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Meet the millennials changing the Kenyan music game



Rapper Bey T

New Nairobi Music is the genre of music millennials are working hard to push Kenyans to embrace it.

From the conversations on social media, Kenyan artistes – old or new – have been riding on the #playkemusic hashtag to encourage KOT to embrace and listen to local music as opposed to promoting a lot of Naija and bongo music.

The blame game on who is responsible for this has shifted from Radio Presenters to now DJ’s, who are being blamed for not playing local music in clubs.

Many media personalities including Adelle have come out to say they have little to no say on which music is played on the radio.

This was after a debate that went viral on social media that Khaligraph Jones ignited when he said he will take radio presenters from Kenya to Ghana. His aim was just to make it clear that they are not as famous as the music they keep promoting on the radio.

When that fight was over, a new ‘war’ was born It now became ‘we want New School Music played.’

So what is New Nairobi Music?

According to Captian Charisma who considers himself a New Nairobi Artiste he says,

news school music is music done by the newbies. people using genres from the past and giving them their twist

One thing we need to understand is that music genres come for a season up until someone comes up with something new. So with every genre coming up, it will be termed ‘New Nairobi Music’.

As from 2019, we have seen songs such as Lambalolo, Naiwake, Zimenishika come up. Music that we call Odi Music or Gengerone, according to Benzema a member of the Ochugolo family.

A genre that took the country by storm. The target audience when they were composing their songs were guys from Eastlands but to their surprise, it became music for all.

Kenyans received it with a love-hate attitude but the truth is this type of music has given them hits and views on YouTube.

Cool Kids sing along to their music, guys from Eastlands sing along and even young children sing along. Do you remember a few weeks ago a video went viral of a little boy singing along to the hit song Position, word for word?

That is how viral that kind of music has gone.

When we move to the Hip Hop side, it’s been known as a musical genre that has not fully been embraced but the likes of Khaligraph Jones, Octopizzo and Kagwe are opening up the door for Kenyans to fall in love with Hip Hop.

The New Nairobi artistes have jumped in on the trend to create music using the Trap Tune but making it more appealing to Kenyans.

Speaking to, Steph Kapela said the New Nairobi Hip Hop squad will be moving to the levels of Sauti Sol and MDQ. He believes in the next 5 years it will be bigger.

 I have a 5-year plan and i believe we will be doing international collabos because Kenyans are surely but slowly embracing New School Music.

One thing that is different with the New Nairobi Hip Hop Music is that they are not basing their songs on kinds of beef within artistes as has been the case. Hip Hop was a war of words between haters.

‘I once performed to a bartender and a bouncer’ Steph Kapela narrates

The likes of Biggie and 2Pac, Nas and Jay and in Kenya Abbas and Chiwawa, Bamboo and K South. Their songs were all diss tracks to one another.

Now, the New Nairobi artistes are singing on the harsh realities of life both as an artiste and as a Kenyan Citizen.

Former Maranda students, ManKind talk about their struggle as artistes

From the YouTube views and attendance of New School Music events, Kenyans are actually embracing the music.

Kagwe Muigai had his album launch last weekend and the attendance was great. So it’s safe to say that Kenyans are ready to listen and fall in love with the New Nairobi Music.

Here are the fresh new artistes changing the Kenyan Music game:

  1. Ethic
  2. Ochuogolo Family
  3. Edu The Rapper
  4. Steph Kapella
  5. ManKind
  6. Bey T
  7. Captain Charisma
  8. Tanasha
  9. Mbithi
  10. ZZero
  11. Barak Jaccuzi

Read more here.


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