The thing with Kenyan music industry is that new faces are turning up every day, but not talked about. There is a wave of young musicians making their way into the scene and killing it even without the spotlight. They are more talented than the ‘big’ names spinning on repeat on the airwaves. Kazkazini, Third Hand Music, Emma Cheruto and Ayrosh are some of the stars that are gradually moving up and creating a niche for themselves. They are unafraid to tap into sounds that many musicians haven’t tried before and they are good at it, writes Cynthia Mukanzi
Kaskazini trio hit the scene a year ago with their multi-genre sound and are already causing ripples as they prepare to launch their debut single.
The Afro fusion all-boy band made up of Eugene Ywaya, Chris Clave and Edgar Onyach have a commanding stage presence and theatrics that keep the audience tuned.
They met at Sauti Academy and decided to give music a shot as a unit. “We each pursued music individually while in high school, but became a band when we met at Sauti Academy where we went for training,” says Clave. They have been doing live performances since their entry in music.
“We’ve been doing live music at concerts. We are, however, preparing to release our first single called Matumbo,” Clave tells Spice. Kaskazini is signed to Philip Filah Tuju’s record label, Four Red Music.
“We partnered with Filah, who is our current manager because he understands our music and is determined to work with us to get to where we want to be. Music is a tool that we are using to touch lives and give society direction,” says Clave.
The Shuga Mami hit maker is becoming a music craze and amassing a ballooning following. Ayrosh dared to exploit a sound that some discouraged him against saying he would not establish listenership.
His heart wanted it and so he took the chance because there was only one way to find out. “My vibe is a blend of different genres with a touch of Kikuyu. It was scary getting into it, but I came to realise that the vision is understanding why you are doing it,” he says.
She did a rendition of Turn Your Lights Low by Bob Marley and Lauryn Hill, at the Twice Up Yesterday Concert last month and killed it. Emma thrilled the crowd with her sultry voice and left them yearning for more.
Her jam sessions on YouTube are captivating as she belts acoustic version covers of famous songs and her own. “It’s been a-year-and-a-half since I came into the scene and it is exciting,” she says adding that she did not know she would take on music seriously. “My sound has no inclination to genres.
I call it pure feeling. I write and compose content that I feel inspired to,” she says. Cheruto is currently cooking up some tunes in the studio.
“ I usually do live performances of my own music, but I have not released any recorded material yet,” she says. She vows that she is here to play and so people should watch out.