslaught of East African pop. Victoria C Band of Awino Lawi was one of the splinter group of Victoria Jazz.

1997 saw the death of three prominent Luo Benga artist, Okatch Biggy of Heka Heka Band, George Ramogi and Prince Jully. The Jolly Boys Band of Prince Jully was taken over by his wife Princess Jully and she has since been a leading female Benga musician.[1]

Another famous benga band Migori Super Stars was formed in the mid 1970s and was led by Musa Olwete which later split to form another popular benga band Migori Super Stars C with musicians such as Joseph Ochola (Kasongo Polo Menyo), Onyango Jamba, Ochieng' Denge denge and others.

More modern benga artists include Akothee Kapere Jazz Band and the rootsy Ogwang Lelo Okoth. The new millennium has seen emergence of Dola Kabarry and Musa Juma. The latter saw his career cut short as he died in 2011.MJ,as he was popularly known to his fans, developed a kind of benga that infused elements of rumba. he was able to mold other musicians such as John Junior, Ogonji, Madanji, and his late brother Omondi Tonny.[2] More recently, the compositions of the trumpeter Christine Kamau combine jazz with benga and rhumba. [2]

There are also Benga artists are based in countries other than Kenya, such as American/Kenyan group Extra Golden.

The Kamba people live to the south and east of Nairobi. Their pop music is closely related to benga, but includes a second guitar that plays a melodious counterpoint to the primary guitar. The most popular Kamba pop bands arose in the middle of the 1970s and include Les Kilimambogo Brothers Band led by Kakai Kilonzo, Kalambya Boys & Kalambya Sisters led by Onesmus Musyoki and Joseph Mutaiti and Peter Mwambi & His Kyanganga Boys. Other groups also include Lower Mbooni Boys Band, Muthetheni Boys Band and Ukia Boys Band.

Other Akamba Pop Bands were formed in the 1980s and included Kakuku Boys Band vocalled by John Mutua Muteti whose lyrics consisted of religious, domestic, and court humour, Ngoleni Brothers which was formed by Dick Mutuku Mulwa after he left Kalambya Boys & Kalambya Sisters. It can also be noted that Kalambya Boys original members were Onesmus Musyoki (vocals), Joseph Mutaiti (vocals), Dick Mutuku Mulwa (rhythm guitar), James Maisha Muli(Drums) and Peter Kisaa (solo guitar). Kalambya Boys split and Joseph Mutaiti formed Super Kaiti and Onesmus Musyoki went gospel to form Emali Town Choir.

Leading Luhya musicians include Sukuma Bin Ongaro, and Shem Tube with his group Abana Ba Nasery. [3]

Hip hop

Hip hop is a hugely popular style of music in Kenya. Artists rap in English, Swahili, the local Sheng slang or even in vernacular language like kikuyu (G.rongi), Kisii (Smallz Lethal) or dhaluo (Gidi Gidi Maji Maji). One of its many popular genres is Genge which is showcased through artists such as Jua Cali, Nonini and Jimwat. There is also Kapuka rap, which is found with artists like Nameless. Female rappers like Needah of Grosspool Music and Xtatic, who got signed to Sony Music are taking the industry to another level. Others like Wangechi and Femi One are also doing the genre some justice. The country also boasts a large following of hardcore rap which is characterised by swift freestyle battlers and lyricists like Mc Mike G of 237 cypher, Bamboo, G.rongi,Jay Fourz, SDL, Doobiez and Chiwawa.

The genre also boasts only two live performers; Juliani (formerly of Ukoo Flani) and Jemedari, a fresh rapper who draws his roots from Coastal influences

Camp Mulla, an alternative hip hop group, has had more success than any other Kenyan artist in history. As of 28 September 2012, they have won two CHAT Awards [4] [5] [6] and have been nominated for prestigious awards such as the BET Awards, [7] [8] [9] the MTV Europe Music Awards [10] [11] and the MOBO Awards. [12] [13] [14] [15] [16]


Reggae musician Prince Otach Prince Otach.jpeg
Reggae musician Prince Otach

Reggae is one of the most popular genres of music in Kenya[ citation needed ]. Reggae elements are often mixed with local hip hop and pop music, yet there have not been many mainstream reggae musicians in Kenya. One of the best known local reggae musicians is the late Mighty King Kong. Upcoming reggae artist "priest fari" is the artist to watch out for[ citation needed ]. With two albums "warrior" and "Pressure" under his belt, Priest fari is arguably the next big thing on the Kenyan reggae scene. His touch remains the original Jamaican roots reggae.

