Down colour­ful mem­ory lane in Kenyan mu­sic


Which of the coun­try’s mu­si­cal era do you most iden­tify with? The Lit360 show yes­ter­day hosted mu­sic pro­ducer Evumbi, who went down mem­ory lane to bring out the five Kenyan mu­si­cal phases that have shaped the in­dus­try.

Most peo­ple iden­tify with the late 90s to early 2000s when artistes like E-sir (de­ceased), Name­less and Amani, among oth­ers, ruled the air­waves.

But mu­sic in Kenya was not only in­flu­enced by them, back in the 60s, most African coun­tries were mainly com­ing of age and most of the mu­sic was in­flu­enced by the rulers of that time.

“In Kenya, we had Daudi Kabaka and Kelly Brown. They helped shape mu­sic in that par­tic­u­lar era, and “twist” was also very big dur­ing this time and at that time there was a record stu­dio by Sony on River Road that not so many peo­ple know about,” says Evumbi.

This helped form the first stage of mu­sic.

In the 80s and early 90s, Them Mush­rooms were a big name. And they cov­ered the sec­ond stage of Kenyan mu­sic.

Artists like Five Alive, Kala­mashaka and Hard­stone came in mid 90s and were also very big. But like the oth­ers be­fore them, their time came and went.

“Then we came into the mil­len­nium where there was a huge num­ber of up­com­ing artistes. Here we have the Mau Mau group that com­prised a con­glom­er­ate of artistes from Nairobi and Mom­basa,” he ex­plains.

As this was hap­pen­ing, other artistes were also com­ing up that led to the birth of mu­sic power house Ogopa Dee­jays.

They were re­spon­si­ble in pro­duc­ing mega hits like “Ni­nanoki” by Name­less and Amani, “Mega Ry­der”, among oth­ers.

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