The Kenyan Music Industry
Kenyan Music is at the moment at it best. It seems like the Kenyan musician have upped their game and started producing quality music and quality music videos both secular and gospel music. The Kenyan music artists can be said to have so far done the Kenyan music industry proud by producing quality music videos that are orginal and that show the beautiful side of Kenya. Of course it is notable that music promotes Kenya internationally by reflecting the beauty of the Kenyan people and the local flora and fauna that the country presents to its viewers but in terms of the music promoting the country, we can say there is still a lot to be done.
In essence, a country’s music industry should have its uniqueness by producing music that is original to local culture and that that serves local interests first. This ensures that local music fans are satisfied first before the international music community is targeted. Kenyan music industry currently seems to have somehow overlooked the importance of local culture in music with most of the musician producing music content and video mostly targeted for the international music market.
This is just an opinion, and to be true to myself, my opinion is not practical in modern world. It is wrong to tell a musician on what his/her music should focus on. The key target of any musician as they write their music is to have a wide market for his clients. This cannot be achieved by targeting the local music industry and therefore, producing music with a larger audience in mind is the way forward to achieving the music business objectives. The Gangman style hit maker was little known to the world despite and since he launched his music on YouTube, billions of people have watched his music video. This kind of viral activity is what every musician dreams of.
Past evidence shows that the Kenyan music market is very limited and one which doesn’t support Kenyan musicians, the Kenyan music industry is characterised by music piracy and in appropriate broadcast of music without the producers consent. Unless things change, Kenyan musician will continue to produce music that is targeted for international market in which the music talent is highly appreciated and has been seen to pay generously.
Kenya has had too many musicians in the past 10 years and only a handful of them have survived in the local music industry. Those who produced hit songs have since left the country for greener pastures; their music contributing to improvement of their life and lifestyles. It is time that Kenyans learns on how to support the local artists, if we want to have a music industry that is reflective of the Kenyan culture and local context and that which creates opportunities for all age groups, music piracy must STOP.