Others include Jahkey Malle and Prince Otach. Reggae Ras Naya, is one of the best reggae artists from Kenya and abroad, based in Paris. His last album "Shine" was recorded in Orange Street, Kingston, Jamaica, in 2012. The other albums are called "Freedom", "Mau Mau" and " Black and White". A new album called "Mama" is coming in 2013. Ras Naya represents Kenyan reggae in Europe and the rest of the world.

Other Reggae icons in Kenya who have risen in the recent past include the talented Wyre and Red San. Other artists with notable success include Osmarne, Esizo SDL, Versatile and chronic. The massive love for reggae in Kenya has led to inception of other talents including Reggae music Deejays. The most remarkable Dj who shines in the hearts of all Kenyan Reggae music lovers is Dj Stano. Dj Stano has grown to be Kenya's biggest reggae music dj. His talent and love for music has developed to major parts of Kenya and beyond.

Dj Stano's career was catapulted to great heights on one of the largest radio shows in Kenya with millions of listeners live and online. As co-host and DJ on Riddim Base, a daily show on the pioneer reggae station Metro FM, Dj Stano's expertise gained him huge support from reggae music lovers. He also hosted Club Metro, a weekly show on the all reggae station ' Metro Fm'. Dj Stano has taken his talents worldwide with a variety of live shows in places like the UK and Dubai. Currently he hosts a weekly show "The Rave" on Venus FM. Dj Stano is also part of the Music Unit at the State Broadcaster (KBC).


Rock music has found a home to a growing fan base and with a number of locally established as well as emerging rock bands (there are over twelve active local rock bands in Nairobi alone) further cementing this genre by engaging in different as well as mutually organised rock themed events. Foreign international rock bands (Jars of Clay, Casting Crowns, 38th Parallel, Zebra & Giraffe) have also graced the local scene which reflects on the growing influence and acceptance of this genre.

Organized member bodies such as Wiyathi (now defunct) and Roffeke (Rock 'n' Roll Film Festival Kenya) were fundamental in initially marketing local rock bands in the country by hosting regular shows and helped to establish a vibrant rock community. Recently, the bands also by social event groups like Kenya Rock Fans, have widely assisted the bands to gain popularity and increase their fan base, subsequently the founding of a governing body, the Rock Society of Kenya, [17] which serves to promote the interests of member bands. The society spearheads numerous rock related events like the Battle of the Bands and live rock club shows that has spurred constructive level of activity for bands.

Over the past few years many entertainment spots have also independently incorporated rock music onto their programs further indicating a genuine interest from the public. In addition there are radio stations that play rock music: 98.4 Capital FM and 105.5 X FM, the latter being a 24-hour rock station. [18] KTN (Str8up), STV (The Rumble) and K24 (The Rumble) also play regular weekly rock shows. Popular prominent local rock bands include acts such as Parking Lot Grass, Last Year's Tragedy(LYT)- Whose song "March From the Underground" is said to have foreseen the recent attacks on a Kenyan University, [19] [20] Murfy's fLaw, Dove Slimme, M20, Rock of Ages, Seismic, The Itch, The Beathogs, Crystal Axis [21] , DEOWA, [22] Rash, [23] Bedslum and kick ass metal band Mortal Soul. [24]

Other genres

There is a growing interest in other genres of music such as house, Trap Music and drum and bass. Acts like Just A Band Skilz have also dabbled in numerous alternative genres. The growth of Kenyan Trap Music has been recently popularized by artist like Ekko Dydda & artists from Janeson Recordings. [25] Neo soul music has also gained a huge audience with recurrent events such as Blankets and Wine promoting upcoming Neo soul bands and artistes such as Sage, Antoneosol,Sarah Mitaru Sauti Sol and Dela the neosol music scene in Kenya is slowly growing. Genres such as Genge with artistes such as Jua Cali and Nonini acting as ambassadors of this genre.

Genres such as Kapuka also have an audience with acts such as Nameless, the late Esir and the late K-rupt sampling from these genres. The Kenyan music scene has been regarded as diverse but criticism has been leveled at its perceived lack of originality in terms of musical content. [26] [ citation needed ]

Flag-map of Kenya.svg

Of late a massive resurgence has occurred in the industry with musical groups such as Sauti Sol receiving global acclaim

Traditional music

Kenya's diverse ethnic groups each have their own folk music traditions, though most have declined in popularity in recent years as gospel music became more popular. The Turkana people of the north, the Bajuni, Akamba, Borana, Chuka, Gusii, Kikuyu, Luhya and Luo, the Maasai and the related Samburu and the Mijikenda ("nine tribes") of the eastern coast are all found within the borders of Kenya.

Related Research Articles

Simba Wanyika was a Kenyan based band created in 1971 by Tanzanian brothers Wilson Kinyonga and George Kinyonga, and disbanded in 1994. Simba Wanyika and its two offshoots, Les Wanyika and Super Wanyika Stars, became some of the most popular bands in Kenya. Their guitar-driven sound, inspired by the Soukous guitarist Dr. Nico, combined highly melodic rumba with lyrics sung in Swahili. Simba wa nyika means "Lions of the Savannah" in Swahili.

