5 Kenyan Musicians Going Strong After A Decade

The Kenyan music industry has grown tremendously over the years. However, as many artists can attest to, it is not an easy industry to penetrate. It takes hard work, great talent and perseverance to remain relevant.

Artists have come and gone and some have managed to stay through it all. Let’s take a look at Kenyan musicians who are still here after more than a decade long:

Wyre

We got to know Wyre back in 2000 when he was in the music group Necessary Noise. The group ultimately split and Wyre continued doing music. 2013 became a great year for him when he released his single ‘Nakupenda pia’, a collaboration with one of Jamaica’s finest dancehall queens Alaine.

Wyre went on and scooped the Best New Entertainment award during the International Reggae and world Music Awards last year.

Redsan

He is considered as the king of Kenyan Dancehall and he sure is. Redsan burst to limelight in the 90 with hit songs like ‘Kenyan’, ‘Wanipa raha’, ‘Step On It’, ‘Chiken’ that made up his first album ‘Seasons of the San’ , released in 2002.

He has managed to remain relevant releasing hits over the years and becoming one of the most sort after Kenyan stage performers.

Jua Cali

Founding Calif Records with his friend clemo marked Jua Cali’s music journey back in 2000.

He recorded first song ‘Ruka’ , in 2001, and followed it with major hits like ‘Nipe Asali ’, ‘Kamata Dame’ a collaboration with Pilipili, ‘Kiasi’, ‘Kwaheri’, ‘hadija’, ‘Mtoto wa geti kali’ among others.

He has managed to stay relevant over the years with his music genre ‘Genge’.

Nameless

Nameless started singing when some of us were still in diapers (pun intended).

He is one of the pioneers of Genge having made his mark  when he joined Ogopa Deejays recording stable in 2001 recording his first single ‘Megarider’.

He has released hit over the years  and his first album ‘On Fire’ that was released in 2004 and went on to be awarded as the Best Album In East Africa in the 2005 Tanzanian Music Awards.

Nonini

He prefers to be reffered to as ‘the godfather of Genge’ probably because he’s been in the industry for a while now.

‘Manzi Wa Nairobi’ was his first hit track released in 2002 and we sure cannot forget ‘We Kamu’ that was a mega hit.

He has continued to release great music as well as forming and mentoring of the successful group P-Unit.

 

 

HBR Presenters Who’ve Doubled As Video Vixens

Turns out your favorite HBR radio presenters aren’t just radio show hosts, they’ve at some point in their careers doubled as video vixens. 

No, not the booty short wearing video vixens you may be thinking about… although admittedly that would be more interesting.

These presenters have ended up in various music videos as a show of being the very best at what they do whether it’s in a comic relief kind of way, a hip hop queen kind of way or just a ‘this-artist-happens-to-be-like-family-to-me’ kind of way.

I know you’ve seen some of these videos but just in case, let’s count them down.

 

Mwalimu Rachel In Nonini’s 2012 hit ‘Pole Pole’ that featured singer Annette.

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Mwalimu Rachel in Calvo Mistari, Amos and Josh’s ‘Urembo’

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Sheila Kwamboka in ‘Sema Ng’we’.

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Corine in Kristoff’s ‘Tattoo Kwa Thigh’.

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ZJ Heno in Willy Paul’s ‘I Do’.

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Patricia Kihoro in Sauti Sol’s ‘Coming Home’.

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DJ Andie in Jay A’s ‘Dumbala’ (Remix) Video.

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Rae Kiragu in Third Hand Music’s ‘In the Air’ (Lyric Video).

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Jack Rooster in Boneless’s ‘Superstar’ ft Inami.

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What’s Good Studios Announce Patnerships And Expansion

In celebration of their third anniversary, What’s Good Studios (WGS) hosted Nairobi’s most exciting anniversary celebration event Thursday night at Treehouse. Cosmic Homies, Nu Fvnk of New Wave and Taio Tripper were among performing artistes at the event that showcased dynamic content experiences while highlighting What’s Good in young urban Africa.

Rapper STL, Genge artiste Nonini and singer Phy were also present during the celebrations hosted by media personality Anyiko Owoko and arts marketer Buddha Blaze.

With a strong current foot in the industry and three years experience, WGS has officially expanded into East Africa to better serve lovers of the platform and brand partners who are constantly seeking more integration within local content, and amplification across lifestyle sectors.

