How the evolution of Gengetone has changed Kenyan music that has dominated the airways for the past two years despite its explicit content and the lyrics, but how does the international world adopt it.
Music in Kenya has seen its industry grow and rise to the top with a new wave from the Kenyan youth dubbed Gengetone, that many people in Kenya think it may take its music to international seen.
But Kenyans are celebrating one of the most exciting emerging music genres in Kenya with a new slug Gengetone as a genre with roots in Kenyan Genge-rap, dancehall, and reggaeton.
The genre is also characterized by its lyrics – which are recited in a slang version of Swahili, ‘sheng’, but the new genre of music has received a lot of backlash with some people condescendingly referring to it as ‘trash’ with dirty lyrics.
But according to gengtone artists, they say music is art, and when to put to the judgment and interpretation of both appreciative and unappreciative audiences.
Since the genre’s beginnings in 2018, the rise of gengetone has seen a resurgence of support for homegrown music.
Gengetone has employed and made Kenyan youth busy and making a living out of it, as they try to escape the bad thing and hard living on the Kenyan streets.
Gengetone is largely banned on Kenyan radio. Despite this, the scene has grown organically. This new wave of artists is attracting huge audiences across the country; using social media, the local club scene and local taxis (matatus) to spread their sound.
The Gengetone music group Ethic has since inspired a new generation of artists with their one of a kind style, With raunchy, unapologetic and rabble-rousing.
Also, the Ochungulo family are known for their penchant for spoofing Kenyan pop culture and creating parodies that become contemporary radio hits with fascinating how they can make mundane local news sound- bites into hit songs which has gone on to inspire memes and a feature in BBC 1Xtra in the UK.
Their unique sound captured the attention of international music labels: Universal Music Group through their local subsidiary AI Records who signed a long-term contract with them.
Sailors Gang have also made a name for themselves with their bawdy one-liners that have stealthily made their way into everyday vocabulary which are also synonymous with club anthems, Wamlambez, Wamnyonyez!.
They got spotlighted by BBC after their video was banned by the Kenya Film Commission board for what they termed as ‘coded pornography’.