Music of the Democratic Republic of the Congo varies in its different forms. Outside Africa, most music from the Democratic Republic of Congo is called Soukous, which most accurately refers instead to a dance popular in the late 1960s. The term rumba or rock-rumba is also used generically to refer to Congolese music, though neither is precise nor accurately descriptive.

Soukous is a popular genre of dance music from the Congo Basin. It derived from Congolese rumba in the 1960s and gained popularity in the 1980s in France. Although often used by journalists as a synonym for Congolese rumba, both the music and dance currently associated with soukous differ from more traditional rumba, especially in its higher tempo, longer dance sequences. Notable performers of the genre include African Fiesta, Papa Wemba and Pépé Kallé.

The music of Namibia includes a number of folk styles, as well as pop, rock, reggae, jazz, house and hip hop.

Culture of Kenya culture of an area

The culture of Kenya consists of multiple trends. Kenya has no single prominent culture that identifies it. It instead consists of various cultures practiced by the country's different communities.

Kenyan hip hop is a genre of music, and a culture that covers various forms and sub genres of hip-hop and rap originating from Kenya. It is commonly a combination of Swahili and English as well as Sheng and a variety of tribal languages.

Gidi Gidi Maji Maji is a Kenyan hip hop duo from Nairobi. Its two members are Maji Maji and Gidi Gidi. Their lyrics are mostly in Luo language, with some English and Swahili. Unlike most local hip hop artists, GidiGidi MajiMaji do willingly mix African rhythms with their music. According to popular entertainment guide Ghafla, their music is a "fusion of hip hop/rap and African music [which] they mostly sing and rap in their native language called Luo."

Congolese rumba, also known as Rumba Lingala after its predominant language, is a popular genre of dance music which originated in the Congo basin during the 1940s, deriving from Cuban son. The style gained popularity throughout Africa during the 1960s and 1970s.

Daniel Owino Misiani was a Tanzanian-born musician based in Kenya, where he led the Shirati Jazz collective. He was known as the "King of History" in Kenya; overseas and in Tanzania, he was known as "the grandfather of benga", which he pioneered.

Muziki wa dansi, or simply dansi, is a Tanzanian music genre, derivative of Congolese soukous. It is sometimes called Swahili jazz because most dansi lyrics are in Swahili, and "jazz" is an umbrella term used in Central and Eastern Africa to refer to soukous, highlife, and other dance music and big band genres. Muziki wa dansi can also be referred to as Tanzanian rumba, as "african rumba" is another name for soukous.

Boomba music, also referred to as kapuka, is a form of hip pop music popular in Kenya. It incorporates hip hop, reggae and African traditional musical styles. The lyrics are in Swahili, Sheng or local dialects. It is associated with the Ogopa Deejays and is believed to have originated in the late 1990s with artists such as Redsan, Bebe Cool and Chameleone. It went on to dominate East African airwaves after the release of the Ogopa Deejays' first album in 2001, which included artists such as the late E-Sir, Nameless, Mr. Lenny, Amani, Mr. Googz and Vinnie Banton amongst others.

Them Mushrooms

Them Mushrooms is a musical band from Kenya, playing mostly Chakacha, some Benga and also some reggae. They are most famous for the Swahili 1982 song Jambo Bwana. The band is composed of Teddy Kalanda, Henry Ndenge Saha and Ben Mutwiwa. They mainly do covers of previously written hit songs.

Collela Mazee was a Kenyan musician, who was a leading member of the Victoria Jazz band alongside Ochieng Nelly. They were among the originators of the benga music, a music genre with origins in Kenya's Luoland.

Morogoro Jazz Band, also known as K.Z. Morogoro Jazz Band, was a seminal muziki wa dansi band from Morogoro, Tanzania. The band originally played live at the clubs and bars of Morogoro and became very popular in the 1960s and 1970s, receiving considerable airplay from Tanzanian radio stations. The leader of the band was guitarist Mbaraka Mwinshehe, who dropped out of school to join the band in 1965. Coincidentally, the band was formed the same year Mwinsheshe was born, in 1944. The original lineup of the band featured Makala Kindamile, Joseph Thomas, Seif Ally, Daudi Ally and Shaabana Mwambe. Salim Abdullah, who would later found Cuban Marimba Band, was also an early member of the band.

Chandarana Records is a record company from Kericho, Kenya. The company was known throughout Africa for releasing several thousand 45-rpm singles featuring a wide range of Kenyan and Tanzanian groups.