 As part of this expansion, What’s Good Networks has acquired one of the pioneer entertainment platforms in Kenya, ‘Niaje.com.’  Founder David Mugo remarked, “Niaje being absorbed into What’s Good Networks, means greater reach to young audiences across the region with unique content opportunities set to kick off in 2017. ”

 Official announcements made during the anniversary event included new clients such as Kenyan renowned sports fraternity SportPesa and lottery giant Pambazuka, along with top East African lifestyle brands: Niaje (Kenya), Bongo 5 (Tanzania) and Chano 8 (Uganda).

Other new partnerships include Yummy TV and the ongoing extension of True Love and Drum magazines into digital formats to create True Love TV and Drum TV by WGS.

Tilo Ponder CEO and co-founder of WGS – East Africa’s leading digital content studio says that Kenya is the gateway to Africa thus its best to make it here first then expand into the continent.

 

Nonini Reacts To ‘Mchezo Ndio Ganji’ Cover

Nonini is currently working on two incredible music projects set for release this week and we caught up with the ‘Genge Godfather’ via a phone call regarding an acoustic rendition to ‘Mchezo Ndio Ganji’ that was recorded by ‘The Cover’ winner Raaay!

Nonini said he loved it and wondered when the next season would be.

This ‘Tudunde’ rapper is currently shooting the video to that Didge collabo (something you can read about here) and as for Raaay! well he is currently working on his first EP with Homeboyz Music studios.

 

Nonini Takes Us Behind The Scenes Of His Soon-To-Be-Out Video (Pics)

Looks like the Genge Godfather is about to return to your screens and to your airwaves with not one but TWO brand new music videos and jams.

Nonini announced the news via his instagram page about a week ago in a post that read;

In life you are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously. #NiIleday #NiFurahiday

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This self proclaimed ‘rapreneur’ has since showed us a bit of what it’s like to be working on those projects and it actually turns out that one of those videos will be to his 2015 hit ‘Tudunde’ which also featured Didge.

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Don’t be discouraged by the storm. The enemy’s not going to roll out the red carpet and let us fulfill our destiny, but know this: the forces that are for you are greater than the forces that are against you. #Tudunde video loading….

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Things Heat Up on #TheCoverKe as Bensoul Leaves The Competition

He was a favorite for three straight weeks. Ben Soul who is a singer, song writer and instrumentalist came onto the show with a positive attitude and gave his all in each week’s performance.

Sadly, his first time in the bottom two proved bad luck as he wound up losing to fellow singer and friend Raaay on Episode 4’s hip hop challenge.

The challenge which was judged by Patricia Kihoro, Tallia Oyando and guest judge Corine (representing for Homeboyz Radio’s hip hop family), was probably the toughest yet but also the most rewarding as it gave us a chance to listen to exclusive renditions to jams like Nonini’s ‘Mchezo Ndio Ganji’ (covered by Raaay) and Nyashinski’s ‘Now You Know’ (covered by Bensoul).

You know what this means right? The grand finale now stands 6 days away (from today 2nd October) and while the anticipation over who between Raaay and Cheruto takes home the win, here’s a look at Bensoul’s incredible covers from the show.

10 Throwback Songs We Will Never Get Over

Remember those good old days we used to sing along to “utachonga viazi, if you don’t…” only the 80’s and 90’s kids will know the ending of that part and let me tell you those were the days. Sure the quality of videos was not that great but the music definitely made up for it. If you missed those unforgettable songs then have no fear because HBR is here.

Here are 10 Kenyan throwbacks that will make you want to relive those days.

 

 

 

Nonini & Collo Drop The Sport Inspired Video For “Mchezo Na Ganji”

Nonini and Collo teamed up for Mchezo Na Ganji almost two months ago, and we’ve finally got the sport themed visuals for the track.

The video starts with Nonini and Collo at a blackjack table in a casino (with Avril as their sexy banker who keeps throwing sexual innuendos their way), and then morphs into a sports video of sorts featuring various people doing tricks with basketballs in an alleyway as Nonini and Collo rap along.

Directed by Willie Owusu and produced by Dillie, Mchezo na Ganji is said to fuse music and sports, two paramount elements of Kenya’s culture and identity. Check the video out below.

Nonini’s Next Gig: Acting?

He has released a whole list of songs, videos and albums but now Nonini turns his eye towards acting and is set to appear in a new series called Code +254.

The series was borne in 2010 as a result of the video for Kila Mmoja featuring Chege TMK & Lady B. According to the trailer, Nonini will play himself and the series will feature other Kenyan celebrities like Amileena, Ndungi Githuku & Lady B.

He’s done music & radio presenting, but can Nonini act just as well? That remains to be seen. In the meantime, check out the trailer for Code +254 below.