Musa Juma Mumbo was a rumba and Benga musician from Kenya. He was born to the second wife of his father, a policeman, and into a family of 18 children. He grew up in Homabay where he attended primary and secondary schools. He began signings and playing instruments at a young age. His first instruments were guitars and drums made from tins and strings. He was the bandleader, guitarist and composer for Orchestra Limpopo International. Most of his music was sung in Dholuo language. Some of his songs are a fusion of the Luo and Congolese musical styles. He also sang in Kiswahili and English.

Camp Mulla is an alternative hip hop group originating from and based in Nairobi, Kenya. The group rose to prominence with the release of their debut single "Party Don't Stop" on 31 August 2010, with that and their subsequent works earning them a nomination for Best International Act (Africa) at the 2012 BET Awards. Following their release of their debut studio album, Funky Town, the group's lead singer Karun and rapper Taio both left the group to pursue solo careers. Most recently the main four members announced their reunion at The Wave performance at the Waterfront, Ng'ong racecourse in September 2017.

Sauti Sol Kenyan afro-pop band formed in Nairobi

Sauti Sol are a Kenyan afro-pop band formed in Nairobi, Kenya by vocalists Bien-Aimé Baraza, Willis Chimano and Savara Mudigi in 2005. Initially an a cappella group, guitarist Polycarp Otieno joined before they named themselves Sauti.

Odi Pop or Gengeton is a Kenyan music style which involves localized Hip Hop and draws influences from Reggae and Dancehall music to build on an African Rhythm base performed in sing-along rap in heavy Kiswahili/Sheng language.There are several sub-genres stemming from this umbrella term including Gengeton, Dabonge, Debe and others. The music is spearheaded by Kenyan youth and most of them are pursuing their careers as music groups opposed to solo careers.


  1. "On the Beat – Tapping the Potential of Kenya's Music Industry", a WIPO Magazine article
  2. "Celebrating Kenyan Women in Music". Creatives Garage. 12 March 2015. Retrieved 17 January 2016.
  3. Richard Trillo: The Rough Guide to Kenya. 8th Edition, Rough Guides 2006, ISBN   1-84353-651-X (page 720)
  4. "CHAGUO LA TEENIEZ AWARDS 2012 WINNERS". Nairobi, Kenya: 21 April 2012. Archived from the original on 24 April 2012. Retrieved 22 April 2012.
  5. "Chaguo La Teeniez Awards 2012 – Winners". Nairobi, Kenya: VibeWeekly. 21 April 2012. Archived from the original on 24 April 2012. Retrieved 22 April 2012.
  6. "Here Are The Winners of the 2012 CHAT Awards (According to Ghafla)". Nairobi, Kenya: Archived from the original on 21 April 2012. Retrieved 22 April 2012.
  7. "Best International Act: Africa – BET Awards". BET . Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  8. "Camp Mulla Nominated for BET Awards". 23 May 2012. Archived from the original on 25 May 2012. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  9. "Camp Mulla Nominated For BET Awards. (Full List of Nominees)". Nairobi W!re. 23 May 2012. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  10. "Camp Mulla Nominated at the MTV EMAs. That's Two Big Nominations on the Same Day!". Ghafla! News. 18 September 2012. Archived from the original on 26 September 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
  11. "Camp Mulla Bag MTV EMA nomination". News. 21 September 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2012.[ permanent dead link ]
  12. "Breaking News: Camp Mulla nominated for M.O.B.O Awards!". Ghafla! News. 18 September 2012. Archived from the original on 22 September 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
  13. "Camp Mulla Nominated For MOBO Awards 2012". Vibe Weekly. 18 September 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2012.[ permanent dead link ]
  14. "Vote, vote, vote: Camp Mulla for MOBO Awards". 18 September 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2012.[ permanent dead link ]
  15. "Camp Mulla nominated for MOBO Awards". The Star. 19 September 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
  16. "Camp Mulla Nominated For Mobo Awards". 89.5 FM Ghetto Radio. 19 September 2012. Archived from the original on 20 September 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
  17. "Rock Society of Kenya".
  18. "Kenya Radio Stations and Web-TV broadcast Onlinea". Archived from the original on 15 March 2015.
  19. "Garissa Attack: This year's tragedy foreseen by Last Year's Tragedy?".
  20. "Last Year's Tragedy".
  21. "Crystal Axis".
  22. "Deowa".
  23. "Rash BanD, brInGIng bAck the oLd sChoOl".
  24. "5 Kenyan Rock Bands That You Should Know About". Archived from the original on 17 April 2015. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
  25. "Popular Kenyan RNB Singer Launches A Record Label". Ghafla. Archived from the original on 22 August 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  26. Nation Media Group (21 September 2014). "Daily Nation". Nation Media. Retrieved 23 September 2014.